grey adidas Kamloops coaches nominated for national award
Shantz is one of four Kamloops coaches in the running for Campbell’s Chunky MVC (Most Valuable Coach) Award, a national contest that carries a $25,000 prize for the winner’s sports organization.
“The nomination is nice,” Shantz said Tuesday.
“It means I’ve made some progress in my life as a coach.”
Shantz was nominated by former player Leah Stott, now his assistant coach of the Blaze team. She wrote a glowing nomination essay praising Shantz. “His dedication to these athletes is beyond that of any coach I have ever encountered,” said Stott. As of Tuesday, he was one of four nominees from Kamloops baseball coach Sean Wandler, target sports coach Pat Landals and speed skating coach Sandi Vyse.
“You know, you do your thing all the time, and you don’t really expect (any recognition),” said Vyse,
who was thrilled to learn she was nominated.
“But it’s nice when people do acknowledge what you’re doing. It just makes you feel good.”
The speed skating coach was nominated by Wendy Neville, who submitted an essay on behalf of Kamloops Long Blades Speed Skating Club. In it, Neville tells of how Vyse formed the club in 1992, how she cares deeply about each skater, and how she has fostered a joyful, encouraging atmosphere within the club. “She is more than a coach,” writes Neville. “Sandi is our inspiration.”
Vyse is no stranger to awards, having won provincial and national recognition in the past. But this award if she’s named the winner would be especially important to her club, said Vyse. It would bring some much needed money to a sports organization struggling, as many are, to fundraise for equipment and other expenses.
“It would just be wonderful for the club,
” she said. “It would help us keep on going.”
The contest’s nominees each have a page devoted to them on the national website, which contains a photo of them, their nomination essay and a section where fans can post comments endorsing them for the top prize and title of Chunky MVC. As of Tuesday afternoon, Vyse was leading her fellow Kamloops nominees with the most endorsements.
But that doesn’t mean her contenders are any less deserving of the win.
Riverdogs baseball coach Sean Wandler’s nomination essay, submitted by Bob Chalmers, speaks of how he “took a non existent AAA baseball program in Kamloops to previously unheard of levels,” leading the team to a provincial title in 2007.
“He has attended almost all of his players’ high school graduation ceremonies and he takes a keen interest in each of his players in an effort to teach not only baseball skills, but life skills,” said Chalmers. “Every player who comes through this program is a better person for the experience.”
Pat Landals is equally praised for his coaching efforts with the Kamloops Target Sports Association.
For more than 15 years, Landals has been a vital part of the club, mentoring athletes in events such as biathlon. Sharlene Klein nominated Landals and says he puts in many nights a week as a volunteer,
attending all club events and most competitions all at his own expense.