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Get to Know January's Volunteers of the Month

By Nothers The Award Store, 01/24/24, 12:00PM EST


Rookie and Veteran recipients each month

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association and Nothers have teamed up for the Volunteer of the Month program – a ‘rookie’ and a ‘veteran’ volunteer will be recognized each month through a profile highlighting their involvement in the game of hockey.

We were thrilled to see so many deserving nominations at the start of the season and have highlighted two winners below for January!

The Rookie (2> years) winner for January is Brenden Goran of Twin Centre Minor Hockey! Here's his story as told by his nomination:

This will be Brenden Goran's 3rd year as Head Coach of the U18 Rep C team in Twin Centre, known as the Twin Centre Jr Jacks. Brendan started in 2021-2022 as a first year Head Coach in Twin Centre, coming to Twin Centre to give his time and effort back to the local hockey scene. Brenden did not play his minor hockey in Twin Centre as he played at the AAA level in Waterloo before moving to the Jr C level as a member of the local Wellesley Apple Jacks Jr C team. This is a great news story to have someone who is a young member of the local community want to come out and devote his time to coaching minor hockey players. His drive for success, growth, commitment and instilling a focus of hard work with the players he has coached, goes along way to show minor hockey players how you can stay involved in the great game of hockey. Not only has Brenden developed the players he has worked with in this albeit short time period, he has made it a priority of his to develop a good rapport with each and every player and make sure those players understand his philosophy of teamwork. Players who have seen first hand his passion for the game and coaching style have been drawn to want to continue to play for the U18 Rep team in their last few years of minor hockey and others who have witnessed it from afar or have friends who have played for Brenden have been eager to join and be a part of his team. That goes along way in building a framework and developing a program while maintaining excitement for those younger players in our local minor hockey association to strive for when they reach the U18 age group. Brenden is a hardworking and devoted volunteer coach in Twin Centre and I would like to recognize his commitment.

Why did you decide to give back to minor hockey after your playing days?
I grew up playing hockey, started playing when I was four. The game has been a huge part of my life ever since. I played junior hockey for the Wellesley Applejacks and have built many relationships in my time there. After being an executive on the board with the Applejacks, I’ve had the opportunity to coach the U18 Twin Centre Rep team (Jr. Jacks) for 3 years now. I’ve had the luxury to be around numerous great hockey minds, and have a great coaching staff along side of me.  

What are some of the personal rewards of volunteering?
Getting the opportunity to Coach has allowed me to spend my free time at the rink and since that’s how it’s always been. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s so rewarding getting to know each of my players and help them develop both as humans and hockey players. I’m grateful for my opportunity to be a leader and strive to use our beautiful game to guide the next generation. 

Medallion Member Benefits Program

The OMHA has partnered with Nothers The Award Store to help our members save costs on their Tournament and Year-End Awards needs.

The Veteran (2+ years) winner for January is Jason Symonds of Orangeville Minor Hockey! Here's his story as told by his nomination:

Jason Symonds truly deserves to be recognized for his exceptional dedication and contributions to the hockey community. Currently serving as the convener for both the U15 and U13 divisions, Jason goes above and beyond by actively coaching in both age groups. His commitment extends to the broader community as he skillfully manages the Local League and House League sponsors, ensuring crucial support for these programs. What sets Jason apart is his tireless effort to enhance the experience for every young player. Not only does he handle the logistics of sponsorships, but he also takes charge of arranging jerseys for players ranging from U9 to U21, adding a personal touch to each child's hockey journey. Jason's sacrifice of time is nothing short of commendable. From attending games to participating in tournaments, he consistently invests in the development of every child under his guidance. His holistic approach to coaching goes beyond the ice, fostering an environment where young athletes not only learn the game but also grow as individuals. In recognizing Jason Symonds, we celebrate a selfless individual whose passion for hockey and commitment to the community truly embody the spirit of volunteerism. His unwavering dedication leaves an indelible mark on the hockey landscape in Ontario, making him a deserving recipient of this prestigious acknowledgment.

How many years have you been volunteering in hockey and in what roles?
I have been with Orangeville Minor hockey for 5 years. I have coached all 5 of those years. The last 4 I have served on our board as a Director for various divisions and as fundraising coordinator.

What work goes into your current position?
As a director, it's just about making sure that coaches are set up for success. That could be finding them assistant coaches, making sure the Local League teams are as even as possible when it comes to talent. I would also make sure I attend as many games as possible to see what the talent in the division looks like. As far as coaching, I'm not too hung up on wins/losses. I just really want all the kids I coach to be better hockey players at the end of the season then when we started. And not just skill wise, hockey IQ and being a good teammate is of paramount importance. Sponsorships is really just about reaching out to the community and asking them for help. Discussions about where their money is going is also important, this year we really spent a lot on development and the kids are loving it!!

Why is securing sponsorships important in minor hockey?
Sponsorship is always important as it allows the kids to get more of the season than just 1 game and 1 practice. This year it allowed us to add in 1 hour per month of specialized development from an outside organization for each house league team. We also added a Friday night development night for the house league kids too. It gets our kids new uniforms every year and that's something that they love.


Please use the form below to nominate a Volunteer. Submissions will be kept on file and you do not need to resubmit each month.

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