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Driving force

['Editorial']
['Editorial']

Holly Brochu, a former student of Rosemary Ryan, perhaps said it best last week when she couldn’t think of anyone better than Ryan for the inaugural School Sports Newfoundland and Labrador (SSNL) Participation Nation Ambassador Award.

Ryan, a physical education teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas School in Port au Port East, was named winner of the award and received it at the SSNL Awards Banquet in St. John’s on Friday.

Her dedication to the Participation Nation program would certainly be hard to surpass, as she’s been implementing it at her school since its inception 13 years ago, along with the same type of dedication to intramural and after-school events long before that – in fact, throughout her entire 33-year career.

The thing she likes most about Participation Nation is that it gets any student in the school, no matter what the skill level, involved in not only one sport, but various sports. That’s because its participation-based rather than competition-based.

Brochu is a shining example of what the program has done as she started in Ryan’s Participation Nation program in Grade 5, then continued being coached by her up through high school when she got involved competitively in track and volleyball.

There are thousands of others students throughout the years that Ryan has helped and coached in her various programs and, while participation is the key for students in the younger years, competitive sports are her forte.

As long as someone is willing to learn and put their commitment into it, she is willing to help and back that person.

Her dedication is not limited to the students in the school where she teaches in Port au Port East, or to the community of Kippens in which she lives and volunteers her time in so many sports and recreational activities, but also to the whole Bay St. George area when she hosts meets for various schools.

Katara White, one of the students she has coached through the years, said she has even seen Ryan offering help to students from as far away as St. John’s if she spots them doing something they can improve on.

In Kippens, she takes on summer recreational programs with great zest and is there year after year heading up the Winter Carnival and Canada Day activities in the town.

If that’s not enough, a number of years ago she took on the Bay St. George Special Olympics Group and has been running a program for them, which has included hosting events in Stephenville, since their onset.

Rosie will tell you she’s all about children and hopefully helping them to succeed in life through sport and recreation. It would be tough to find someone with her dedication and drive towards that end.

While she’s retiring from her job this year, she plans to continue helping out young people in her sport and recreation endeavours. It’s the youth and the community that will be the beneficiaries of her drive and determination.

 

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