Minto youths recognized for sporting excellence

MINTO – Three local youths were recognized for sporting accomplishments at the national and provincial level at the April 25 town council meeting.

Weston Dirksen recently competed with a team from Mount Forest-based RISE Combat and Fitness at the WAKO Canada National Kickboxing Championships in Niagara Falls.

The Harriston-area resident went undefeated in three matches, taking home the National Championship belt for the 12 years (37.3kg) category.

“Success never comes in a day. It comes with strong determination and with great hard work and you are an example of that,” said Mayor Dave Turton.

Dirksen thanked his parents and family for their help with his competitive efforts.

Weston Dirksen received a Town of Minto certificate of recognition at the April 25 council meeting from his grandmother, councillor Judy Dirksen, and Mayor Dave Turton.


Curling champion

Tori Zemmelink was recognized for skipping her curling team to a provincial championship.

The Palmerston-area youth’s rink was undefeated at the CurlON U20 Women’s Curling Provincial Championships in Ajax from March 8 to 12. 

“Her rink went 6-0, winning the championship game in dramatic fashion after a measurement decided it in the 10th and final end,” said Turton.

As provincial champions, Zemmelink’s team represented Ontario at the New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Quebec from March 26 to April 2, finishing in fourth place.

“This was one of two provincial jackets that I earned this season and I could not have done it without my team,” said Zemmelink.

“Even though they might not be here, I do want to thank them for getting me here.”

Zemmelink also thanked her parents “for helping me since I was 11, getting me into the sport and coaching me.”

Hockey accomplishments

University hockey star Leah Herrfort was recognized for several accomplishments.

After spending two years playing NCAA Division I hockey in New York, Herrfort returned home to play OUA hockey at the University of Waterloo for the past two years. 

This past season, Herrfort broke the Waterloo Warriors all-time record for points in a single season and was the second leading scorer in Canadian women’s university hockey.

University hockey star Leah Herrfort received a certificate of recognition from Town of Minto Mayor Dave Turton at the April 25 council meeting. Herrfort was a part of Team Canada’s gold medal squad at the FISU World University Games.


This led to her being named the OUA Player of the Year and Forward of the Year, as well as being named a U Sports First-Team All-Canadian. 

Herrfort also earned the chance to represent Canada at the FISU World University Games in January.

Team Canada won gold at the global competition, with Herrfort chipping in with a goal and an assist in the gold medal game.

“We are glad Leah could join us tonight so we could recognize her outstanding achievements,” said Turton.

Herrfort thanked “my team, my family and also all the other young girls who aspire to play on Team Canada or in the OUA or NCAA.

“I think I’m the first of many young girls from this area that will excel and will move on,” she said.

Turton said, “It’s just amazing to have so many talented athletes from our community in this room tonight.”