2016 Outstanding Contribution Award Recipient
The OIWFA is pleased to announce it’s second ever 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 the sport of women’s softball over an extended number of years. This year’s recipient is from the University of Guelph Gryphons, and past OIWFA Executive member, Steve Bottoms.
“Steve was instrumental in the early years of the OIWFA and was a key contributor to building the league’s governance and current structure” said OIWFA President Matt Allen. “Not only has Steve been impactful at an Executive level, but has had great success on the field with the Guelph Gryphons, capturing the OIWFA Championship in 2004” Allen added.
Steve Bottoms was one of the founding members of the league who sat at the very first meeting of the OIWFA when the association started with only four teams in 2001. Steve had committed the University of Guelph as the fifth team that year, however could not promise they would field a team in the first season. In typical Steve Bottoms’ fashion, the University of Guelph had a full competition schedule that fall.
“It is an honour to be given this award and I am pleased to have been able to contribute in some way to the success of the OIWFA” said Bottoms.
Steve first joined the OIWFA Executive as an interim Assistant Convenor in March 2003. Steve was the backbone behind the OIWFA’s structure, governance and sustainability in its infancy. He, along with Doug Parry, developed the structure of the OIWFA constitution and began writing initial policies and by-laws. Steve was also creator of the original OIWFA website, and administrator of that site, and also the liaison behind the OIWFA achieving its status as an Incorporated Not For Profit. Steve has always been a vocal individual at the OIWFA AGM, pushing the membership to bigger, and better ideas which ultimately led the OIWFA to improved governance, tightly policy structure, and improved finances as an association.
Steve and his coaching staff had great success on the diamond as well. The University of Guelph in the early years were a force to be reckoned with, capturing medals in two of the first three years of the league, including a gold medal in 2004, the only top place finish in program history.
Steve retired from the University of Guelph coaching staff in July 2009, remaining on the Executive until 2011, as well as continuing to design and operate the website until 2019. Without the contributions of Steve over the years, the OIWFA would not have had the strength in governance and structure it has today.