National Coaches Week kicks off in Ontario at the 2017 Coaching Excellence Awards
The third annual National Coaches Week officially kicked off here in Ontario this past Saturday as ten outstanding coaches from across Ontario were recognized and celebrated at the 2017 Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards.
Athletes, fans and family members eagerly lined up to see their favourite coach walk the red carpet at the sold out screening of the 2017 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.
“We’re so proud of all our coaching award recipients and the positive impact they have on the Ontario sport community,” says Susan Kitchen, Executive Director of the Coaches Association of Ontario. “All ten awards winners have been extremely influential in their roles and deserve to be recognized and celebrated.”
For eleven 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.
The following are the winners of 2017 Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards:
Victoria Lee – Grass Roots Coach (Female), Synchronized Swimming, Toronto
Darryl Bricknell – Grass Roots Coach (Male), Hockey, Toronto
Laurie Baulcomb – School Sport Coach (Female), Preston High School, Cambridge
Denis Gauthier – School Sport Coach (Male), Lasalle Secondary School, Sudbury
Jill Perry – Good-to-Great Coach (Female), Boxing, Ottawa
Bradley Brennan – Good-to-Great Coach (Male), Rowing, Kingston
Colleen Didur – Everyone Matters Coach, Canoe/Kayak, Toronto
Pat Pembleton – Aboriginal Impact Coach, Lacrosse, Fort Erie
Justin Shattraw & Mykal Travis – Trailblazer Coach, Football
Darryl Bricknell, winner of the Male Grassroots Coach Award, explains just how much this award means to him; “It has given me a moment in time to reflect on a very special season with great parents and wonderful players. I’m grateful when a parent or player says thanks coach. To have my name put forth for this award is humbling, to be selected as the winner, has left me thinking of all the great coaches that have impacted me in a positive way and remind myself it’s not where you start, but where you finish.”
The event also marks the start of National Coaches Week (September 23-30), a week-long 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. In Ontario the week is highlighted by community coach training events happening in cities all across Ontario, and the lighting of iconic landmarks in red, yellow and blue such as the CN Tower, Mississauga Clock Tower, Welland Bridge, and many more, in support of Ontario’s and Canada’s coaches for National Coaches Week.
The CAO 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.