Participating in sports and athletics can be empowering for many youth athletes.
One just has to look at our community on any given weekend and see the hundreds of athletes on sports fields, in arenas and in gyms playing sports to see the impacts that are taking place.
But in order to achieve athletic goals in any sport, you have to have dedicated coaches and volunteers who go that extra mile to ensure those young athletes have the necessary tools and guidance to succeed.
On Wednesday night, 10 sport heroes were recognized for their dedication to sports and athletes in our community with a Sport BC award.
The award winners were selected by their peers and included Tom Poulton, hockey; Jill-Marie Jarvis and Lesleigh Farr, figure skating; Jan Richey and Dan Tsuji, volleyball; Sean Whalen, softball and soccer; Darren Smith, soccer and baseball; Eric Sullivan, Action Schools! BC; Brenda Rowe, hockey and baseball; and Carl Armstrong, sailing.
The award winners come as no surprise to us as we have written about all these individuals at one point or another for many years. All these volunteers have spent countless hours in school gyms, in hockey arenas, on the soccer pitch and baseball diamonds coaching and mentoring Coast athletes, who we also write about every week in our sports section.
Many of these folks have helped coach athletes who are now excelling in their chosen sports off-Coast at college and university — some even in the pro ranks. And they continue to coach and volunteer so the athletes of today continue to have success when they pursue their goals later in life.
We are blessed to have so many wonderful volunteers who give their time, and we truly wonder where any of our athletes would be without them.
The answer is we would be nowhere. Imagine what our community would look like without sport and athletics. It would be a pretty boring place. Sports and athletics help to make us a healthier and more vibrant community. Sports help to teach positive life lessons, like teamwork and sportsmanship, working hard and never stopping until your goals are met. These are all lessons that can be used later in life by the young people these volunteers have coached and that will have a lasting impact on their future career aspirations.
Our hats are off to these recognized sports heroes and the countless others in this community who make this community the special place that it is.
Our athletes and our youth thank you for your dedication.