The second annual National Coaches Week officially kicked off here in Ontario this past Saturday, September 17th 2016, as eleven outstanding coaches from across Ontario were recognized and celebrated at the 2016 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 2016 Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards, hosted by CBC Sports Brenda Irving. 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. The Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, was also in attendance to congratulate and share in Ontario’s other natural resources, its coaches.
For ten 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 event also marks the start of National Coaches Week (September 17-25), 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. The evening was highlighted by the City of Toronto sign and CN Tower lighting up in red, yellow and blue 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..
The following are the winners of 2016 Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards: (Click to see their videos)
- Colleen Rasmussen-Taylor – Grass Roots Coach (Female), Softball, Port Perry
- David Currie – Grass Roots Coach (Male), Hockey, Sarnia
- Ken MacDonald – School Sport Coach (Male), Toronto
- Jo-Anne Dexter – School Sport Coach (Female), Cornwall
- Laura McPhie – Good-to-Great Coach (Female), Swimming, Guelph
- Terry Radchenko & Ross Ristuccia – Good-to-Great Coach (Male), Athletics, Toronto
- Craig Blackman – Everyone Matters Coach, Athletics, Toronto
- Kevin Sandy – Aboriginal Impact Coach, Lacrosse, Ohsweken
- Graeme Williams – Trailblazer Coach, Squash, Windsor
- Casey Curtis – Andy Higgins Lifetime Achievement Award, Tennis, Markham
If you couldn’t make it, here’s some of what you missed!
The City of Toronto Sign and CN Tower lit up in support of Ontario’s and Canada’s coaches!
Photos courtesy of David Coulson and Filip Szafirowski