UMHA Coach and Volunteer of the Year Award Winners, News (Unionville Minor Hockey Association)

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UMHA Coach and Volunteer of the Year Award Winners
Submitted By Karie McDougall on Friday, April 28, 2017
At the UMHA's Annual General Meeting on April 25th, the Alan Pang Coach of the Year Award and the Marzia Del Bianco Volunteer of the Year Award were presented to some very special people who give freely of their time to make the UMHA a great place to play house league hockey.

Presentation of the Alan Pang Memorial Coach of the Year – James Johnston

This award was established by the UMHA in 2013 to honour Alan who passed away in December, 2012. The major criteria for this award that reflect Alan’s philosophy, skill set and his volunteer commitment include:

  • Selfless commitment to player development
  • Coaching knowledge
  • Technical hockey expertise
  • Desire to continuously improve his coaching skill set
  • Community involvement

The UMHA has many wonderful coaches and it takes a very special coach to be awarded the Coach of the Year award and live up to the high ideals that were set by Alan Pang.   This year that coach is James Johnston.  

For as long as his sons have been playing hockey, James has been behind the bench.  Since he started in 2010, he has been, primarily, a Head Coach in both House League and in Select. This means that he has coached four teams a season. And he still found time to play hockey himself! It is safe to say hockey runs through his veins. We are so glad he chose to spend his coaching career with the UMHA.

This season James agreed to temporarily step in to coach a Midget-Juvenile team with the hopes that a permanent coach could be found.  As it turned out, it became a life/season sentence! James never gave up on this assignment – while he may have been short on bench staff, he committed to the team’s improvement and coached with integrity and dedication. James was able to motivate his team so that they would give their all every week.  Never missing a game himself, his passion and dedication exceeded all expectations. 

Volunteers are not paid; Not because they are worthless but because they are priceless. As such, it is our honour to present the UMHA 2016/17 Alan Pang Coach of the Year award to James Johnston!

Presentation to the Volunteer of the Year – Rodney Boulter and Peter Ventin


Rodney Boulter:

For as long as his sons have been playing hockey, Rodney Boulter has been there to support the UMHA.   Based on the Hockey Canada Registry we believe that Rodney began his volunteer hockey career in 2008 when his oldest son joined the league as a mite player.  Rodney has held every role possible; Head Coach, Trainer, Assistant Coach and Manager proving that whatever role we needed help with, Rodney was there to cover it.   

Over the years, Rodney has selflessly given of his time and talents to support programming in the UMHA.  On event deserves special mention. In 2012, the UMHA hosted the Let’s Learn Hockey Program which is a one day hockey orientation event sponsored by the Minor Hockey Foundation Ontario. The aim is to provide 40 underprivileged children the opportunity to receive a full set of hockey equipment and participate in a full day of on and off ice activities.   Rodney graciously took the job of being our official photographer capturing the joy these children had when taking to the ice.  At the end of the event, Rodney assisted us in presenting to each child, a picture of them in their newly acquired hockey equipment for the very first time.

Whether it is volunteering time to help balance teams, instructing players during extra skill sessions on a Sunday night, dressing up in costume to support UMHA programming, helping take team pictures during the season, being rostered on two teams each year for the past 5 years, taking on whatever bench position needs filling, Rodney has given hundreds of hours of his time to the youth in this association in order to make it a great place to play. Most importantly, Rodney has showed that giving back to your community can really make a difference. 

Rodney’s commitment to the UMHA mirrors that of his family.  Both Karen and the boys have given many hours to the organization proving that, ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

Congratulations on being named as a recipient of this year’s Marzia Del Bianco Volunteer of the Year Award.

Peter Ventin: 

Peter first started to volunteer with the UMHA in 2013, coaching and assisting in as many as four teams per year.  Once again, the UMHA has reaped the benefit of having a coach with two children involved in minor hockey who made sure “Dad’s” time was split evenly! Along with Peter’s tremendous skill set in teaching and coaching both House League and Select hockey players, he has expectations for each player and encourages them to reach their potential. 

We would like to specifically recognize Peter's special contribution to the UMHA this past season:  Peter's involvement in the UMHA Task Force that was created to appeal the OMHA's decision regarding our Select program and its continued participation in the NYHL.  Together with other Task Group members, Peer helped formulate a plan and a presentation to bring to the OMHA Board.  Knowing how important the Jets program was to his children and to other UMHA families, he was able to deliver with conviction, passion and knowledge a strong message to the OMHA that ultimately resulted in the OMHA amending their decision. 

Volunteers don't necessarily have more time to those that don't - they just have the heart.  As a result of Peter's tremendous heart, his big smile and his great laugh, the UMHA will continue to provide a program that meets the needs and desires of its membership and community. 

Congratulations on being named as a recipient of this year’s Marzia Del Bianco Volunteer of the Year Award.


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