The Vancouver Elementary Physical Activity Association (VEPAA) recently held their annual Coaches' Recognition Reception at VanDusen Gardens.
The yearly event is an opportunity for elementary school teachers and administrators, who all volunteer at their schools to coach teams and lead athletics programs, to come together and celebrate each other's achievements and hard work. Past retiress come out for the event and the evening is filled with tall tales, hilarious anecdotes and comraderie.
At the event, 34 new coaches were acknowledged and initiated welcomed into VEPAA with shiny, new Fox-40 whistles. Three dedicated coaches, who had completed 20 years of service (no small accomplishment), received the coveted VSB 'blue sweater'. These coaches were Lesley Chambers and Phil Green from Laura Secord Elementary, and Willy Wan from Tecumseh Elementary.
But the highlight of this year's ceremony was the honouring of two amazing coaches with Career Achievement Awards. Ray Brendzy, from Franklin Elementary and Ron Brandolini, from Lord Grenfell Elementary were celebrated for their immense body of work and the tremendous legacy of leadership and sportsmanship they leave behind. Both Brandzy and Bandolini are retiring, and it was clear by the applause and heartfelt words given that coaching has meant as much to them, as their work has meant to their students and to the district.
When recently interviewed by the Vancouver Courier, Brendzy gave his own reflection of the truism that time really does fly when you're having fun.
"Thirty-five years have gone by incredibly fast. I was thinking that I was receiving an award for something that I'm so passionate about I don't even consider it work or extra effort; in fact, those are the things that make me want to be a teacher, just having the opportunity to do those things has made my life more fun, more fulfilling," he said.
CLICK HERE to read the entire Courier article.
To view photos from the event CLICK HERE.