To kick off National Coaches Week, September 17 to 25, the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO) and Hydro One presented 10 coaches from across the province with the Ontario Coaching Excellence Award. Local basketball coach Taryn Turnbull, from the Kingston Impact Basketball Club, received the prestigious honour this past Saturday at a private ceremony in Toronto.
“We are thrilled to recognize Taryn for her dedication and support of athlete development on and off the playing field. Community volunteerism will play a vital role as we continue to recover from the pandemic, and coaches like Taryn are leaders in creating safe, fun, and positive spaces for youth to grow as athletes and leaders,” said CAO’s Executive Director, Jeremy Cross. “Congratulations and #ThanksCoach to Taryn and all the recipients and for the impact you are having in your community.”
The 10 Coaching Excellence Award recipients were selected from numerous nominations received annually by the CAO for each of their unique commitments to inspire, innovate and share knowledge of sport with others, according to a release from the CAO. The awards recognize the importance of leadership, performance and the value of human insight which are all integral to great coaching.
According to the CAO, each recipient will also receive funding to purchase sporting goods from local Canadian retailers of their choice.
“Coaches are a crucial part of any community, volunteering their time to support young athletes as they learn and grow on and off the field,” said Jay Armitage, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Hydro One. “Hydro One is proud to support local coaches and their athletes as they return to in-person sports and safe play. Our partnership with the Coaches Association of Ontario will help make the return to sports safe, fun, and inclusive for all.”
The 2022 Ontario Coaching Excellence Award winners are:
- Larissa Byckalo, Mountain Volleyball Club, Burlington
- Kevin Bomberry, Hamilton Bengals Lacrosse, Hamilton
- Christian Hawn, Mississauga South Baseball Association, Mississauga, Hydro One Safe Play Award
- Aga Kurpaska, Mississauga Monarchs Basketball, Mississauga
- Ahmed Shamiya, McMaster University, Hamilton
- Linda Tracey, Loyalist College and Vocational Institute, Kingston
- Taryn Turnbull, Kingston Impact Basketball, Inverary
- Shane Verbiski, St. David’s Catholic Secondary School, Petersburg, Andy Higgins Lifetime Achievement Award
- John Watkins, Durham College, Oshawa Vikings Rugby Club, Oshawa, Susan Kitchen Trailblazer Award
- Greg White, Jacob Hespeler Secondary School, Cambridge
“The CAO would like to thank the Ontario Government and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for their continued investment in National Coaches Week, which allows us to recognize and support Ontario’s most valuable volunteers: our coaches,” said Cross.
This year marks the 8th annual National Coaches Week, when Canadians say #ThanksCoach for the role coaches play in building safe communities and the positive impact they have on all participants, the CAO stated. According to the release, Ontario is home to more than 150,000 active coaches across more than 70 sports, many of whom volunteer their services. For more information about National Coaches Week across Ontario, visit www.coachesontario.ca/events/coachesweek.
Through the Safe Sport 101 partnership between the CAO and Hydro One, 32 coaches from 20 communities across the province were also selected to receive the Return to Coaching Community Grant to help them return to sports safely after COVID-19. The Safe Sport 101 partnership between the CAO and Hydro One gives coaches the tools they need to make sports safe, fun, and inclusive for all, according to the release. For more information about Safe Sport 101 and the full list of the Return to Coaching Community Grant recipients, visit safesport101.coachesontario.ca.
The Coaches Association of Ontario is an independent, non-profit organization that supports coaches from community to high performance across all sports in Ontario. For more information, visit www.coachesontario.ca.