The Recognition Award is presented annually to an individual who has been involved in the development of volleyball at the club, regional or provincial level as an administrator (OVA committee work, referee, coach development, etc.) for five years or more.
From May 24 - 28, the OVA will be announcing the many deserving recipients of the Recognition Award. We are pleased to announce the following for their outstanding service to volleyball in our province:
Amanda’s love of the game and passion to give back to volleyball was instilled when she was an athlete in public school to college in the Sarnia area. A three-time Athlete of the Year at St. Clair Secondary School, Amanda would serve as a setter/outside hitter for Lambton College’s varsity team in 1996-97. While in high school, Amanda donned the whistle as a local referee and continued to work at Fanshawe College intramural games through 1999. In 2014, she would update to a Level 1 referee. Expanding her involvement to a coaching capacity, Amanda joined the Twin Bridges Volleyball Club in 2010 and has served as both Assistant and Head Coach for several of its programs. Her dedication to the athletes and community at Twin Bridges has allowed Amanda to wear several hats in the organization. With their grassroots programs, she coordinates Spikes on the Beach, promotes Smashball and works with the local school board to run Triple Ball. As a front line worker in her professional career, she provided her experience and became a member of Clubs’ COVID Committee. Communicating to her players, coaches and the OVA regarding Return to Play protocols, she ensures the safety of her constituents. Amanda continues to be an inspiration for her players and the coaches at all ages and stages of the game that she enthusiastically gets involved in. Congratulations, Amanda!
As a student-athlete who competed on the women’s volleyball team at Syracuse University, the insight and experience Anne has brought to her athletes at Storm Volleyball proved to be invaluable. Joining the organization in 2015 by volunteering with the coaching staff of the Storm Monsoon, she would start her journey with that group of 13U girls which would lead to consistent top medal finishes at Ontario and National Championships. Lutes would advance as an Assistant Coach in 2017. In addition to improving her athletes’ technical prowess on the court, she has been a key player in their mental development. Preaching the importance of the individual’s ability and contributions she has fostered a state of reassurance, calmness and confidence for her team when dealing with intense mental and strategic situations. Congratulations, Anne!
Bonnie Cooper was a decorated athlete with the Western University Mustangs. A three-time MVP between 1993 and 1998, an OUA Championship and Tournament All-Star nod, two-time OUA All-Star, CIS (now USports) Honourable Mention and Purple Blanket Award recipient, Bonnie earned her place in the Mustangs Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. She took the role of the Mustangs Assistant Coach for a total of five years and split her latter years with the team coaching at the Forest City Volleyball Club and working on Western’s Sports Administration team, where she still works today. She re-joined Forest City in 2013 after a 13-year hiatus and is the current coach of the 18U girls. On top of her work in volleyball, Bonnie has committed her time working towards providing more sport opportunities for the youth of the London area as a member of KidSport London which helps cover costs of registration fees through grants. Congratulations, Bonnie!
Before joining the coaching staff with REACH Volleyball, Brian Chan spent five years with the Markham Wildcats and more recently, coaching with the Ngun Lam Volleyball Club youth program on the North American Chinese Invitational Volleyball Tournament circuit. Brain would go on to coach REACH’s Alpha and Nitro 14U Boys teams and currently, with the Rage 15U. With a steadfast passion for youth development, Brian is also the Assistant Coach for the Clubs Development Program where he focuses on the fundamentals mixed with some technical work and having fun on the court. Congratulations, Brian!
Brian Ling coaches his athletes with a goal to interject a passion for the game that transcends competition and league play. An advocate for health and life balance, Brian uses volleyball not only as a conduit for athletes to develop a lifelong enthusiasm for physical activity but to emphasize the life skill lessons that bleed into the game which can be applied outside of sport in their social and eventual professional lives. He has devoted over thirty years in the game from the on-court experience as an athlete and from the sidelines as a parent and coach. An OVA coach since 2013, the NCCP Level 2 Ling currently leads REACH Volleyball Clubs Aspire team. His principles towards lifelong learning and long-term athlete development continue to inspire all he takes under his wing. Congratulations, Brian!
Chris developed his passion for the game through his athletic career which took him to the Humber College where he earned the title of CCAA Men’s Volleyball Champion with the Hawks. Still active on the court, Chris competes in 9-Man volleyball in Toronto and has been a key piece on the backcourt with the Connex program. Over the past five years with REACH Chris has earned numerous top five finishes at the Ontario Championships as well as a achieving a fifth-place finish at Volleyball Canada Nationals with the REACH Smash 18U Boys. He is well-versed in high performance and in 2020 lent his experience to the Team Ontario Regional Program in 2020 as a Region 5 coach. Thank you for all your hard work! Congratulation, Chris!
Erich Shih is a seasoned coach and teacher with over 10 years at his school and 5 in the OVA with the Titans Volleyball Association. He takes his coaching responsibilities with the utmost seriousness, dedicating countless hours constantly absorbing new information so that he can provide his athletes with the best possible experience. Shih is selfless and generous with his time and puts in the extra effort to shadow his peers and arrive early or leave late at his practices to learn from other coaches when they show up for their gym time. Colleagues praise his dependability and work ethic as he strives to become a consummate role model for his athletes. Erich works with both older rep teams and grassroots programs for the Titans but displays the same patience, dedication and understanding for both levels, always paying close attention to every player so he can provide valuable feedback. Adapting to the circumstances of the past two years, Erich has continued to virtually coach his athletes twice per week and curate a complete regimen to ensure their development. Thank you for your commitment and infectious enthusiasm. Congratulations, Erich!
Jamie Neilson’s involvement in volleyball goes back to 1985 when he was under the tutelage of OVA Hall of Fame inductee Vaughan Peckham on the Oakridge Secondary School boys team. Following three years on the Western Mustangs men’s team, Neilson returned to Oakridge; this time as a coach, where he been involved in some capacity since 1994. As the Senior Boys Head Coach for the last 15 seasons, Neilson has coached numerous players who have gone on to wear the Canadian National jerseys in international competition and pursue professional careers abroad. Jamie has also been involved with the Forest City Volleyball Club, coaching various rep teams while also being involved in several of FCVCs developmental program as well as assisting with the implementation of Smashball with the London Sharks Volleyball Club. This past year, Neilson served as the Assistant Coach with the 18U Boys and 12U girls teams. Congratulations, Jamie!
Jason Dodd is a familiar presence on the referee stand in Ontario and across the country which continues to grow alongside his involvement in this country’s development of referees. Jason is the current Program Chair for the Provincial Referee Committee as well as the current National Upgrade Program Chair. The former Assignor of virtually all Ontario competitions (OVA, OUA and OCAA level) is a certified Evaluator, Mentor and Clinician. Jason has refereed at Ontario Championships, Volleyball Canada Nationals, OCAA Championships, CCAA Championships and an OUA Final 4 with precise enforcement of the rules and upholding the integrity of the game. His experience and breadth in high performance competition was naturally going to expand beyond Canadian soil and permeate around the globe and in 2017, Jason became a certified Level 5 International Continental Referee. One of Jason’s recent significant assignments abroad included the U23 Men’s Pan American Cup in Peru (2018). Congratulations, Jason!
Jordan Timpson has been an active member of the Ontario Volleyball Association for many years, starting first as a club player for the Scarborough Titans Volleyball Club (now the Titans Volleyball Association) and then as a coach. In Assistant and Head Coach roles, Timpson provided his knowledge to Evolution Volleyball Club and now for the Titans Volleyball Association where he further demonstrates his leadership while on the Titans’ Executive Council. Jordan has embraced the opportunities he has had by constantly striving to perform at his best, ensuring a fair and enriching environment for his athletes. Recently, Jordan has spent the last few years working with at-risk youth athletes, providing an opportunity for them to develop as athletes and individuals. Congratulations, Jordan!
Josh Gluskin made a splash in the volleyball community when he co-founded Beach Blast with George Shermer in 2001, and for two decades, brought volleyball to hundreds of thousands across Ontario through various indoor and outdoor beach leagues and programs such as The Docks and Victory Indoor Volleyball. Continuing to share his passion for the sport, Gluskin coaches for Unity Volleyball Club with the 14U Boys Force and the grassroots programs to assist athletes gain the physical and technical skills needed to effectively understand of the game. Thank you for your continued commitment to the game. Congratulations, Josh!
For the last six years Keaton Proud has been coaching youth boys club teams (13U - 16U) in the Kingston area and organizing beach programs for he last five. Beginning with the Pegasus Beach Volleyball Club which he co-founded in 2016, Keaton’s passion for giving back to his community and volunteering his time to help ensure the future of the sport has never swayed. His dedication permeates outside of the club programs throughout Region 6, working in the elementary school system to deliver grassroots opportunities. His endeavours continued into the vein of athlete development, coaching with Team Ontario Beach in 2018 as Assistant Coach with the 16U Boys and the 18U Boys in 2019. Keaton is currently an Assistant Coach with the Queens University Men’s program, a position he’s been in since 2018 where he was also involved with the Golden Gaels in their Athletic and Recreational Department. In 2020, Keaton was awarded the Male Development Coach of the Year Award and this year, the OVA is proud to honour his contributions with the Recognition Award. Congratulations, Keaton!
Kelly Lupton’s love for the sport of volleyball started at Georgetown District High School – where her team went on to play in two AAA OFSAA Championships – and in Club volleyball with the Peel Selects in the early 1990s. Her talents were brought to the Queen’s University Women's Varsity Volleyball program as an outside hitter while completing her Bachelors of Phys. Ed. Education. Before retiring the shoes and knee pads, Lupton was a high performance athlete with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Military National Volleyball Team and travelled internationally for competitions, competing against some of the world’s finest on the circuit. She then made the switch to coaching, taking her first steps by volunteering at local high schools in Kingston and Georgetown. Climbing the coaching ranks, she landed a position with the Ottawa Women's Military Base Volleyball Team and under her guidance, won three National Championships. Since 2015 Lupton has been the Assistant Coach with the CAF Military National Women’s Team, learning from the Head Coach Joely Christian in advanced strategies, tactics, and program development at the international level. Branching her coaching repertoire to Club volleyball, Kelly has been part of the Kingston Club Volleyball Community since 2016, coaching the 13 and 16U Girls teams. Thank you for your services with the Canadian Forces and for your commitments to volleyball. Congratulations, Kelly!
Over the last several seasons, Ken Decena has enjoyed seeing his athletes go on to share the OVA’s mantra of volleyball for life with Unity Volleyball Club. With the club, he’s been Head Coach of the 13U boys South, Assistant Coach for the 16U boys Unity North, and alongside veteran coach Mike Fuh, helped the 15U boys South as Assistant Coach. Ken’s dedication to his athletes are not just confined at the Unity Volleyball Club; the volleyball enthusiast has additionally run community programs at churches and at schools for the last five years. Decena also has experience at the school level coaching at local elementary school. Congratulations, Ken!
Before Kera Salvi began coaching in the OVA with Unity Volleyball Club, she earned her coaching stripes in Connecticut at Fairfield University as the Assistant Coach of the women’s volleyball program for seven years. It was in the NCAA where Salvi also cut her teeth as a collegiate athlete. A standout with Rutgers University, she rose through the ranks to Team Captain and earned multiple conference accolades including a First Team All-Big East Conference nod as well as a selection to the Northeast Region All-American team. Now with Unity, Salvi takes on several key responsibilities, primarily as the 14U and 16U Girls Program Director. Salvi also takes command in Unity’s grassroots ventures as Unity Junior Academy Lead Coach, leading the grassroots program for over 100 kids and training youth volunteer coaches. Continuing along the youth development front, as the Unity Camp Lead she designs and leads development athlete camps and more recently, helped establish the Unity Markham Academy which attracts a large contingent of youth athletes. Her presence within the Club branches into administration duties as well, serving on the Advisory Council and Technical Resource Council. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to your programs which help so many athletes and our sport. Congratulations, Kera!
Kevin has been heavily involved as a coach with the Titans Volleyball Association since 2014 coaching numerous teams in the 12-16U age groups. Additionally, he runs summer camps, drop-in programs and skills clinics for athletes of all ages, designs indoor and beach programming as well as spearheading Titans grassroots efforts such as the OVA Parent-Player Program which combines the enjoyment of playing volleyball and developing physical literacy for both child and adult. Kevin has also been involved in OVA Athlete Development, leading the Region 4 Girls in the 2018 Ontario Summer Games. His coaching responsibilities crossover to his professional life as an elementary teacher in Scarborough where he has coached the volleyball team for a decade. With his team, he has enjoyed success through winning three consecutive City Championships and in 2019, an elementary Provincial Championship. Sherriff was recently bestowed with the 2021 OVA Male Development Coach of the Year Award and we are pleased to further honour his contributions with the Recognition Award. Congratulations, Kevin!
Larry Hum is well-known in Toronto volleyball circles, particularly with his involvement in 9-man volleyball. As part of the inception of the highly decorated Toronto Connex Volleyball Club, Hum was the original Head Coach of the Men’s team that took the NACIVT circuit by storm. He now devotes his time with REACH Volleyball, where he has been leading several teams since 2015. In his first two seasons with the club, Hum was at the helm of the 14U REACH Dynos before leading the Alphas squad and has remained with the group for three seasons. Congratulations, Larry!
Involved in the international volleyball scene for over 25 years, Lennard Krapp has amassed an extensive resume, from building the development and support systems for beach volleyball at the National level and through roles including the former head coach of the German Developmental Program and for the Volleyball Canada Beach National Team from 2009 to 2012, up until the London Olympics. He has poised his Canadian and German athletes en route to Olympic appearances and success with his sharp scientific mind of the game; most notably the back-to-back Olympic gold winning German men’s beach team, who Krapp coached when they were in developmental. His coaching prowess would continue lead those in his tutelage abroad to FIVB World Tour Events, the Pan Am Games, the Universiade, Senior World Championships and Continental Cup finals. Some of the athletes Lennard has taken under his wing include Josh Binstock (who Krapp coached at the 2016 Rio Olympics), Brandie Wilkerson and Heather Bansley (FIVB Beach World Champions), Sam Schachter, Julie Gordon and Sophie Bukovec. In Ontario, Lennard established the Markham Revolution Volleyball Club and since 2014 has provided boys and girls in the York Region competitive volleyball programming for beach and indoor while also focusing on their development and enjoyment of the game through clinics, camps and house league programs. Prior to the Revolution, he worked with numerous Pakmen rep teams as Technical Coach as well as with their beach program. Congratulations, Lennard!
For the past two years Lou Maida has contributed to the Mountain Volleyball Club (MVC) community, currently coaching the 12U Girls team, providing not only sound technical and volleyball skills but pronounced leadership as well. Lou’s coaching journey began by helping at his old elementary school with the CYO volleyball team when he was in high school. In 1999, as a teacher at Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School in West Niagara, Lou began to build the volleyball program. He had his plate full, coaching the Junior and Senior Boys and Girls Volleyball Teams for 11 years while running intramural volleyball activities and youth development programs in the summer. In 2005, Lou founded the Southern Ontario Strikers Volleyball Club in memory of his father, Lou Maida Sr. who always encouraged him to play volleyball, and to give back to the community. In 2008, Strikers merged with the Brock Volleyball Club (BVC) to become the BVC Strikers where Lou coached until 2010. In 2011, Lou had to step away from coaching volleyball, but continued to mentor others. In 2019, returned to the game and joined the coaching staff at MVC. It was instilled in Lou at every corner to always give back to the community. Through a focused desire and determination for his athletes to play volleyball, build confidence, team etiquette and creating an environment of respect, his teachings continue to echo that message. Congratulations, Lou!
Marcin is a decorated volleyball player with success at both the club level and through his post secondary career with Mohawk College where he won OCAA Championship gold, silver and bronze. He also played one year for McMaster, in a season where the Marauders took home OUA gold. In 2020-21, Marcin entered his sixth season as a coach with Mountain Athletic Club (MAC); his fourth as Head Coach. Marcin began with MAC as an Assistant for two seasons at the 14U and 15U level before carrying on with that group of athletes as the Head Coach for 16U and 17U, respectively. For the past two seasons, Marcin welcomed the opportunity to start a new cycle as Head Coach for their 2006-born athletes and continues to foster a positive and thriving learning environment for his teams. Congratulations, Marcin!
In almost 16 years in the sport, Matt Somerville has worn many hats and has helped grow the game from these different facets. As a club coach for 12 years, Somerville devoted eight of them with the Pegasus Volleyball Club from 2007 to 2015; he additionally helped guide the club in an executive role. Following his time with Pegasus he transitioned a little ways up the road to the Kingston Volleyball Club as President for three years. In the Summer of 2019, Pegasus and Kingston merged to form the Kingston Rock Volleyball Club. Now Co-President alongside Ontario volleyball veteran and OVA Hall of Fame Inductee, Brenda Willis, the duo look to ensure there is abundant opportunities for youth in their community to pursue volleyball. Somerville additionally became a Local Referee in 2017 and appears on the stands to call matches in his surrounding municipality. Thank you for your constant commitment and drive to serve your local youth and move volleyball forward. Congratulations, Matt!
Max Choi’s time as an athlete with the Scarborough Titans and the skills he acquired with the club transferred successfully to his coaching endeavours where guides the next group of athletes along their volleyball journey. In 2015, while simultaneously playing for the Titans Nemesis in his last year, Choi volunteered his time as an assistant coach for the season. He would finish third in Ontario that year with the Nemesis. The following year he would begin a new chapter with REACH Volleyball, becoming an Assistant Coach for the Development Program and for the Rage 16U boys in 2017-18. Max is currently the Assistant Coach of the Nexus 16U boys. When he’s not coaching at REACH, Max plays 9-man volleyball for the Toronto Connex Volleyball Club. Congratulations, Max!
Michael Boat-Smith’s tenure as a coach in the OVA is nine years and counting. He began coaching volleyball for Mountain Volleyball Club in 2012 and continued to coach until 2016. Following a brief hiatus, he returned to the Club in 2018. With MVC, Mike has also helped the club secure gym time and equipment for its MVP developmental program. In addition to his club coaching, Mike has also directed his expertise to secondary school athletes, coaching over twenty years for the Hamilton Wentworth School Board, leading junior girls teams since 2005. He has been very dedicated to the development of all athletes left in his tutelage, and aside from volleyball, his passion for athletics is obvious as he has been a constant in the Hamilton area’s cross country and track and field scene since 1998. Mike has coached a slew of athletes to OFSAA victories with 14 combined gold track and cross country individual and team medalists. His contribution to the sport community was recognized by the City of Hamilton and he was recipient of the Sports Volunteer Award from Sport Hamilton and by OFSSA with OFSAA Leadership in Sport Award. Mike can now add another distinction to his resume with the OVA Recognition Award. Congratulations, Mike!
Mike Fuh is one of Unity Volleyball’s Boys Player Development Coordinators and currently, is coaching the 15U boys which consists of both Unity North and South teams. With over 30 years in volleyball as both a player and coach which spans the OVA, Ontario school boards and the NACIVT, Mike has brought much to the table with his experience and instills to his athletes the value of community and character that is built because of the game. As a coach in the OVA, Mike has earned three Division 1 Tier 1 gold medals in the 12U girls, 13U and 14U boys age categories and a silver in 14U boys competition at the Ontario Championships. In Volleyball Canada Nationals appearances, Mike led his 14U boys to a gold medal finish in 2019. In addition to his contributions for the clubs rep teams, he helps lead the charge for development opportunities as the Program Coordinator for the Markham Junior Academy and Summer Camps. On top of his Unity commitments, Mike is a Club Director for Toronto Legacy Athletics (Legacy Volleyball) which was established in 2018 which provides youths and young adults in the GTA an opportunity to participate in low-cost, competitive athletics. Congratulations, Mike!
For the past three years Mike Schurer has contributed to the volleyball community as a coach with the Mountain Volleyball Club (MVC) and is currently coaching the 18U girls Everest. Prior to MVC, his work with the Mountain Athletic Club extended over six years coaching 13U to 18U with successful appearances at both the Ontario Championships and Nationals. In addition to club coaching responsibilities, Mike teaches and coaches for the Hamilton Wentworth School Board. Currently at Ancaster High School, Mike has successfully coached both junior and senior boys and girls volleyball teams to numerous appearances at SOSSA and OFSSA Championships. Among his accomplishments at Ancaster include a top 10 OFSAA finish in 2018, a silver medal at SOSSA and City and Consolation Championship titles. Congratulations, Mike!
Murray Doucette has been involved in Club indoor and beach activities for over 10 years, coaching in both streams in that time. As a coach, Murray dedicates his time without questions and will do what it takes to deliver for his Vision Volleyball Club and its athletes. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, he has coached boys and girls teams at almost every level – including the Regional beach program for two cycles – and has further demonstrated his leadership in administrative roles. Doucette has served as Vice President for Region 2 for the last four years where he attends all meetings, builds relationships with the OVA and proudly supports his community. Murray has a genuine love for the sport and is a vocal supporter of beach volleyball. During the summer, you might have seen him often volunteering at large beach events hosted by the likes of NORCEA, Volleyball Canada and the OVA. Congratulations, Murray!
A former Mohawk College and McMaster University Badminton Varsity Athlete, Nick Trikoupis has over 25 years of coaching experience in a plethora of sports and skill levels. This includes three years as a high school badminton coach as well as an elementary school coach for volleyball, swimming, track and field, basketball and soccer. Now devoting his time in Club with MAC Volleyball (where he has been for five seasons) in Assistant Coach and Head Coach positions, Nick finds more ways to help as many athletes as he can and has become trained as an Advanced Development Indoor and Beach Coach. His success as an elementary school volleyball coach for the past 15 plus years can be highlighted by multiple City Championship appearances and as an organizer for a grassroots club; as a Club coach, he has earned numerous gold medals, and in 2018 and 2019 shared his knowledge with athletes at Madawaska Volleyball Camp. Thank you for your dedication to the sport of volleyball in Hamilton! Congratulations, Nick!
Over the course of his coaching tenure, Robin Kidd has lent his insight to an array of skill levels and has worked towards providing opportunities for youth in his York Region. As the Lead Coach for the Unity Volleyball-run Markham Youth League, Kidd directs programming for the Region’s only house league geared for high school students and those who may have been unable to commit to a club rep team. Kidd is currently at the helm of Unity’s 15U girls team and member of the Unity Technical Training Advisory Council where he designs and updates the Club’s technical resources for coach development. His work for Unity Volleyball has cumulated in multiple Ontario Championships and National medals between the 13U and 18U teams he coached. In recent years, Kidd dove into the Team Ontario pathway and became an indoor coach for the program in 2019 and 2020. Congratulations, Robin!
Rose Giugovas has been a wizard behind the scenes in Kingston’s volleyball scene for years. Beginning with the Pegasus Volleyball Club in 2015, Rose took on the responsibilities as Head of the Parent Council and then as Registrar and Volunteer Coordinator for four years, until the merger with Kingston Volleyball Club. With the two clubs joining forces to become Kingston Rock, she remains their steadfast Registrar and Executive member taking care of all the non-glamourous components of this sport we love. From managing all the registrations to screening and documentation such as Respect in Sport tracking and insurance affairs that allows all their members to play, coach and host, the administration side of club volleyball ensures compliance and organization – the unsung heroes of our game. For your efforts to serve your members and contributions to keeping volleyball safe, we are pleased to award you with the Recognition Award. Congratulations, Rose!
Ryan’s involvement in club coaching is something that he takes seriously, and he has been dedicated to the development of the athletes on his Mountain Volleyball Club (MVC) teams for the past three years. Swackhammer was also instrumental in establishing MVC’s fall developmental program. Prior to his involvement with MVC, Ryan spent four years with the Mountain Athletic Club and is a certified Developmental Coach. In addition to his club coaching responsibilities, Ryan has also provided his leadership to elementary school athletes with sixteen years for the Hamilton Wentworth School Board. Congratulations, Ryan!
Shaun Powell began as the Titans Volleyball Association’s 17-18U coach over six years ago, bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise with him. His selflessness in helping other coaches with their teams and empowering his assistant coaches quickly made him a well-respected name in the Titans community. Shaun’s attention to detail and commitment to ensuring his athletes succeed is seen through his chalk-talks before each practice, which has become engrained in his coaching philosophy, and his willingness to take the time before and after each session to work on individual athletes’ specific skills. Advancing his coaching responsibilities, Shaun recently stepped into the role of Technical Director for Titans teams in the West where he orchestrates all of the seasonal training plans which he instructs to teams in Sundays. His organization and specific delivery of these plans has been beneficial in creating a consistency across all of the Titans teams, allowing leeway for coaches to implement the concepts and for athletes to integrate seamlessly with other squads should they be called up to another team. While balancing these duties, Shaun manages to coach one or two teams and continues to support the family atmosphere that is nurtured within the club. Congratulations, Shaun!
Siu On Wong has become a mainstay in the Markham volleyball community, mentoring many current OVA coaches and enriching his pupil’s volleyball experience through the importance of respect, family and community. As a player with the 9-man powerhouse Connex Volleyball Club he captured eight NACIVT Championships between 1996 and 2003 and would later coach the Men’s team on the circuit, taking them to the finals in 2015. His passion for the sport would lead him to found the Toronto Legacy Athletics (Legacy Volleyball Club) where he serves the GTA’s youth and steers the ship as Director alongside his fellow Unity Volleyball Boys Development Coordinator, coach and 2021 Recognition Award recipient Mike Fuh. At Unity, Siu On is the Head Coach for the 17U boys team and is a member on the club’s Advisory Council. Among Siu On’s accomplishments with the club are multiple Ontario Championships medals, notably a silver in 13U and 15U boys Division 1 Tier 1 and 2, respectfully and bronze in 14u and 15U boys in the Division 1 Tier 1 category. Congratulations, Siu On!
Shaun Sanders’ volleyball travels haven’t stopped since 2004 when he learned the ropes of the OVA system with Storm Volleyball for three years. At just two years in, Shaun would lead Region 5 at the 2006 Ontario Summer Games. He would revisit the Team Ontario stream in the Summer of 2019 as a coach for the Regional Program. After Storm Volleyball came the Pakmen for Shaun, and with the club he would earn Ontario Championships gold with the 17U boys as their Assistant Coach. Following three years with the Pakmen, the Thundercats Volleyball Club would have Shaun as Head Coach for their 14U boys for two seasons before joining REACH volleyball and their 16U Alpha boys team. Congratulations, Shaun!
In terms of provincial and national level involvement, there isn’t much that Teresa Vizzari hasn’t done and if you played club and post-secondary volleyball in the last few decades there’s a good chance that she was on the stand calling one of your matches. Starting her refereeing career in 1987, her certifications came with quick succession, obtaining her Level 3 by 1992. In 2007, Teresa advanced to Level 4 referee certification. From early on she was giving back to the refereeing community; as an evaluator, a mentor and clinician she’s been developing future referees from these services since 1992. When she’s not on the stand, Teresa has been active as a supervisor at the Ontario Championships since 2008 as well as at Nationals. A constant on the collegiate circuit having been involved in the OCAA Championship and OUA Final Four since the early 1990s, she’s bolstered her resume by landing other roles in the system such as OUA/OCAA (and OVA) Assignor and CCAA and U Sports Minor Official. her work on both the Provincial and Regional Upgrade Program as Chair and Evaluator, respectfully, have benefitted many referees seeking higher certifications and her tenure as Regional Referee Chair oversaw the development of programs and appropriate distribution of assignments to the region’s referees. Congratulations, Teresa!
From Manitoba to Ontario and Quebec, Todd Collard has made an impact as both player and coach in some form throughout his travels towards volleyball development. Active in the game for over three decades, he has been the guide for countless teams since 1988. Getting a taste of the Canadian College landscape from the top of the bench, Collard worked as the Assistant Coach for John Abbott College in Quebec in 1991 for two years before rising to the occasion as Head Coach where he remained until 1995. That year, Todd worked towards his Level 2/Advanced Development certification and in 1996, began coaching in the Ontario secondary school system where he has coached 59 separate teams and over 600 athletes. An opportunity arose at an Indigenous school in Northern Manitoba and for two years Collard took the role as the school coach. It was in this time that he would participate in the Northern Manitoba Games as an honorary member of an indigenous team. Fast forward nearly two decades and in 2016 Collard entered the OVA as a club coach with the Pegasus Volleyball Club (now Kingston Rock VC), coaching various 13-17U teams. To add another notch in his belt, Collard also created the Greater Napanee Youth Volleyball League, which has entered it’s 12th year, that introduces volleyball to 8-13 year old’s and fosters the next generation of coaches through an introductory coaching experience for teens within the community. Congratulations, Todd!
Tony Vella’s involvement in volleyball began as a varsity member of York University Men’s Volleyball program. Now a coach, he has working with the Titans Volleyball Association for over six years and has become a crucial piece to the club as a strong developmental coach with a compassionate and caring attitude. Vella is always prepared and leads an exemplary program that takes care to develop each athlete according to their strengths and weaknesses; each of his athletes can speak volumes of his approach and catering to their skill development. He has coached at various ages from 13U through to 16U and has been successful with a consistency in improving every team he has worked with. With the Titans, Tony offers his leadership across the board, doing additional work for their grassroots and beach programs. Congratulations, Tony!
Before founding Markham Revolution Volleyball Club with her husband, Lennard, Ulrike Krapp was a professional player competing on the beach as well as indoors on Germany’s Volleyball Bundesliga circuit, which is the highest league in German volleyball. In her native Germany she is a certified beach volleyball coach and coach for disabled athletes, and in Canada, is NCCP Level 1. Since the inception of Markham Revolution, the club has grown to 14 teams covering 11-18U age divisions for boys and girls offering competitive indoor and beach rep teams, grassroots and development programs and skills clinics for York Region’s youth. She takes her experience as an athlete and translates it into her coaching, instilling that same passion of the game to her athletes, achieving success in OVA competitions along the way. Congratulations, Ulrike!
Vishnu is a firm believer that if athletes have fun in whatever they’re doing, they are more inclined to learn and improve. It’s been a guiding principle to his coaching career since he began in 2005 at Branksome Hall, a prominent boarding school in Toronto, where he still coaches to this day for many of the institution’s teams. With over 15 years of coaching experience, Vishnu has taken the reigns for a handful of teams across the province, staying true to his beliefs and ensuring that his athletes are motivated to perform at their best and that life lessons are taught through the sport. The NCCP Level 3 coach enjoyed a five-year tenure with Galaxy Volleyball before joining Phoenix Volleyball where he’s been a head coach and assistant coach for the girls program each year since 2018. An active member in Region 5, Vishnu served on the Region’s Executive Committee between 2018-20 and coached with his regional beach program at three Ontario Summer Games, winning a gold and silver medal in his efforts. Volleyball Canada Regional Excellence Program. Congratulations, Vishnu!