National Coaches Week kicks off in Ontario at the 2018 Coaching Excellence Awards
The fourth annual National Coaches Week officially kicked off here in Ontario this past Saturday as coaches from across Ontario were recognized and celebrated at the 2018 Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards.
Athletes, fans and family members eagerly lined up to see their favourite coach walk the red carpet at the screening of the 2018 Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards. As they watched their coaching story unfold on the big screen, one by one the coaches gave a heart-felt acceptance speech, thanking their families for the support to pursue their passion.
For 12 years, the Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards Program has been celebrating the dedication and commitment of exemplary individuals who inspire, innovate and share knowledge of sport with others. The Awards recognize the importance of leadership, performance and the value of human insight which are all integral to great coaching.
Selected by OFSAA, the 2018 male recipient of the “Coaching Excellence Award in the School Sport Category” is:
Ian Atkinson – School Sport Coach (Male), Bluevale Collegiate Institute, Waterloo
OFSAA takes great pride in honouring an outstanding teacher-coach and mentor to athletes and fellow coaches for the past half century, Ian Atkinson, but “Aky” to most. Ian retired from active coaching at the end of the 2018 high school season as he nears 80 years of age. When Ian retired from teaching almost 20 years ago, an award in his name was instituted to a Bluevale graduating student who embodies a blend of academic and athletic excellence, afterall, he was a superb English teacher who demanded as much from his students in class as he did his athletes in competition.
Ian was a cross country and track and field coach at the Waterloo school beginning in 1972 and he took on the coaching reins of the school’s boys’ varsity hockey team in 2002. With his passion and enthusiasm being second to none, the number of championships that Ian has been a part of are too numerous to mention. Ian treated all athletes equally regardless of the talent level and his teaching and coaching motto was “Don’tcha dare quit on yourself!”
Ian constantly listened to new staff and gave them support for their contributions, or suggestions to help support their development as new coaches and teachers. He would take the lead to show them how to do some things, but also gave them space to try new things and develop their own coaching skills and styles.
Congratulations on an outstanding career devoted to teaching and school sport, Ian!
Learn more about Ian by viewing this short video here.
The event also marks the start of National Coaches Week (September 22-30), a celebration of the tremendous positive impact coaches have on this nations’ athletes and communities. The week is an opportunity to recognize coaches for the integral role they play by simply saying #ThanksCoach.
OFSAA congratulates all of the award winners and coaches across Ontario for their commitment and dedication to ensuring Canadians live an active and healthy lifestyle. For more information on the Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards and how to nominate a coach in the future, visit www.coachesontario.ca/awards.
The Coaches Association of Ontario is a non-profit coach-led organization that strengthens development opportunities and provides educational resources for coaches. The CAO promotes coaching ethics and ensures the wider community recognizes the vital role of the coach in the development of sport at all levels.