Mountain Volleyball Club Technical Director, Larissa Byckalo was presented with the Coaching Excellence Award from the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO) on September 17, 2022 at a celebration at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
"This award definitely means a lot to me, it was very unexpected but is a great indicator of going in the right direction when I'm supporting my athletes and it reaffirms all the time and hard work that has been done to help them be at their best," said Byckalo. "It's hard to believe, but I started coaching at the club level 10 years ago, and it has been neat to see in the last couple years that players I have coached in these last 10 years are starting to come back to the game to give back as coaches themselves."
The Coaching Award is presented annually to the exemplary coaches of Ontario for the integral role that they play with their team(s), sports and community.
"I think that's the real reward for me, knowing that players I coached found enough joy in the game to want to share that love and give back. More than anything, I just hope that I can be a good, strong, female role model to all those players playing right now, in hopes that they will look to become coaches themselves in the future," she added. "I'm so thankful to my support system of coaches, friends, and family who have been by my side these last 10 years, there are many sacrifices that come with coaching, and my success is the reflection of the great supports I have had around me."
In addition to her work with Volleyball MVC, Byckalo is also the Assistant Coach for the McMaster University Women's Volleyball team and has been a coach for Team Ontario programs in previous years.
"To round out National Coaches Week, I just wanted to say thank you to all the coaches who coached me and inspired me to coach, and thank you to all the coaches who have coached alongside me on the way, as your advice, wisdom, and support have brought me here today."
Nominations for next years Coaching Excellence Awards open in early 2023.