ACE Coach Award Recipients Announced

In celebration of Coaches Week 2012, BC Athlete Voice and Coaches BC are pleased to announce this year’s ACE Coach Award recipients.

Achieving Community Excellence or ACE Awards recognize community contribution and leadership among BC coaches.
Coaches play an important role in an athlete’s personal and physical development. The tremendous contributions of coaches to the BC community are realized through coaching dedication and hard work.

This year’s winners are:

Verena Stroda – Kelowna, BC

Verena Stoda is a track and field coach in Kelowna BC.  Verena’s athletes know her as a coach who focuses not only on technical skills but also on having fun and enjoying sport. In the past year Verena has coached two of her athletes to the Canadian Midget / Youth Nationals in Ottawa Ontario where they brought home a total of three gold medals and two silver. During last year’s BC teachers Work to Rule, Verena volunteered her time as a high school track and field coach so that her athletes could participate in the BC High School Combined Championships and the BC High School Championships.

Mike Rhodes – Ucluelet, BC

Mike Rhodes is a vice principal, wrestling and running coach in Ucluelet, BC. Mike’s athletes know him as someone who goes “above and beyond what is expected from a coach” and “is always someone I can count on in times of need”. Mike has coached some of his athletes to a national level while still remaining active in his community. Mike also coaches junior soccer, little league, and helped establish the Junior Warriors Club. Mike supports sport because “It’s a great opportunity for kids to participate to build team skills and their own excellence.” On coaching, “It’s a cool feeling to know that you’ve impacted someone’s life.”

Faye Fox – Nakusp, BC

Faye Fox is an Equestrian Coach at the Fox Meadows Equine Center in Nakusp, BC. She is known for her incredible ability to coach both children and adults as well as work with horses. She has successfully coached many of her athletes through difficult falls, competitions, and certifications. Faye is also active in her community as she is a part-time bus driver at the school which many of her athletes attend as well as being a foster parent for kittens. Faye was nominated by three different athletes this year.

Jason Brockman – Chetwynd, BC

Jason Brockman is a swimming coach with the Chetwynd Eels swim club in Chetwynd, BC. Jason is known for his positive attitude and willingness to put in an extra effort to support his athletes whether it is in the weight room, helping teach yoga, or helping at out of town competitions. This year Jason and his club saw more of their athletes compete and reach the podium in provincial and national swim meets than ever before. Jason is also known to be a mentor in community by going into local schools to talk about healthy lifestyles and the importance of being active. He began coaching as a way to pay it forward and teaches his swimmers a unique wisdom, “I teach them Anthony Robbins acronym, LUCK, Labour Under Constant Knowledge,” he says, “this allows them the opportunity to make decisions and see the outcomes.”

Nick Zuback – Duncan, BC

Nick Zuback is a wrestling coach at the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club in Duncan, BC. Nick is known for his ability to foster self-confidence in his athletes while also increasing their technical skills. Nick is also active in his local community and church. A comment from one of his athletes really emphasizes Nick’s impact, “Wrestling has helped me feel more confident about myself. Mr. Zuback played a very important role as he recognized a skill that I didn’t know I had and encouraged me to develop it.”

Roman Matieschyn – Victoria, BC

Roman is a dragon boat and outrigger canoeing coach at the Gorge Rowing and Paddling Centre in Victoria, BC. Roman coaches a team of athletes with Multiple Sclerosis, the MS Warriors, and is known for his “steadfast dedication and overwhelming creativity and compassion”.  Roman teaches his athletes to “manage challenges in life instead of being fearful of them”. Roman also volunteers his time at all team fundraisers, the MS Society’s annual walk, as well as various other team and community events. On his passion for coaching, Roman says, “I’m just loving it, every season I think this is it, and every year they surprise me.” He cites the energy of his athletes as a reason he continues, “Regardless of their ability, physically being carried in and out of the boat, they have so much spirit and energy and it absolutely moves me forward.”

Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to all coaches across the province for the contributions you make to British Columbia’s athletes and communities.