As an Athletics Club, our first thought was that we should be nominating Track Rascal Assistant Coach Colin Donahoe for an Athletics and Sportsmanship Award. However, in reviewing his commitments, it became apparent that Community Service was the appropriate category.
Colin Donahoe approached the Royal City Track and Field Club coaches in 2011 with an interest in giving back to the club that had invested in him over the previous 5 years. He had observed RCTF Track Rascals – an introductory, fun-based movement skills program for 6 – 8 year olds – while he was training and wondered if he could offer any assistance given his considerable technical skills in all track and field events. On the coaches’ suggestion, Colin investigated the Athletics Canada/BC Athletics Run, Jump, Throw National Coaching Certification courses. He then arranged to take a course at his expense and on his own time so that he could become a sanctioned coach with the Track Rascals program.
Colin has now been a Rascals coach for four of the last five years and has become a fixture with the program. His ability to use his track and field skills to help children learn basic movement and athletic skills in a safe and fun environment is well recognized by other club coaches as well as our young athletes and their parents. He has a unique ability to help shy or uncertain participants “fit in”. Numerous parents have commented on how well he adapts “on the fly” to ensure the activities fit the needs of the children. During the year he was away from the program while on Rotary Youth Exchange in Brazil, our repeat participants commented that they missed him!
Colin has also volunteered for other activities within the club, from assisting on technical days to helping out during the club run SD40 Elementary Cross Country Run. It was only through research that I was able to confirm the dates he has been active within the club, it just seems he is always there helping, and always has been.
In addition to his commitment to the club, Colin still finds time to pursue downhill skiing and running as a recreational activity (he ran a 1/2 marathon last year and is planning on running 2 more this year) and is very involved in many other activities, all while balancing school, and maintaining marks we would all be proud of. Some of those activities include:
- Leader at Rotary Youth Awards Camp, 2015, participant in 2014
- Interact Club (the high school version of Rotary) – currently he’s on the executive as treasurer
- Mentors Canadian Rotary exchange students during their year abroad
- New West Youth Advisory Committee 2014/15 (co-chair)
- Model United Nations club at NWSS
Through this time he somehow also found time to maintain a part-time job, working at Queen’s Park Meat Market August 2012 – March 2015 until he felt he needed time off to focus on his marks in his final year at NWSS to ensure he is prepared for his post-secondary studies and goals.
We are very proud of Colin’s commitment and achievements, and know the community benefits greatly from his efforts, and will likely continue to do so for many years to come.