For 15 years, the Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards program celebrates 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. Coaches were recognized and celebrated virtually from across Ontario at the 2021 Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards on September 17. The virtual awards can be viewed on YouTube by clicking here.
The ceremony marked the start of the seventh annual national Coaches Week, a celebration of the tremendous positive impact coaches have on this nation’s athletes and communities. The week is an opportunity to recognize coaches for the integral role they play by simply saying #ThanksCoach.
The School Sport Coach winners were selected by OFSAA based on their unique contribution to sport through continuous development. The Award does not reflect the accomplishments of a teacher-coach in any one year, but the contributions over a period of years.
The 2021 male recipient of the “Coaching Excellence Award in the School Sport Category” is:
COLIN WARD – NOSSA
Lo-Ellen Park SS
Colin Ward’s impressive coaching resume includes coaching cross country running and track and field over the past 22 years. For the last seven years, he’s also coached nordic skiing. As a convenor, Colin organized a safe competition in the Sudbury region in the fall of 2020 as the rest of Ontario was unable to compete because of high COVID numbers.
Colin encourages and inspires students of all capabilities to practice and stay fit all year long, as they transition their training from cross country running, to nordic skiing and finally track and field. He models fitness for life and influences athletes to acquire the skills needed for life-long participation and fitness in sport.
His number one goal with all of his student-athletes is to encourage the comradery of their sport and emphasizes that every aspect of their training and competition is ‘team oriented’. They feed off each other to push themselves past their mental and physical challenges. Athletes build friendships that last long after they graduate high school. Friday evenings throughout the school year, often involve workouts followed by snacks or pot-luck dinners. Colin develops the ‘whole athlete’, emphasizing character development and giving back to the community, along with the physical and nutritional aspects of sport. Many of his student athletes have gone on to run events within the community and are involved in running some of the elementary races in the Region.
At a shared training facility in his local area, Colin is often seen assisting athletes from various schools. His endearing philosophy is to develop all athletes, regardless of the school attended by the athlete.
The 2021 female recipient of the “Coaching Excellence Award in the School Sport Category” is:
KELLY GOUVEIA – ROPSSAA
Fletcher’s Meadow SS
When coaching students, Kelly ensures that she provides opportunities for all grade levels and various athletic abilities to participate on teams in order to develop players. She has dedicated her time to coaching girls flag football (17 years), track and field (20+ years), badminton (15 years) and girls soccer (20+ years). For her entire career, she has coached in all three seasons on the calendar. Kelly considers the needs of those students who are typically oppressed or marginalized and understands how to support them.
Kelly develops and supports coaches and works with them to guide to implement effective coaching practices. She’s always willing to engage with teachers just entering the profession or stepping into a coaching role to provide guidance and mentorship. Kelly played a key role in establishing the development of girls flag football in ROPSSAA and her colleagues rely heavily on Kelly’s wide knowledge with sporting rules, regulations, policies and procedures.
Kelly has been a valuable member of the ROPSSAA Executive for the past seven years. As a new member, she volunteered to be the OFSAA Girls’ rep and continues to do so in 2021. She is also part of the ROPSSAA and OFSAA transfer committees. She has spent the past four years as the chair of the committee. She has worked hard with ROPSSAA and OFSAA to review the transfer policy and has worked on motions to adjust to the changing climate of high school sport. Kelly looks for a way to get everyone to participate and this leader always thinks of all possibilities when it comes to the best interest of students.
Congratulations to you both!
OFSAA congratulates all of the award winners and coaches from 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.