Ryan, a physical education teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas School in Port au Port East, has been named winner of the award, which she’ll receive the award at the SSNL Awards Banquet in St. John’s tomorrow. John St. Croix from Stephenville High was named the SSNL Male Athlete of the Year.
Brochu is one of the many students that have been in Ryan’s Participation Nation program and started in Grade 5, then continued being coached by her all up through high school.
Track and volleyball were the two sports that Ryan concentrated on with her.
She considers commitment perhaps “Rosie’s” top quality, which is reflected in her dedication to kids and her students.
“She pushes you to do your best if she sees it (drive to succeed) in you, has such a big heart with a love and passion for what she does,” Brochu said.
Katara White, another student coached in track and field since she was in Grade 3, said Ryan is reliable and has no qualms about giving you feedback if she sees you’re doing something wrong.
She said she will help any young person, no matter where he/she is from.
According to an article on the SSNL Facebook site, the Participation Nation Ambassador Award can be awarded annually and it recognizes outstanding achievement by teachers and their contribution to student participation in the Participation Nation recreational sport and physical activity program.
Ryan said she’s certainly not about awards, but that it has humbling to be announced for this inaugural one.
“I’m about children. Standing on a track with 150 kids is my motivation,” she said.
She said she always peddling and trying to get money to get participating students to the next meet.
Ryan said Participation Nation is reinforcement that every child is a winner and instilling confidence in students are proud moments, especially watching the smiles.
“At a time when fitness if of outmost importance to children, Participation Nation is a great grassroots program to large numbers of participants as it’s aimed more at fun instead of competition,” she said.
Ryan has been involved in the program, which is 13 years old, since the beginning. She has been teaching for 33 years and has been involved in sports and recreation programs for all of them. She has been at St. Thomas Aquinas for the past 22 years and will be retiring this month.
Her plans are to continue coaching and she is looking forward at having more time to volunteer and continue making a difference for young people.
In nominating Ryan for the award, Kevin Green, principal at St. Thomas Aquinas School, said she is active in all school sports in the Participation Nation program and monthly organizes and engages student participation in a different in-house sport during lunch time intramurals and her after-school programs.
He said Ryan has always ensured students of St. Thomas Aquinas had an opportunity to participate in every Participation Nation event organized in the area.
Rosemary Ryan’s sports involvements:
- Cross-country running
- Indoor Soccer
- Ball Hockey
- Festival of Sport Extravaganzas and Jamborees that included students from all the Bay St. George area schools.
Source: Kevin Green