NWT’s Miriam Green receives national Firth Award

Miriam Green with athletes

Miriam Green, left, is winner of the 2017 Firth Award.

Northwest Territories ski coach Miriam Green has received a national award for her dedication to the sport.

Cross Country Canada named Miriam, from Yellowknife, as a recipient of the Firth Award at its annual meeting in Canmore this past weekend.

The Firth Award honours women who make an outstanding contribution to skiing in Canada and is named for Aklavik sisters Sharon Firth and Shirley Firth Larsson, who each competed at four Olympic Winter Games.

“I feel very surprised and flattered and honoured. It’s really cool,” said Miriam, who coached in Behchoko and Yellowknife from 1995 to 2001 before moving south, then returned to Yellowknife in 2009.

“For one thing, it feels like kind-of getting away with something because everything I’ve done with skiing is so much fun.

Shawne Kokelj accepts award

Shawne Kokelj, right, with Saskatchewan winner Sally Venne, accepts the Firth Award on Miriam Green’s behalf.

“The Firth sisters, even when I grew up as a junior skier in Ontario, were an inspiration for me. I still have a poster of them in my wall, right in front of me in my office. I feel humbled.”

Miriam was unable to travel to Canmore for the announcement, so Cross Country NWT board member Shawne Kokelj accepted the award on her behalf. This year’s award is shared by Miriam and fellow nominee Sally Venne, of La Ronge, Saskatchewan.

In nominating Miriam for the Firth Award, Cross Country NWT highlighted her role as an invaluable mentor and role model to younger skiers in the North; her exceptional technique, as a former competitor at world junior level; and her unique ability to convey that technique to young athletes. Congratulations, Miriam!