Ottawa coach named 2014 NFL Youth Coach of the Year
$5,000 in football equipment and $5,000 in BlackRock Canada bursaries awarded to National Capital Amateur Football Association’s South Ottawa Mustangs; Moosomin’s Jason Schenn and Lloydminster’s Vince Orieux named runners-up
Toronto, ON – December 2, 2014 − The National Football League (NFL) today named PAUL HOWARD the 2014 NFL Youth Coach of the Year. Howard, an Information Technology professional who volunteers with his local community football club – the South Ottawa Mustangs – uses football to help improve his troubled community.
The Mustangs are based in Heron Gate, a neighbourhood classified by the Ottawa Police guns and gangs unit as an ‘affected’ community. Howard’s efforts to keep football going – from running touch football leagues to encouraging participation and raising funds – have played an instrumental role in helping to build hope and opportunity within the community.
“Having grown up in this same low income community himself, Paul understands the challenges and barriers these young people face,” said South Ottawa resident Sara Dwyer in a nomination essay. “He believes so much in the benefits of being part of a football team, and the opportunity that football can provide. The confidence and discipline (that these players learn) translates to their lives at school, in the community and at home. We are grateful to have volunteers like Coach Paul who understand that it takes a village to raise a child, and who are ready to step up to be a part of that village.”
Currently in its 16th year, the NFL Youth Coach of the Year award is presented in collaboration with BlackRock Canada, the world’s largest asset manager. The award was created to recognize community or high school level coaches across Canada who make a positive impact on their communities through football. The award is not based on wins and losses.
“This award is intended to recognize those outstanding individuals who go above and beyond and truly make a difference within their communities; Paul Howard is a worthy recipient of this award,” said Noel Archard, Managing Director, Head of BlackRock Canada. “Together with the NFL we are proud to put the spotlight on volunteers who are using football to make their communities better.”
In recognition of Howard’s efforts, BlackRock Canada will create $5,000 in bursaries to assist young players in the South Ottawa community who want to play football but are in financial need. The South Ottawa Mustangs will also receive $5,000 in new equipment from the NFL as part of the award.
Howard was selected from a shortlist of ten coaches from across Canada to receive the honour. A panel of journalists, BlackRock, NFL and Football Canada officials selected the winners. More than 100 different coaches from across Canada were nominated for the award.
VINCE ORIEUX, a volunteer coach at Holy Rosary High School and with Lloydminster Minor Football, was named a runner-up and will receive $2,000 in new equipment.
“Coach Orieux focuses on the development and participation of all players in our city, whether they play on his teams or those coached by others,” said Aubrey Patterson, Superintendent of Instruction at the Lloydminster Catholic School Division in a submission. “His impact on the youth of Lloydminster has been so positive, shown by the great many of his players who are inspired to be assistant coaches on local Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget teams. There is no more dedicated and influential coach I have encountered in any sport.”
Without JASON SCHENN young people in Moosomin Saskatchewan would not have a chance to play football. Schenn was also named runner-up and will receive $2,000 in equipment for the Moosomin Generals, who play in the 9-Man Rural Manitoba Football League.
“Working tirelessly, in just five years time, Jason Schenn has been the driving force behind creating a football program from scratch in our community,” said Moosomin’s Ron Dietrich in one of the essays submitted to nominate Schenn. “Simply put, no one could give more than what he has . . . many youth in the surrounding area will be better citizens because of his vision fulfilled.”
Rene Whelpton was another of the many area residents who nominated Schenn.
“Jason had a dream for the young men in our town,” said Whelpton. “He has put in countless hours raising funds, building (and lighting) a field, promoting the team, and finding opportunities for the team to serve the community. He is a person of passion and encouragement to both the boys and the parents.”
Over the past 16 years the NFL Youth Coach of the Year award has contributed more than $190,000 in equipment, facility upgrades and bursaries to deserving programs.
“Grassroots-level coaches are the backbone of football in Canada,” said Derek Gross, Director, Corporate Partnerships, NFL Canada. “Volunteer coaches not only enable thousands of participants the opportunity to enjoy the sport each year, but also instill a love for football in future generations.”
This post is also available in: French