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Recipients of the Achievement Award announced

By Ontario Volleyball, 05/31/21, 4:30PM EDT


The OVA is excited to announce the individuals who have been awarded with the Achievement Award as part of the 2021 OVAtion Awards digital celebration. 

The Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has had an impact on volleyball development at the regional or provincial level for 10 years or more.

Blair Mackintosh

Blair Mackintosh has been involved with Ontario Volleyball since 2006 in various capacities. He started his career with the OVA as a coach for the Scarborough Titans Volleyball Club and then, a local indoor referee. In 2010, Blair took on the responsibilities as President of the Scarborough Titans and began developing a strong organizational structure for the club with a focus on grassroots development and high performance training.

Under Blair’s leadership, the Scarborough Titans grew with resounding success. With his interest in Ontario Volleyball growing, Blair was successfully elected as the Region 5 President where he concentrated on strong governance and integrity and was later appointed as the Regional Presidents Chair serving as a member of the OVA Board of Directors. Following his Region 5 presidency, Blair successfully ran and was elected as President of the Ontario Volleyball Association at the 2017 OVA Annual General Meeting. As the current President of the OVA, Blair works in concert with the Association’s staff and Board of Directors on the strategic direction, governance and development of our game. During this time Blair also orchestrated a large club merger by uniting the Scarborough Titans and the Etobicoke Titans under the newly formed Titans Volleyball Association.

Through his leadership and commitment to fairness and accountability with the Titans Volleyball Association and the Ontario Volleyball he has made a tremendous impact on the growth and development of our sport. Congratulations, Blair!

Chanrdan Chelladurai

Chandran, whose peers at Forest City Volleyball Club (FCVC) affectionately call ‘Chuck’, started playing volleyball in elementary school and from that point on would be glued to the game, leading successful career as a player and coach to the London areas athletes. He played all four years as a student at Banting Secondary School which was highlighted by a WOSSA Championship victory in his senior year. Chuck would also play at the club level with the Kineldiego Volleyball Club, an early incarnation of the current FCVC.

Pursuing the game at the next level, Chuck kept his feet firm in London and enrolled at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) and played for the Mustangs under the direction of the local sports legend and OVA Hall of Fame inductee Vaughan Peckham, who became an important figure to the young Chelladurai. The two would cross paths later on.

While at Western, Chuck got his coaching reps started by returning to his stomping grounds at Banting Secondary as the assistant coach. Years later, he would lead the junior boys team as Head Coach. Seeing the growth of volleyball in his native London and with the success of the long-running FCVC, Chelladurai joined its founder, Peckham, once more in 2005 and for over 15 years has coached countless athletes navigating the FCVC pathway and has led teams to provincial and national success; a notable moment of which is earning a National Championship with his 16U girls team.

He’s brought an endless amount of energy to FCVC and over the years became increasingly involved within the club’s operations. Having been a dedicated parent, volunteer, coach and board member, it was time to take on new responsibilities. In 2013, Chuck would take the reigns as President of FCVC, succeeding his mentor Vaughan Peckham to carry the commitment to excellence. After three years as President the baton was handed to Tom Kerkhoff, but Chuck still provided his wisdom and guidance in the Past President capacity. Currently, Chuck is the Head Coach of the 13U girls Lorax.

Chelladurai’s passion for the game has passed down to his children, who went on to pursue volleyball in the OUA. His daughter, Michelle, was the 2015 Evelyn Holick Award winner and sparked an impressive career with the McMaster Marauders. Congratulations, Chuck!

Daphne Choi

Daphne has been actively involved in the promotion and development of volleyball in Ontario for over a decade. Beginning as an assistant coach with the Etobicoke Titans Volleyball Club, she quickly fell in love with the sport, and became a local referee to learn as much as possible about the sport. Over the years, Daphne has coached for various clubs within the OVA Athlete Development programs as well as Regional Excellence Program and Tall Maples programs.

As a head coach for the OVA Region 5 team at the 2016 Ontario Summer Games, she guided the women’s teams to a gold medal finish. In 2013, she co-founded the Toronto United Volleyball Club, a prominent program within the North American Chinese Invitational Tournament Circuit.  The club was built as a safe space for athletes of Asian descent to learn and develop in the game and to promote the elevation of Asian athletes in sport. Currently,  the club fields five teams from approximately 80 athletes. Daphne is also the Vice President of the Christian Volleyball Association, a community-based league which invites athletes of all levels to compete in a welcoming environment that builds friendships off the court.

In recent years, Daphne has found herself at the helm of George Brown Huskies Women’s Varsity program and has made it her aim to teach athletes to strive for excellence on the court and in the class. With the OVA, Daphne has involved herself in the governing of sport, as a former elected member of the OVA Region 5 Board, and currently as a Director at Large of the OVA Board of Directors. Congratulations, Daphne!

Dave Lightfoot

For the past eight years Dave has been a stalwart of Mountain Volleyball Club (MVC), where he is currently coaching the 17U girls team. His outstanding coaching abilities have not only been reflected in the individual development of his players’ skills and attitudes, but also in his interaction with the athletes under his tutelage. In the past three years, Dave has led his MVC teams to fifth, second and third placements at the Ontario Championships.

Dave was talented in the many sports he participated in and as a student-athlete at Mohawk College, managed to compete in three varsity sports. In his three seasons as a Mountaineer, he was a member of the 1988-89 and 1989-90 OCAA gold medal touch football teams, a member of the OCAA bronze medal men's basketball program and on the volleyball court, was an OCAA First Team All-Star selection and named the team’s MVP.

Prior to and during his tenure coaching with the MVC, Dave contributed to the volleyball community coaching for over thirty years at the elementary, secondary, college and university levels. Beginning as the Head Coach with the historic Hamilton YMCA and Express Volleyball Club, Dave would build his playbook and establish his name in the community. In 1993, his final year with the Express was capped with a win at the Provincial Championships for his women’s juvenile and junior teams. Climbing the ranks, he was hired to the McMaster University coaching staff and enjoyed two decades with the Marauders with whom he contributed two OUA Championship titles.

Dave then entered the doors of MVC after a long tenure at McMaster. To MVC he brought experience which carried decades of respect that was earned season after season. His teachings and style have been valued by the athletes and the rest of the coaching staff, holding him in high regard as a knowledgeable coach and player mentor. Looking to contribute to MVC in other ways, Dave has also extended his efforts into club administration as an Executive Member in charge of the developing beach program and acting as a liaison with MVC’s other partner clubs in this venture. Congratulations, Dave!

Drew Donaldson

Drew Donaldson in entering his fourth year coaching with Mountain Volleyball Club (MVC). Currently the 13U girls coach, Donaldson’s knack for coaching has been refined over the years through several organizations. As a Principal in the local school board, his professionalism and ability to teach and interact with his athletes has resulted in them fostering an engrained love of the team through support and friendship. 

Drew contributed to the volleyball community in a number of different capacities before he was brought onboard the MVC coaching staff. At Bronte Beach Volleyball Club over a six-year period, his teams won two National bronze medals, three Provincial gold medals and two Provincial Silver with his direction as head coach. Afterwards, he spent three years with the Mountain Athletic Club coaching the boys 18U team.

Outside of the OVA, and for 25 years, Drew has been growing and promoting the sport in the Halton District School Board as a teacher and coach for his elementary school’s junior and senior boys and girls teams. He led his teams to victory at the East Halton Championships on four occasions. Drew was also part of the coaching staff at McMaster University with the varsity men's team, who during his tenure, garnered OUA Championships and was awarded with the CIS (now U Sports) Coaching Staff of the Year award. Many of the coaches at MVC are McMaster alumni and speak highly of Drew and speak of his positive impact on their varsity playing career. Congratulations, Drew!

Jason McCrudden

Jason has been coaching in the OVA for 11 years with the Titans Volleyball Association, coaching ages from 12-16U as both an assistant and head coach.

As a coach, Jason has won numerous Division 1 Tier 1 medals at the Ontario Championships and Nationals, highlighted by a 12U gold in 2017 at the provincial event. In 2016, Jason served as an assistant coach with the Region 5 Red team, winning a gold medal in the Ontario Summer Games.

His rep team coaching duties with the Titans extended to an involvement with its grassroots programs, running summer camps, house leagues and skill development programs for over a decade. McCrudden has also run both beach and indoor programs for athletes of all levels, from those just entering the sport to high calibre players. Taking a step forward to oversee and work on the larger scope of the clubs programming, Jason served as the Technical Director of the Titans East programs as well as Vice-President, taking charge of program development.

In 2017, Jason was elected as Vice-President of Region 5 and was responsible for co-ordinating tryouts for the Regional program as well as other administrative tasks that ensured athletes in Region 5 were given all opportunities possible. In a time where the Region was without a President, Jason stepped in and took on the responsibilities for a brief period.

Away from the OVA, Jason is a teacher in Toronto. He has been active in the Toronto District School Boards (TDSB) athletics, serving as the Athletic Association’s President as well as convenor for co-ed and girls volleyball in the TDSD East Region and for the co-ed volleyball city finals. Jason was also instrumental in bringing Triple Ball to the TDSB at the elementary level and continues to run both coaching and Triple Ball clinics for teachers in the board. Congratulations, Jason!

Ron Merriam

Ron Merriam has been a large benefactor to growing the sport for athletes and coaches throughout Hamilton. As a middle school teacher, he has dedicated over 25 years to coaching and teaching his pupils with a goal to help them cultivate a lifelong love of playing sports and having fun. In that time, Ron has been actively involved in volleyball at the grassroots level, elementary level and as an executive at the club level.

Ron has spent just over 10 years with Mountain Athletic Club (MAC) and held roles as an Assistant Coach, Head Coach and Club President.  While serving as the Club President for MAC, Ron was committed to seeing development and opportunities to his community’s children and introduced a grassroots program. Ron also dedicated his time to serve as a Co-Lead Instructor of the Hamilton Volleyball Academy when it was introduced in the 2019-20 season. The Academy marked a partnership between several Hamilton area volleyball clubs in a program aimed to increase male participation in youth volleyball by introducing the game to boys in grades 3-7.

In 2020-21 he returned as the Head Coach of the 12U MAC Copper team. It would be the first year that MAC would have a program for this age category. Congratulations, Ron!

Tauri Caputo

Tauri is a fully-trained NCCP Level 3 performance coach, OVA Region 3 President and the current President of the Smash Raiders Volleyball Club, where he has been since 2014 and as President since 2016. In addition to his executive responsibilities and directing all training/programs that the Smash Raiders offers, Tauri is the Head Coach for the 15U girls team and serves as a mentor coach for the 16U girls.

Tauri is extremely dedicated to the sport of volleyball, specifically within Hamilton. His primary goal is not to win or be the best, but rather for each athlete and coach to do their best and perform to the best of their ability. Such success regarding his goal can be demonstrated through the multiple athletes he coached to Provincial level teams. Combined with the sentiments for community, Tauri’s objectives towards athlete development extend outside of the Smash Raiders club as he freely gives his time to athletes from other clubs who would like to train and develop their abilities.  He has even opened some club activities to smaller clubs who may not be able to run the programming, but that have athletes who would benefit from it. With the onset of the pandemic, Tauri was instrumental in working with City officials to develop a temporary indoor volleyball facility for the benefit of all volleyball clubs in Hamilton.

Prior to his involvement in Hamilton’s volleyball community, Tauri established himself in the Niagara Region volleyball circles as the Assistant Coach of Brock University’s Women program and as a Head Coach with the Niagara Rapids Volleyball Club. Tauri additionally was the Team Ontario Regional Program Head Coach for Region 3.

For the past several years he has been getting involved in cross-border competitions with the CANUSA Games, the longest-running amateur sporting event in North America. The competitions, which has grown to cater 17 different sports (volleyball included), are held in in Flint, Michigan and Hamilton with the latter hosting every odd-numbered year. As the Volunteer Coordinator for the event, Tauri has overseen the selection and training of the coaches and athletes for the Hamilton CANUSA volleyball team. Congratulations, Tauri!

Mark Wu

Mark Wu is a coach, a volunteer, a sports fanatic and above all, a philanthropist for sports, sporting events and social services who has been involved in volleyball for over 30 years. Active in sports since his youth, Mark played volleyball throughout high school and at the club level. He would continue to play volleyball into his collegiate career as a key piece to the Mohawk College Mountaineers Men’s Volleyball team who would go on to capture the OCAA Championship in 1985-86. His efforts and contributions at the college were cemented when he was inducted into Mohawk’s Hall Fame with the rest of his Championship winning team.

In 1985, Mark’s coaching career would take off when he received his NCCP certificate and in the decades that followed, has coached athletes that have advanced to regional, provincial, national and university teams. He has coached in both the school system for a variety of sports and in the OVA for over 20 years combined, with Hamilton based clubs such as the Mountain Athletic Club and the Smash Raiders Volleyball Club; the latter he’s been with since 2011.

Mark possesses a tireless desire to see amateur sports flourish and is constantly involved in his community to make opportunities happen either by serving on a board or committee, or through his entrepreneurial spirit and doing it himself. Since 2007, Mark has sat on the International Children’s Games – Hamilton Inc. Board of Directors. Celebrated annually, the Games are a week of fun-filled sports and festivals for 15U athletes focused on understanding different cultures and respect. The Games have taken Hamilton volleyball players to the likes of Greece, South Korea, Bahrain and San Francisco. In 2013 Mark arranged a city-wide volleyball event, founding the Hamilton High School All Star Volleyball Game. The annual fundraiser brings together the best players from both Hamilton school boards to support mental health awareness. For the last two years, Mark has played a significant role as one of the Executive Bid Director to bring the 2030 Centennial Commonwealth Games to the City of Hamilton. The planning has included building a multi sports complex with eight volleyball courts and an official FIVB beach volleyball facility.

For his contributions to sport over the years, Mark has been bestowed numerous honours. In 2014, he was awarded the City of Hamilton Sports Council Coach of the Year Award and with the OVA has received the Development Coach of the Year and Community Engagement Award in 2016 and 2019, respectfully. Congratulations, Mark!

David Ta

With each passing season, David Ta adds to an already stellar  career in the Ontario Volleyball Association. For the past three consecutive years Ta has been honoured at the OVAtion Awards; first in 2019 as a Recognition Award recipient, and in last year’s class as the winner of the Mike Bugarski Male Coach of the Year.

The University of Toronto graduate has been the technical mastermind behind REACH Volleyball, leading numerous 16, 17 and 18U teams to high finishes at the Ontario Championships and Volleyball Canada Nationals. Ta’s specialization leans towards high performance and athlete development, which has been demonstrated as a seasoned coach within the Team Ontario pathway and as the Assistant Coach of the York University Men’s Volleyball program. With Team Ontario, Ta led the Region 5 boys team to the 2018 Ontario Summer Games and has been on the coaching staff of virtually all of the programs along the pathway. In 2019, he was selected as the Assistant Coach to the Team Ontario Red and Elite programs, and in 2020, was promoted as Red’s Head Coach. This year, Ta takes on the duties as Team Ontario Black’s Lead Coach. Expanding his coaching horizons beyond Ontario, Ta has also brought his skills to Volleyball Canada’s Regional Excellence Program. Congratulations David!