Coaches Association of Ontario

Coaches Association of Ontario

April 13, 2007 08:45 ET

Ontario Coaches Week Celebration Set to Begin

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 13, 2007) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via CCNMatthews after 11:00 AM today.

Ontario Coaches Week, a celebration of the province's thousands of community coaches launched in 2006 by the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO), returns for its second year, April 14-21.

The theme of the week-long celebration - "Ready, Set, Coach! - reflects the CAO's goal of recruiting, educating, and celebrating Ontario's community coaches. It also reflects the CAO's recognition of the urgent need to attract more qualified volunteer coaches to bring the benefits of sport to thousands of youngsters throughout the province.

The honorary co-chairs of Ontario Coaches Week are Leo Rautins, head coach of Canada's men's basketball team, and artistic gymnastics coach Carol-Angela Orchard. Rautins is a leader in grassroots sport development and delivers youth basketball camps across Canada. Orchard coached Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs to the 2006 world championship beam bronze medal, the first-ever medal by a Canadian woman.

"Community coaches are the lifeblood of our sport and recreation programs," says Rautins, who is back for a second year as honorary chair. "Even more important than the athlete skills are the life skills they are teaching our kids, like cooperation, teamwork, and commitment. That's where community coaches make their biggest contribution."

"Great coaches are passionate about their athletes' development, both inside and outside of the gym," says Orchard, now in the 30th year of an outstanding career. "Confidence, self-esteem, time management skills, and decision-making ability are just a few of the essential life skills they gain through sport participation, and these skills apply to every aspect of life."

In 2007, Ontario Coaches Week will kick off with Coach Appreciation Day. Over 500 coaches will be in attendance when the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Detroit Tigers. Throughout the week, free workshops will target new coaches, women, aboriginals, and teacher coaches. Also planned are a wide range of fun and interactive events providing coaches with access to experienced coaches, free resources, and networking opportunities. On the menu are:

- NCCP Free Days, delivering National Coaching Certification Program courses for up to 400 coaches in 20 under-serviced communities that have not recently hosted a NCCP course.

- Coaching in Ontario Schools, delivering coaching sessions for up to 200 teacher coaches from schools in Thunder Bay, Kemptville and Sturgeon Falls in partnership with the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations.

- Coaching Athletes with a Disability, delivering free specialized introductory workshops in adaptive rowing, wheelchair racing, and blind running to four communities.

- free Coaching FUNdamentals workshops in seven communities.

- three Women in Coaching sessions hosted by successful women coaches in Bracebridge, New Liskeard and Carleton Place.

- a Coaching FUNdamentals session in Chippewa of the Thames First Nation, offered by the Ontario Aboriginal Sport Circle.

- a "Thanks Coach" banner contest won by John English Middle School in Toronto.

Ontario Coaches Week is built on partnerships and funded by Ontario's Ministry of Health Promotion and the federal government.

Visit for a complete listing of workshop dates and locations.

The Coaches Association of Ontario is an independent, non-profit, coach-led organization provides representation and recognition for coaches in a variety of contexts and strengthens development opportunities and provides resources for coaches.

Ontario Coaches Week is a CAO initiative aimed at introducing coaching to Ontario citizens.

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