These years male and female athlete of the year awards go to British Columbia, congratulations to Ivy Liao and Peter Isherwood for their hard work and dedication towards Table Tennis in Canada. For the second time, the Awards Committee took the advice, and wanted to reflect the amazing efforts that the Gender Equity Committee have done over the last few years. It is important to show and highlight achievements on and off the table, and both these athletes also reflected that. 

Ivy Liao was selected for both the 2022 and 2023 Table Tennis Team to represent Canada at the World Championships. Ivy reached the finals in the Women’s Double at the Canadian Championships and so won the Silver medal. In the Female Singles and Mixed Doubles event she won the Bronze medal. Next to her amazing achievements on the table, she is also excelling as part of the athletes commission with Table Tennis Canada and the important voice needed in the association. Ivy works also closely with the Gender Equity Committee, especially on the “Women in Table Tennis” campaign to highlighting female coaches, athletes, administrators and officials. 

We took some time to ask Ivy some questions: 

What do you like about Table Tennis?

There is so much to like about Table Tennis. Not only has the sport kept me physically healthy throughout the years, but it has taught me a lot about areas including resilience, balance, diversity, and the beauty of community. The unique technical aspects of the sport make it very enjoyable too – when considering spin, speed, placement, depth, strength, timing, etc., there is always much more to learn and improve upon. 

How do you feel about being recognized for this award?

It’s truly an honor to be recognized for this award alongside all the other amazing recipients! I’m very grateful to the members of our Canadian Table Tennis community who took the time to submit nominations for me and to the selection committee for recognizing my efforts. 

What does it mean to you to receive this award? Anything else you like to share with the Table Tennis world in Canada?

Receiving this award truly means a lot to me. My journey in Table Tennis throughout the past decade and more has been full of ups and downs, and I see this award as a nod to my perseverance, love for Table Tennis, and the unwavering support of my family, coaches, and friends, which I am so grateful for. I also know that these sentiments are not unique to me. To all the athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, families, and supporters of our Canadian table tennis community, thank you for all that you do. Although we all face different sets of challenges while navigating our Table Tennis journeys, your efforts and dedication do not go unnoticed. You are a big reason that this sport can live on and grow in Canada, and I truly hope that we can work together to help our table tennis community thrive for years to come. Thank you again for the honor of receiving this award!”

Hard working, never giving up and contributing to the sport is in both these athletes blood and we are very grateful for that. Congratulations to both of these wonderful role models in our sport!!!