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Brian Maxwell Scholarship Expanded

Thursday, October, 8, 2015

Brian Maxwell Memorial Scholarship award expansion

Since the founding of the Brian Maxwell Memorial Scholarship in 2007, the number of applicants has increased every year. In response to the success of this award, OFSAA is pleased to announce that the award will be expanded thanks to a very generous donation by Jennifer Maxwell, the widow of the late Brian Maxwell.

This scholarship is awarded to middle-distance runners with impressive OFSAA results, high academic achievement, extra-curricular participation and significant community involvement.

There will now be first, second and third place scholarships awarded to each a male and female annually as follows:

  • First place:   $8,000
  • Second place:  $4,000
  • Third place: $2,000

This expanded program will commence with the 2015 – 2016 school year and allows a greater opportunity for high school middle distance runners to benefit from this prestigious award. In addition to providing funding and recognition to students entering a Canadian post-secondary educational institutions, it is a valuable credential on their resume.

For more information, please refer to Scholarships on the OFSAA website

Coaches Helping Coaches Program

Monday, September, 28, 2015

Coaches Helping Coaches is a funded grassroots mentorship/ recruitment program from the Coaches Association of Ontario where long-time coaches are tasked with sharing their knowledge and experience with young coaches.

How it works:
A coach that is active and trained in the NCCP nominates a new coach to be mentored for one year. The new coach must be 16 years or older and have not already taken NCCP training. The experienced coach takes on the responsibility of mentoring the new coach.

Mentor Coach Benefits:

  • A $250 honorarium for their role as a mentor
  • FREE CAO Blue membership
  • Free admittance to the Ontario Coaches Conference’s Professional Development sessions
  • Professional Development points towards their Maintenance of Certification
New Coach Benefits:
  • $250 towards their coaching education (course fees, travel, coaching expenses, etc.)
  • FREE CAO Blue membership
  • Free admittance to the Ontario Coaches Conference’s Professional Development sessions
  • Guidance from their mentor and CAO

Coaches Week in Ontario

Monday, September, 28, 2015

This September 19th - 27th is your chance to celebrate all the great coaches in Ontario with National Coaches Week in Canada. After nine years of hosting the Ontario Coaches Week, the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO) partnered with the 12 other privinces and the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) to develop National Coaches Week 2015.

Engage coaches by saying thank you when you see them walking in the halls, opening the gym, or out behind the school by the track. You can join the movement by officially thanking them through the CAO website, or by hashtagging #ThanksCoach on social media like Twitter or Instagram.

To kick off the week-long celebrations the CAO hosted the Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards in Toronto, where OFSAA selected Mark Lewis and Darlene Denniss as the two recipients of the School Sport Coach award. Their tribute videos can be watched below! Teacher-coaches Mark Yanchus (Good-to-Great Coach) and Stacey Ditchfield (Trailblazer) were also honoured by the CAO with awards for their contributions to coaching.

In celebration of National Coaches Week in Ontario, CAO has partnered with host communities and sport organizations across the province to deliver a week long campaign, including NCCP Free Days, which aims to recruit, develop, educate and celebrate community volunteer coaches around the province. The CAO will recruit and train more than 200 coaches during the week with the help of our many enthusiastic partners! See all the events here.

The program to recruit Ontario’s Coaching Future this past year was a great success.  The Coaches Helping Coaches Program embodies the CAO’s “Coaches Helping Coaches” philosophy by offering encouragement, support and recognition to coaches in the community that actively mentor and develop the newer coaches.  Find out more about the coaches from the program last year and for details on future program opportunities.

Find all the details of Coaches Week in Ontario and resources for new coaches HERE

Coaching captains to be leaders

Thursday, September, 3, 2015

Story by Stephanie Schleuder, from The Art of Coaching


To be successful, teams must have at least one player who can bring out the best in others, but it doesn’t happen by accident. Coaches play a big role in creating good captains by mentoring them along the way.

Almost every coach I have ever known has lamented over the need for more or better leadership on their team. The mystery is why we think it will magically happen. My experience is that it does not happen without a meaningful and thoughtful investment by the coach. Start at the beginning by evaluating the way you organize the process of selecting your captains. Taking some time to lead a discussion with your team related to leadership will give them a better foundation for having a meaningful part in the process of selecting captains. A quick caution — don’t underestimate the importance of this first step.

Definition of leadership

  • A leader assumes responsibility for the performance of others and the outcome of the quest.

Principles of leadership

  • Leaders should move toward influential acts of encouragement, empowerment, support, facilitation and service, avoiding the desire to direct, control and manipulate.
  • Leaders help the team define the vision, help plan the strategy and give effort to create victories. We are all in this together.
  • Leaders assist in communicating the expectation message, mental preparation, delegation of responsibility, and group and personal ethics (integrity). Learning what the team needs is critical.
  • Leaders strive to create a team environment of shared responsibility and accountability.

Selecting captains

There are myriad ways captains can be selected: nomination by the players, election by players, selection by the coach or a combination of methods.


It seems important to have players input so they will feel an investment in the results. Once the players have a better understanding of leadership, they will likely give more valuable input to the process. I personally believe it is an advantage to have more than one captain. If you have a strong core of returning players, it can be a good thing to select captains in the spring or summer. That gives you time to begin coaching them to be effective leaders.

10 keys to training captains

  1. Your players are inexperienced young adults who have little or no training in communication and public speaking. Don’t expect miracles without engaging captains in extensive training and discussion.
  2. Captains will have natural fears about taking on a role where they are expected to communicate individually with a teammate or with a group of teammates. Let them know this is OK.
  3. One of the first sessions should deal with communication. Be sure to emphasize the importance of listening and observing teammates.
  4. Emphasize the role of the captain as one of honor and responsibility.
  5. Captains should form a “team within a team.” Each captain can have different responsibilities that match their individual personality and leadership skills.
  6. The coach should lead extensive discussion of leadership principles such as communicating the expectation message, mental preparation, delegation of responsibility and group and personal ethics (integrity). All of this leads to the overriding principle that a leader assumes responsibility for the performance of others and the outcome of the quest. Learning what the team needs is critical.
  7. Do not impose coaching responsibilities on the captains. Coaches should retain responsibility for personnel or playing time choices, game strategy and training regimens.
  8. There will always be players who are defiant, resentful, distracted or unmotivated. Coaches may or may not be successful in dealing with these players. Captains have a unique capacity to deal with these individuals on a peer-to-peer basis. The principles of duty to the team and the integrity of the captain’s position are critical to being able to deal with these individuals.
  9. A team is a social organization. It has a complex social structure, a chain of command and a variety of skill sets distributed among its participants. There are mood swings from euphoria to bitter deflation. The captains must understand that they should rally the team in times of despair, creating a culture of resilience. With the ability to be resilient comes growing confidence in the ability to succeed.
  10. Before the season, the coach must determine what the team’s biggest obstacles will be and shape the priorities for the captains. For example, will it be overcoming previous lack of success and lack of confidence, or will it be living up to expectations of previous success?


High School Smash - Badminton Intramural Contest Returns for 2015-2016

Tuesday, August, 25, 2015

Yonex Canada Continues Support of High School Badminton through 2019

OFSAA is excited to announce that Yonex Canada will continue their partnership as the official shuttle and badminton racquet of OFSAA into 2019.  Yonex has been a great partner for OFSAA badminton for over 15 years and this agreement will ensure their support for another five years.  As part of the agreement, Yonex is sponsoring a contest to help teachers and students to build an intramural badminton program in their school.  Please see the details of the contest below.

OFSAA sponsors provide both financial and in-kind contributions to support championship hosting and OFSAA programing. We encourage all schools to support OFSAA sponsors to help ensure these types of partnerships can continue.

High School Smash – Badminton Intramural Contest Presented by Yonex

Yonex Canada and OFSAA are pleased to announce the continuation of the High School Smash – Badminton Intramural Contest.  The contest encourages schools to develop an intramural badminton program at their school that focuses on fun, inclusion, and getting more students active. 


Four (4) intramural starter packages from Yonex will be awarded.  These packages include:

  • 16 Yonex Nanospeed (or equivalent) racquets
  • 5 dozen (60) Mavis 350 shuttles
  • A badminton instructional DVD
  • Potential for your school to host a showcase match between National Team members (dependent on availability of athletes)



Schools, through collaboration of students and teachers, will submit their creative proposal for an intramural program using the contest online application form.

LINK - High School Smash online registration

All applications which meet the identified requirements will be placed in a draw for one (1) of the four (4) prizes (one entry per school).


Tuesday October 20th 2015


Programs must identify how they will meet the following requirements:

  • Involve a minimum of five (5) students from each grade
  • Attract students that have little or no previous badminton involvement (school or community team/programs)
  • Explain how the program will be sustained going forward
  • Past prize winners are not eligible.

Brian Maxwell Memorial Scholarship Winners

Saturday, August, 22, 2015


OFSAA and the Brian Maxwell Memorial Scholarship Fund are pleased to announce the student-athletes who were awarded the 2015 scholarships and Ontario Awards for Excellence.

The scholarship fund is in memory of Brian Maxwell, a successful distance runner. Brian competed in track & field and cross country and achieved success as an OFSAA champion, Canadian junior, juvenile and senior champion and won numerous international marathons. In 1980 he was selected on the Canadian Olympic team and later became a successful entrepreneur who, with his wife Jennifer, co-founded the nutritional supplement PowerBar. Brian was born with a defective heart valve and in 2004, at only 51, died of a heart attack. 

The Brian Maxwell Memorial Scholarship awards $5,000 each year to a male and female student athlete in Ontario who will continue their post-secondary education at a Canadian College or University. These scholar-athletes must also display qualities of honesty, integrity, compassion and an unwavering quest to accomplish the best academically and athletically while supporting fellow team members.

The 2015 recipients are Hannah Woodhouse of Meaford, and Sergio Raez Villanueva of Mississauga.

Hannah Woodhouse graduated from Georgian Bay Secondary School with a 94% average. Hannah finished 2nd in OFSAA cross country in grade 12 and in OFSAA track & field 3000m placed 3rd in grade 11 and 2nd in grade 10. At National Indoor Track Championships in 2015 she placed 1st in both 3000m and 1500m races, came 1st at the Canadian Cross Country Championships, and led Canada to 1st at NACAC in Columbia. She also participates in Nordic skiing and gymnastics. Hannah was a member of student council, music council, school orchestra, athletics council, and involved in promoting literacy and community water safety. Hannah will be studying biomedical engineering at University of Guelph.

Sergio Raez Villanueva is a graduate of John Cabot Catholic SS and finished with an average of 95%. He competed in OFSAA cross country every year, and at OFSAA Track & Field came 2nd in steeple chase in 2015 and placed top-10 in 3000m three times, and 1st at Athletic Ontario Indoor Championships 2015. He was student of the year in 2014 and 2013, a member of choir, tennis, badminton, and swim teams, involved in leadership initiatives with younger students and attended Students on Ice Arctic Expedition in 2014. Sergio will be studying biomedical and life sciences at McGill University in the fall.

The Brian Maxwell Memorial Scholarship Fund also organizes the Ontario Award for Excellence that presents a $1000 scholarship to student-athletes continuing to a Canadian University or College. This year, the Fund elected to recognize four student-athletes with this award. The 2015 recipients are Alison HeadDanielle JossinetLiam Passi, and Ben Workman.

Alison Head recently graduated from Lorne Park Secondary School (Mississauga) with a 92% average. Alison came 8th and 6th in 3000m at OFSAA Track, and 8th at OFSAA Cross Country. Alison was female athlete of the year, a member of student council, VP of athletic council, student mentor, and environmental, humanitarian, and animal welfare clubs. She will be studying honours life sciences at McMaster University. 

Danielle Jossinet graduated from St. Mary Catholic Secondary School (Cobourg) with a 95% average. In cross country Danielle finished top-10 at OFSAA in grades 9, 10, and 12 and achieved success on the track culminating with OFSAA silver in 1500m and bronze in 3000m this year. She received the St Mary Gold Triple A Award, was involved in tutoring, earned a French fluency certificate, involved in rugby and ultimate teams, and Social Justice Club to assist schools in the Dominican Republic. Danielle will study biomedical engineering at the University of Guelph.

Liam Passi wrapped up his high school career at Lasalle Secondary School (Sudbury) with a 97% average, and finished 12th in 3000m and 7th in the 2000m steeple chase at OFSAA Track & Field 2015. Liam is a national champion in Muay Thai (a combative sport) and also played basketball, swimming, alpine skiing, and traveled to Kenya with Free the Children. Liam will study actuarial sciences at the University of Toronto starting this fall.

Ben Workman graduated from Kingston Collegiate (Kingston) with a 91% average. Ben qualified for OFSAA cross country or track every year of high school highlighted by 3rd in 3000m in grade 10 and 3rd in cross country this past year. He was a member of athletics association, innovators club, musicians’ guild and volunteers in the community. Ben will study human kinetics at the University of Guelph. 

“I am very proud and impressed by each and every one of the Brian Maxwell Scholarship recipients,” said Jennifer Maxwell, wife of Brian. “I’m so glad that running and academics have been such an important part of all your lives. I wish you much continued success as you go on to college and beyond.”

Congratulations to all scholarship recipients and we wish you the best of luck in continuing your education and athletic careers at the post-secondary level!

Coaching Students with a Disability

Thursday, August, 13, 2015

OFSAA has been working to incorporate divisions for PARA athletes into Swimming, Track & Field and Nordic Skiing championships with opportunities for even more student-athletes to participate in school sport at the highest level.

For coaches across Ontario this means working with a wide range of ability, and thankfully coaching resources are available to help. Below is a link to the full PDF document as well as a Top 10 tips summary of some of the methods and FAQs.

From Coach.ca

Coaching Athletes with a Disability is a manual designed to provide grassroots coaches who have never worked with athletes with a disability with basic information, guidelines, and tips that will assist in creating conditions for effective participation and inclusion. Check out the #CoachTop10 highlights of this great resource.

10. Athletes with a disability often travel with additional equipment, which can include tapper sticks and guide dogs for the visually impaired, wheelchairs for quadriplegics and paraplegics, and additional prosthetics for amputees. In airports, for example, a wheelchair repair kit may not be popular with security officials these days.

9. When interacting with persons with intellectual impairment, treat individuals as such. Address the person directly, not his or her assistant or guardian. Ask questions that can be answered by YES or NO. Give clear and simple information, and repeat as necessary. Be patient.

8. Coaches who encounter overprotective parents may communicate that their child has the same rights as anybody else to participate in sport and enjoy its challenges and risks. Once the child is on the playing field, the goal is for the parents to discover the values of sport in social development — the increased discipline, teamwork, self-esteem, social interaction, and social responsibility of the child.

7. “You’re not there to be a nurse or a helper,” says Peter Eriksson, the first Canadian wheelchair athletics coach to reach Level 4 certification in the National Coaching Certification Program in track and field. “It’s important to do what you would with any other athlete at first.”

6. Sit down when talking to a person in a wheelchair. It can give the impression of an air of superiority if you are standing while in conversation with a person in a wheelchair.

5. Whether adaptation occurs on a recreational or a competitive level, a key principle to keep in mind is to adapt only if necessary. Needless to say, it must always be the sport or the activity that is adapted, not the person with a disability.

4. “It must be athlete and sport first,” says Patrick Jarvis, former president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “For example, the mindset should be that this person is a sprinter who happens to be an amputee.”

3. Find out more about the disability. Coaches should aim to develop a reasonably good understanding of the disability or disabilities of the athletes that they coach. This information should include specific safety considerations.

2. Rather than speculating about the athlete’s sport capabilities, coaches should engage in a frank dialogue with the athlete.

1. "Look at coaching athletes with a disability as an opportunity for you as a coach to enhance your coaching abilities and knowledge of your sport,” says Chris Bourne.

Click here to access the Coaching Athletes with a Disability manual.

Donna Howard welcomed as OFSAA Executive Director

Monday, July, 13, 2015

OFSAA is pleased to welcome Donna Howard to the Executive Director position, bringing Ontario’s school sport landscape a wealth of experience in physical education, public health, and advocacy for youth activity. 

Donna will begin her position with OFSAA August 10, 2015 replacing former Executive Director Doug Gellatly.

“I am thrilled to be joining OFSAA and being part of a dedicated group of people focused on enhancing school sport across the Province,” Donna said. “Athletic competition is an integral part of the high school experience and the personal development of our future leaders.”

Her career in physical education began in Perth, Australia before moving to Toronto in 1996. She conducted research for the Ministry of Health and later for the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA) as a project coordinator. She’s worked as senior coordinator and policy advisor with the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport. Before working with the Provincial Government, she worked in Planning and Policy at Toronto Public Health for 10 years, as a Physical Activity Consultant.

Donna is Co-chair of the Ontario Society of Physical Activity Promoters in Public Health where she advocates for physical activity as a public health priority in Ontario through education, engagement, advocacy, and partnerships.

For more information please contact:

Devin Gray          
OFSAA Communications Coordinator          
Phone: 416-426-7437          
Email: devin@ofsaa.on.ca

OFSAA Football Bowl 2015 Matchups

Thursday, June, 25, 2015

A draw today made at the OFSAA office determined the matchups for the 2015 OFSAA Football Bowl series.

The OFSAA Football Bowl Games series has decided on a new Festival format. For the next two years (2015 & 2016) the following nine games will be played, with one of two associations drawn to compete in 2015, and the other automatically competing in that bowl game in 2016. The remaining nine associations will be drawn to determine their pairing.

Bowl Games
Western Bowl – SWOSSAA/ WOSSAA
Golden Horseshoe Bowl – GHAC/ SOSSA
Metro Bowl – TDCAA/ TDSSAA
Central Bowl – CWOSSA/ ROPSSAA
Simcoe Bowl – GBSSA/ YRAA
National Capital Bowl – NCSSAA/ EOSSAA
Northern Bowl – NOSSA/ NWOSSAA
Eastern Bowl – LOSSA/ COSSA
Independent Bowl – CISAA/ 2nd Entry

so for 2015 the matchups ARE...

Western Bowl – WOSSAA vs TDCAA
Golden Horseshoe Bowl – GHAC vs NCSSAA
Metro Bowl – TDSSAA vs CWOSSA
Central Bowl – ROPSSAA vs COSSA
Simcoe Bowl – YRAA vs NOSSA
National Capital Bowl – EOSSAA vs SWOSSAA
Northern Bowl – NWOSSAA vs SOSSA
Eastern Bowl – LOSSA vs GBSSA
Independent Bowl – CISAA vs GHAC2 or SOSSA2

Timmins Sports Heritage Hall of Fame

Thursday, June, 25, 2015

The long-awaited Timmins Sports Heritage Hall of Fame opened recently with 60 honorees entering the Hall.

A full list of those inducted is available HERE

As part of the special exhibit, Timmins is honouring those local high school teams who have won OFSAA medals.

Gold - 57

Silver - 66

Bronze - 49

Antique Bronze - 20

TOTAL - 192

OFSAA provided one gold, silver, bronze, and antique bronze medal to the Hall for the display.

Congrats to all Timmins-area teams represented on this wall and to the many more medals to come!


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