Best Coaches ever
A few years back my brother worked on a fundraiser for his community. The idea was to build a center that would be used by soccer teams. Because of the battle with the City's bureaucracy over the years, the building took a lot longer to finish than first thought. At the beginning of the endeavour, my brother suggested that we put up a plaque in the building that spoke to the work our mom and dad did. All of us agreed and so a plaque was made but was only put up when the building opened, this October. I had forgotten about it until my brother emailed me with a picture of it.
My brother sent me a picture of the plaque as we were not able to travel to beat the opening due to COVID restrictions. I think it represents what my parents did. For those of you who don’t know, we lost our father when he was 48 and we lost my mom when she was 59. Dad died in an accident, and mom died of cancer. If you are lucky enough to have your parents still with you we hope you value and embrace them all year but especially at this time of year.
When we were growing up my parents decided that playing on a team in a sports league would be a way to keep us out of trouble. The problem was that we lived in a rural community and there were no sports teams or leagues in which we could play. So, my parents formed both. They started with softball and formed a team that went on to win the BC championship—that took five years. They formed a team, coached us and at the same time formed a league so that we could play against other teams. When the Softball season ended, they formed a soccer team and a league where we could play. The soccer team over the years also won a number of tournaments and championships. My dad coached and my mom helped coach while she organized and they both ran the league. To us this was how we spend our Spring, Summer, and Fall, playing, practising sports between our duties on the hobby farm mom and dad owned.
When the opportunity to expand and move into other sports presented itself with a local teacher suggesting we could have a very powerful track team using the athletics we already had playing for them. So, both mom and dad helped organize and establish a track and field club, which allowed us to join another sport. One of my brothers was a sprinter, I was a long-distance and middle-distance runner, and my other brother was also a long-distance and middle-distance runner. He went on to win a BC championship of the 800-metre race, of which we were all extremely proud. I never won a BC championship and I had to live with being the second-best on the island winning some races and losing many others.
When my dad died my youngest brother was 12, my other brothers were off at university. I was finished university, married and starting on one of my many careers. My mom soon had my youngest brother in sports with her coaching and organizing as she had done with us when we were teenagers. Our parents believed through the strength of teamwork, fair play, respect for your opponents, combined with your own individual effort you could achieve anything. Over time playing on the sports teams they organized for us, we learned to embrace these values and they became part of who were as people. We have all had success in our lives thanks to the values taught to us by the “Best Coaches Ever”.