Kings County reporter wins AUS media award

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A Kings County reporter has been honoured for excellence in university sport reporting.

John DeCoste.

John DeCoste, who has been a reporter for the Kings County Advertiser and Register for over 20 years, is the 2013-2014 recipient of the Atlantic University Sport Media Award for his coverage of Acadia athletics. This is the second time DeCoste has won the award.

“I’m very honoured to have won this award for a second time. I thank Eric Cederberg for nominating me, and the AUS committee for selecting me,” said DeCoste. “Awards like this are important in our profession. We would all like to think we’re doing good work, but it’s always special to have it recognized.”

DeCoste is also the Atlantic conference's nominee for the CIS Fred Sgambati Media Award, which is presented annually to a member of the news media who has made a major contribution to the development and growth of Canadian university sport. Each of the four regional associations may submit one nominee for consideration. The award will be presented in conjunction with the 2014 CIS annual conference in Vancouver.

Fred Sgambati was a well-respected reporter/broadcaster who was a great supporter of university athletics in Canada. A former University of Toronto student-athlete and university football official, Sgambati was the radio voice of the College Bowl (now the Vanier Cup) for its first 13 years.

DeCoste began working as a sports reporter with the Kings County Advertiser and Register in 1993. Over the course of his career, DeCoste has been recognized regionally and nationally for both his writing and sports photography. This year, he was recognized with a Canadian Community Newspaper Award for best sports coverage in the under-3,999 circulation category for his series of athlete interviews titled ‘Living the Dream’.

In 2004, he earned a Canadian Community Newspaper Award for Best Sports Photo for a photograph he captured of the Acadia men’s rugby club team. In 2000, DeCoste was named journalist of the year by Baseball Nova Scotia.

“John is the gold standard for sports journalism: in his community, throughout Nova Scotia and across Canada, as his recent CCNA nod for best sports coverage acknowledges,” said Fred Sgambati, son of Fred Sgambati (Senior) after whom the national media award is named.

Currently working as the co-ordinator of advancement communications for Acadia University, Fred Sgambati (Junior) previously worked as DeCoste’s editor at the Advertiser and Register.

“John has earned the respect of his peers and those he serves in the community through an unflagging effort to bring sports to life for his readers,” said Sgambati. “He has forged an enviable career – as a reporter, mentor and engaged citizen – through dint of hard work that is heartfelt, humble and occasionally outspoken.”

Dave Glenen, regional editor for Nova Scotia for Transcontinental Media, said this award is a recognition of DeCoste’s hard work.

“John has been dedicated to covering university sport at Acadia for more than two decades. While covering our community is part of our job, it’s certainly rewarding to know the community feels you’re excelling at it. I’m delighted to hear that John has received this award and wish him all the best in the national competition,” Glenen said.

In addition to his work as a journalist, DeCoste recently self-published a book chronicling the history of the Acadia Axemen basketball team over the past 50 years. The book, Living the Dream: The Acadia Axemen at the Nationals from 1963-2013, focuses on the success of the Axemen on the national stage, detailing their 24 trips to the national championship in the past 52 years.

“John DeCoste’s dedication to covering our AUS teams and sharing our student-athletes’ stories is something we truly appreciate,” says Atlantic University Sport executive director Phil Currie. “His coverage in the Kings County Advertiser as well as his new book detailing the history of the Acadia Axemen basketball team have undoubtedly helped to raise the profile of university sport in the region. We are so pleased to recognize John with the AUS Media Award and to submit him as our Atlantic conference nominee for the Fred Sgambati Media Award.”

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