|MT Little Sullivan Award
Our Little Sullivan Award is fashioned after the national AAU Sullivan Award which is given each year to one outstanding athlete. The national award was created in honor of James E Sullivan who was a founder of the Amateur Athletic Union, its President, Secretary-Treasurer and leader of its activities. He was appointed US Commissioner to the Olympic Games by Presidents McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft. Qualities of individuals nominated should include athletic excellence, leadership, character, sportsmanship, and ideals of amateurism. In addition to those qualities from the national award, those nominated for the Little Sullivan Award must be from Montana.
Montana’s Little Sullivan Award was created by David and Ella Rivines from Miles City. Ella thinks that the first award was given out in about 1955. David Rivines was a great supporter of the AAU, both in Montana and nationally.
Unlike the national Sullivan Award, we present both a male and female Little Sullivan Award each year. We begin by selecting male and female finalists from nominations we receive from AAU members, media, personnel, fans, and college or school representatives. Except for extraordinary circumstances, a person who has won the award, will not be eligible to be nominated a second time, however a finalist can be nominated again. After the finalists are selected, biographies are gathered for each of them and sent along with a ballot to AAU clubs and officers and to newspapers, TV and radio stations around Montana. Each of the finalists is invited to our banquet where the winners are announced. Each finalist is honored and presented with a plaque in recognition of being selected as a finalist. Many of our winners have won the second time they were nominated.
Looking at past winners, you’ll notice we have quite a mix of athletes and sports. We have gold medalists, other Olympians, international competitors, winners that have turned pro in their sports, and current coaches. We have winners from most colleges and universities in the state, plus many that have attended school outside of Montana. We also have winners from various college divisions. Sports range from the more familiar like basketball and wrestling to the more unusual like luge and rifle.
The Montana Little Sullivan Award is one way for the Montana AAU District to recognize the outstanding youth of Montana.