KSA Awards of Excellence for 2011Updated Friday October 7, 2016 by Kitchener Sports Association.
PHOTO: (Back: L-R) (from the KW Blind Curling Team) Dan Prohaszka, Carrie Speers,Tim Prohaszka & Doug Boucher, and Individual KSA Award of Excellence recipient Larry Lynch. Seated (L-R): Moni Legonia who accepted the KSA Award of Ecellence in the Organiztion category on behalf of the Chicpoee Ski Club, Dr. Jim Stephens (KW Blind Curling Club) and the coach of the KW Blind Curling Club, Wendy Simpson. Photo taken at the Athlete of the Year Awards held May 25th, 2011 at the Woolwich Memorial Centre. (Missing from photo: Norm Green, one of the KW Blind Curling team members.)
Individual: Larry Lynch
Team: The K-W Blind Curlers Team
Organization: The Chicopee Ski Club
Born and raised in the St. Thomas area, Larry Lynch moved to Kitchener in 1977 expecting to stay for one year. Now, 34 years later, Larry is still residing in and contributing to our community.
A lifelong softball player, Larry played in the Memorial Fastball League since the age of 19, winning the championship in 1975. He moved to Port Stanley in 1976 where he patrolled the outfield for 10 years and made the league All-Star team twice. In 1986 he joined the CHYM’RS, commencing a career commitment of over 24 years as player, manager, mentor, advisor, volunteer, supporter and promoter.
His excellence on the field includes:
Excellence off the field: Larry as been instrumental in bringing three ISC World Tournaments to Kitchener and raising thousand of dollars for local service clubs and charities including Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. He has served on international tournament committees for women’s Olympic events; hosted the New Zealand Men’s National Team; and organized teams to compete in our community from Argentina, Denmark, Czech Republic and the United States. A great player, exceptional manager and consummate contributor to the sport of fastball in our community, province, country and beyond. Thanks Larry!
The K-W Blind Curlers Team
Sometime ago, four blind (or partially blind) individuals were participating in the sport of curling trying to become a team. Six years ago, they found a coach and, since then, their numbers have sky rocketed as well as their success on curling rinks across Ontario.
Membership now is ten and they participate in both blind and sighted bonspiels achieving success at both levels. They have won two Provincial Championships and represented Ontario at the Nationals for Blind curlers. In 2010 they defeated B.C. in the Nationals – the first team to ever do so – but, unfortunately, B.C. prevailed in the finals.
The team is now attracting attention from blind persons from both within outside the Region. Just recently the competitive members won the Ontario crown again thereby qualifying for the Nationals again. The highlight to another successful season was being asked to demonstrate their skills at the 2011 Brier Championships in London last month.
The Chicopee Ski Club
In 1934, a group of local volunteers founded the Chicopee Ski Club whick now makes it one of the oldest ski facilities in the country. Chicopee, which operates on 165 acres of land owned by the Grand River Conservation Authority, remains a non-profit organization, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, serving the local community and beyond. Over its 75+ years, Chicopee has provided an exemplary ski facility to the community and has introduced skiing to thousands who may not otherwise have had the opportunity.
Each year, over 20,000 school children, "Little Brothers", "Little Sisters" and other less-privileged children have the opportunity to enjoy skiing, through partnerships between Chicopee, area school boards and agencies. In 1972, Chicopee introduced a skiing program for people with disabilities, and now hosts the Track-3 Ski Association. Hundreds of people with disabilities were therby provided with the opportunity to experience the excitement of skiing.
Chicopee has also produced many competitive skiers ranked in the best in the world, including Kelly Vanderbeek, Todd Brooker and Ben Weiler. It has grown to a full-service year-round recreational facility, providing winter and summer season sports and activitie. The skiing facilities, walking trails and biking trails attract 285,000 visitors annually and employ over 300 people in full-time and part-time seasonal positions. Chicopee has become an integral part of the community built on the traditions of inclusiveness, family fun, and innovation.