Monday, April 8, 2019
Tri-Port MInor Hockey Association
When we first saw the advertisement for amazing volunteers, it was not even a question, as our female hockey program has been so fortunate to have a volunteer that truly exemplifies the qualities listed in the application.
Mike Bell has been coaching hockey for 34 years. He has literally given himself to the game, always striving to empower the minor hockey players in our community, leaving behind a legacy of families that when they’re asked about Coach Mike, they always reply, "He's an amazing coach.
This high regard cannot be earned simply from knowing the game and teaching it to others. For Mike, this high regard has been earned by the way he treats others, his players, parents and other coaching staff. With his innate sense of kindness, Mike embodies all the qualities of a great coach, making players believe in themselves and bringing out the very best in his teams.
As you can see from his hockey resume below, he has clearly made a significant contribution and enhanced hockey programs within our Association. However, what we'd like to describe to you is why we feel Mike has truly gone beyond expectations.
In November last season, our female Midget team was left without a head coach. It was a critical time for our female hockey program in that we were trying to build credibility in our Association and demonstrate to families the merits of female hockey. So being left without a qualified head coach for our Midget team was devastating and could have potentially collapsed the entire program, resulting in fewer girls playing hockey.
Mike heard of our predicament and offered to step into the role. Being highly regarded and coming from a background of competitive rep hockey, Mike simply becoming head coach increased confidence in female hockey. More impressive though, was the way in which Mike transformed the team, taking the time to understand each player, build their self-esteem and make them believe in themselves. This was all done altruistically in that Mike had no motive by way of a family connection to the team, it was just done to serve the hockey community and better the experience for all involved.
There is absolutely no doubt that Mike's efforts have had a significant, positive impact, which culminated in the team placing first in the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association's Midget Female C Division as part of the 2017-2018 season. Earning even greater respect, Mike accomplished this with a system that promoted equal and fair ice time for all players, ensuring that each child felt valued and part of the team.
Thankfully, Mike has returned to coach our Midget female team again this season, continuing to serve our hockey community in his selfless way. To recognize Mike's 34 years of volunteering, and the difference he has made for female hockey on the North Island, we would like to nominate him for a 2019 Fred Heslop Minor Hockey Award. Mike is a truly amazing volunteer and we ask that you please consider him for this honour.