February 7, 2012                                                                                              

Laura Secord Secondary Staff Member Named St. Catharines Sportsperson of the Year 

It was an unexpected, but extremely welcome surprise for a self professed basketball junkie.

Last week, Laura Secord Secondary’s head of guidance Vince DeLuca received a letter from the Mayor of St. Catharines letting him know he’d been named the co-winner of the 2011 St. Catharines Sportsperson of the Year award.

“I was totally shocked when I opened it,” said DeLuca.

As someone who prefers to work behind the scenes, DeLuca told school Principal Karen Simpson about the award, but asked her not to say anything about it to anyone.

“I said sure, no problem,” laughed Simpson, who quietly arranged for a group of school supporters to be in the audience when he was presented with his award at Monday night’s city council meeting.

“The look on his face was priceless,” she smiled.  

DeLuca earned the award for his work on the St. Catharines High School Basketball Tournament organizing committee. This was the 50th year of the prestigious tournament and is something DeLuca says he will always remember fondly. “You couldn’t have asked for a better final. It was one of the finest games I’d ever seen and the atmosphere was absolutely incredible,” said DeLuca.

DeLuca shares the award with his long time friend and tournament committee co-chair Jim Wallace. Wallace is a sports reporter with the St. Catharines Standard.

Having been involved with the tournament for the past 12 years, DeLuca now plans to retire from the committee. “I’m looking forward to enjoying next year’s tournament as a spectator,” he smiled.

Although stepping down from the committee, DeLuca doesn’t appear to be taking his foot off the gas. Every year, DeLuca organizes Laura Secord's Walk/Run for Miracles in support of the Niagara Peninsula Children’s Centre. He is also committed to personal improvement as well.

“Vince ran his first marathon in Chicago last November,” said Simspon. “He has boundless energy and the students really appreciate his commitment and easy-going nature.”