DISTRICT 8 NEWS: Coach appreciation event returning to District 8


WATERLOO REGION (March 21, 2023) – District 8 Athletic Association announced Tuesday that after a ten year absence, its annual coach appreciation event will return in the Spring of 2023. 

The purpose of the event is to honour and thank current and past teacher-coaches and community volunteer coaches who dedicate their time working in high school athletics at the eight member schools of District 8. 

“The folks who coach in District 8 are volunteering their time to help change students’ lives,” said Ray Boehm, President of the District 8 executive committee and coach at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate. “These coaches are challenging students and athletes in different ways than what is possibly done in the classroom, and helping to develop high character people.”

Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, students have been showing up on fields, courts and ice rinks in increased numbers to participate in school sport, and teacher-coaches and community volunteer coaches within schools have been there to provide all possible opportunities to participate. 

“Especially now, coaching has gone beyond just physical skill development and the x’s and o’s,” Boehm went on to say. “We as coaches also try to help students manage stress and anxiety, and make choices that will lead them in a positive direction.”

Resurrection wrestling coach Steve Gross at District 8 Championships, 2023

The coaches appreciation event, once run annually, ended more than ten years ago after its funding model became unsustainable. The updated version of the event will be delivered in partnership with District 8 and the Catholic Community Foundation of Waterloo Region. 

“The Catholic Community Foundation is proud to support the re-establishment of the District 8 Coaches Appreciation Event,” said Frank Wittmann, who serves as one of the foundation’s directors. “The Foundation is about ‘Supporting Possibilities and Making a Difference’ and we recognize the difference that coaches make in the lives of their athletes.”

Together, the Catholic Community Foundation of Waterloo Region and District 8, with support from its member schools, will be seeking community sponsors who share the same appreciation for the opportunities that school sport can offer to students. 

The event is scheduled to take place on Monday June 19, 2023. Any individuals or businesses interested in supporting the event can reach out directly to Frank Wittmann through the Catholic Community Foundation of Waterloo Region or Derrick Stryker through the District 8 Athletic Association. 

Frank Wittmann – Frank.Wittmann@wcdsb.ca
Derrick Stryker – Derrick.Stryker@wcdsb.ca