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Scott Searle Receives Inaugural OIWFA Outstanding Contribution Award
The OIWFA is pleased to announce its very first recipient of the Outstanding Contribution Award. This award has been designed as a prestigious honour, recognizing an individual’s outstanding, long-term contributions to the OIWFA and who has advocated for and promoted the OIWFA and sport of women’s softball over an extended number of years.
This year’s recipient is from the University of Ottawa Gee Gees, former Head Coach, Scott Searle.
“There is no one more deserving to receive the very first Outstanding Contribution Award than Scott Searle” said OIWFA President Matt Allen. “Scott has not only been the face of the Ottawa Gee Gees but is renowned with University Softball in this Province” Allen added.
Scott has been coaching the University of Ottawa’s softball team since its inception over 13 years ago. He played a major role in the development of the team as well as promoting the OIWFA throughout the city of Ottawa. Scott has consistently fought for UOttawa’s recognition at the University as well as dedicated his time to ensuring the growth of the OIWFA since its very beginning. Without the tireless effort of coaches like Scott, who keep softball programs alive at the University level, the OIWFA would not exist.
“The OIWFA has always been very special to me. As someone who values high level sport, Ontario Education, and loves softball, the OIWFA has been one of my passions since its inception. It is extremely humbling to be given this honour, and I would like to thank all of the athletes and coaches I have had the privilege to work with. Coaching my favourite sport at my alma matter, has been a vocation and a real honour. I am most proud of the work the OIWFA has done in creating awareness and leading social change. I truly love softball and have always been extremely proud to be associated with the OIWFA and the uOttawa team and look forward to continuing to share my love of the sport” said Searle.
For over twelve years, Scott has managed to bring out the best in his athletes, no matter their skill level, in order to always field a competitive team. Through Scott’s efforts, Ottawa’s program has experienced much success, but what stands out the most is Scott’s dedication to the community. Although Scott works full time as a teacher, coaches a variety of teams throughout Ontario, acts as a learning facilitator and evaluator for Softball Ontario and is an instructor for various OASA clinics, he still manages to find the time to meet with and recruit prospective athletes, organize Bridge to the Future softball clinics throughout the community and meet with athletes who need help honing their softball skills. It’s clear that Scott helps the athletes he coaches and young people throughout the community foster a love for the sport of softball.
Scott is completely dedicated to the sport of softball, and in particular, the development of women’s softball at the university level. Scott’s passion for softball and his dedication to his athletes are what make Scott such as excellent ambassador for the sport. His willingness and capacity to help others is unsurpassed. Scott treats everyone with respect and is one of those people that everyone wants to be around. Scott is involved in all aspects of the game of softball. He has coached both male and female softball players U12 to senior men to masters. On the administration side he chairs committees for Softball Ontario and promotes and teaches the National Coaching Certification Program. As a leader he has the ability to develop consensus among a wide range of people. His enthusiasm and support of both players and coaches is infectious. He is a valuable asset to the game of softball in Ontario and within the OIWFA.
Scott will be presented with the inaugural Outstanding Contribution Award at the OIWFA banquet held on Saturday October 17th at the Days Inn Hotel on Benson Street in Kingston. Tickets are available by contacting Matt Allen at matt_allen44(at)hotmail(dot)com.
OIWFA Launches 2015 Awareness Days
The OIWFA is pleased to release its second annual Awareness Day Campaign as part of the 2015 season. This year, the OIWFA will once again partner with the You Can Play Project against homophobia in sport to be played on Saturday September 26th and Pink Day in the Park on Saturday October 10th. New this year, the OIWFA will partner with and host an awareness day for the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative (SAMHI) on Sunday October 4th.
Over 200 student-athletes will not only show their support for each of these initiatives but they will also be exposed to research, articles, and education on the topics as well. The OIWFA is dedicated to providing safe and healthy competitive experiences for its student-athletes. The goal of these campaigns is to educate and bring awareness to issues that are often ignored but prevalent for student-athletes competing at the intercollegiate level. By making these events a league-wide initiative, the OIWFA is committed to ensuring that these are topics about which student-athletes are comfortable discussing with their teammates and that they can also support their teammates who may identify into one of these areas.
The OIWFA awareness campaign has shown great success for the league in its first year. Canadian Universities, Provincial and National Sport Organizations, softball organizations at large, and more have all approached the OIWFA after its inaugural awareness campaign in 2014. This summer, the OIWFA was an invited guest at the Hockey Hall of Fame for its work with the You Can Play Project.
The public is invited to join us on social media on Twitter @OIWFA and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/oiwfa as well as our website at www.oiwfa.org where educational resources on each of the three campaigns will be made available.
For more information, please contact the OIWFA President at matt_allen44(at)hotmail(dot)com or by phone at 519-580-4120.