As part of Thank a Volunteer Week, the recipients of two awards have been announced in recognition of their years of volunteerism in minor hockey: 2023 OMHA Patricia Hartley Administrators Award winner Jamie Hunsburger (Kincardine) and 2023 OMHA Excellence in Development Award winner Derek Fitzmorris (Kent).
Jamie has been involved with minor hockey over 20 years as a parent and team staff member as well has filling a variety of hockey executive and volunteer roles in the community, always ensuring that despite any obstacles which may present themselves. He works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure an understanding of the rules and options available to allow children to enjoy the sport of hockey.
He has been a constant advocate of improvements and additions to our local facilities made many a presentation on behalf of minor hockey to the local municipality asking for funding and making recommendations for changes to improve the experience for all.
Jamie represents the part of hockey that few people realize is such an essential part of the sport. It’s not flashy or glamourous but without all the hard work Jamie does we would be lost before each hockey season even begins. He oversees rosters, permits, rules of operations and presides over our minor hockey ‘flock’ to ensure we do everything by the book and have all the tools available to us to run a successful organization.
His motto has always been “hockey only runs when many hands do the work”. Jamie and his family truly represent what a full commitment to minor hockey is all about. Without the skill, knowledge and patience of someone like Jamie a large number of players within the community of Kincardine would never have been able to reach their full potential and enjoy the sport that we all love.
Derek has been involved in our organization for over a decade. He has been actively involved as a coach and assistant coach for his entire length of time with Kent Minor Hockey. He started coaching the U7 program and has been on the bench staff all the way to U18 teams.
For the last several years, Derek has also been involved as a member of our Executive Board, taking a lead role in the U9 and Below programming. He singlehandedly made sure our organization has taken the proper steps to implement half-ice programs and structed practices tart are age appropriate for these groups. Derek made sure theses kids are having fun as well as developing their skills.
Derek was instrumental in Kent’s involvement in the First Shift program, and has helped our Association continue with the Breakaway Program, which he organizes and develops. Breakaway offers 12 weeks of ice time for children six to ten years old that have never been involved in hockey but wish to try it.
He has also taken a very active role in developing an Emergency Action Plan for our facilities, and created a Coaching Checklist for our coaches.
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