Ken Thom Memorial Coaching Award Recipient Announcement

Ken Hall named as recipient of 2019 Ken Thom Coaching Award

ONPARA is proud to announce coach Ken Hall as the successful recipient of the inaugural Ken Thom Memorial Coaching Award.

Ken Hall got his start coaching with Cruisers Sports after Ken Thom encouraged him to give it a try. Today, he is a para-athletics (throws) and sledge hockey coach and the Cruisers Sports Director of Sledge Hockey. He works with para-athletics athletes at all levels, from grassroots to high performance, and has developed athletes that have gone on to compete at the Paralympic Games and other major international events. Ken brings with him a wealth of knowledge in the sport, which allows him to effectively work with athletes of various physical abilities.

Ken was nominated by his athlete Tiffany Gaudette, who describes him as bringing “a unique style of humour, athlete accountability, honesty, and respect to each practice, which results in making our team feel like a family.” Ken is able to use his sense of humour and positivity to ensure that athletes have a good practice, even when they might not be having such a good day. He keeps practices interesting and engaging and always full of laughter. Regardless of athletes’ personal goals, Ken makes sure that the main goal of sport is to stay active and have fun.

He also makes sure to teach his athletes about important values on and off the field, including fair play, respect for competitors and officials, independence, and self-advocacy. He works with his athletes to set goals and provides guidance and assistance in helping them reach those goals.

Ken is very active in his community and he encourages his athletes to give back and get involved in their own communities. He is an excellent role model and leads by example by working hard, showing dedication, and volunteering in his spare time.

ONPARA and the Thom family couldn’t think of a better coach to be the first recipient of the Ken Thom Award. Congratulations Ken and thank you for your many contributions to the adaptive sports community in Ontario!

About the Ken Thom Memorial Coaching Award

The Ken Thom Memorial Coaching Award was established by the Ontario Para Network in 2018 to honour the memory and contributions of former president and long-time wheelchair athletics coach, the late Ken Thom. The award is presented annually during National Coaches Week to an adaptive sports coach in Ontario who embodies the passion, knowledge, and skills that that made Ken such a cherished member of the ONPARA organization.

About the Ontario Para Network

Formerly known as the Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association, our mission at the Ontario Para Network (ONPARA) is to grow adaptive sport opportunities across Ontario. As the governing body for wheelchair sports in the province, we strive to offer opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in wheelchair athletics, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis at recreational, competitive and high performance levels.