PEISAA recognizes outstanding contributions

Journal Pioneer staff
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Bolo, Durant, Walker presented with major awards

CHARLOTTETOWN – The P.E.I. School Athletic Association recognized outstanding contributions to the provincial organization recently.

Five major awards were handed out for the 2013-14 season, and the winners were:

Retired Westisle Composite High School athletic director Peter Bolo, official of the year; Stonepark Intermediate School athletic director Kellie Steele, administrator of the year; Andy Walker of Summerside, coach of the year; Evangeline School physical education teacher Velma Durant, PEISAA Merit Award, and retired Charlottetown Rural athletic director Barb Carmichael, Charlie Ballem Builders Award.

Vicki Weldon, Audrey Gee Arsenault, Tim Murphy and Seanna Evans-Renauld were the recipients of PEISAA service awards.


Coach of the year

(Andy Walker)

Walker has worked with the Summerside Intermediate School basketball program for the past five years.

“His dedication, philosophy on basketball, positive personality and desire to improve all players has made him a perfect fit for our A girls’s basketball program,” read Walker’s introduction.

One of Walker’s players commented: “On our team we only had four returning players. . . and six that had never played a game. We can only imagine the obstacles he had to work around to help us all understand.

“During practices, he explained each drill thoroughly to make sure we understood. He would even demonstrate more than once if that’s what it took.

“There was always someone who had a question after he explained the drill a few times, but he was patient with us. He told us, ‘There is no such thing as a stupid question.’

“This helped us a lot, especially when players are trying to learn the game of basketball and people may be scared to ask questions.”

This award emphasizes the “humanitarian aspect” and not necessarily focus solely on “competitive success.”


Merit award

(Velma Durant)

This award is presented to one active member of the PEISAA per year to recognize a career of outstanding contribution to P.E.I. school athletics.

“Our recipient is always looking for interesting projects to encourage and promote physical activity, some of which include mini-Olympic Games, swimming lessons, triathlon, snowshoeing, Active Living fundraisers, etc., etc.,” read Durant’s bio. “She is not afraid to explore every possible resource available when it comes to her students, and a project or a cause that she believes in.

“According to her closest colleagues, she not only deserves the PEISAA Merit Award, she has earned it.”

Durant is described as a teacher very involved in extracurricular activities and is appreciated by her students.

“She is extremely organized with a clear mission statement,” said Durant’s introduction. “Her classes are very well prepared and well taught as she takes into consideration the physical and emotional needs of every student.

“This is a teacher who will do everything possible to integrate students with special needs in her classes, school activities and school sports.”

Durant was also praised for developing programs that not only meet the needs of the students, but also connect with the community.


Official of the year

(Peter Bolo)

The officials’s award is presented annually to an active member of the P.E.I. Officials Association to recognize significant contributions to officiating PEISAA-sanctioned events.

Bolo has been a dedicated basketball official in West Prince for many years, serving as the assigner for that area for the past 14 years. He was also praised for being instrumental in introducing new officials to the game.

“As an athletic director and head coach, Peter has always been known for his great work ethic, his professionalism and for being a positive influence on his students and athletes” read his citation. “He has been able to transfer these tremendous attributes to his role as an official.

“Peter works hard, tries to teach as the game is being played and interacts with the minor officials, the coaches and players in a very professional manner.”

Bolo’s citation also says, “Peter is the type of official that brings the best out of everyone involved in the game.”


Administrator of the year

(Kellie Steele)

The administrator’s award recognizes outstanding contribution to school sport within the PEISAA mandate.

“She has been complimented many times for her ability to provide support to the many coaches that have volunteered to work with her students,” read Steele’s introduction. “With the large number of teams representing Stonepark, this is a major undertaking in itself. Add to that the coaching of a championship field hockey team, and you have a busy lady.”

Steele’s contributions extend far beyond Stonepark’s doors. As Zone 3 athletic director, she is required to organize and facilitate all 11 of the zone championships that serve as qualifiers for PEISAA provincial championships.

Steele must attend PEISAA executive monthly meetings, and serve as a liaison with the athletic directors of the schools in the zone. On top of this, Steele is the midget east basketball commissioner.


Builders award

The Charlie Ballem award is presented to a former member of the PEISAA to recognize an outstanding contribution towards the promotion and development of school athletics on Prince Edward Island.

Carmichael is described as a player, coach, official, administrator, mentor, manager, advocate and fan in her chosen sport of field hockey.

“This former member of the PEISAA and current sport commissioner introduced players to her sport through her teaching and coaching at the high school level, and here she passed on her passion for the game that she loves so much,” noted the award release.

There are a number of dedicated and passionate people involved in field hockey on P.E.I., but one constant is Carmichael has influenced them all.

“She is field hockey in P.E.I.,” continued the release. “One of the highest compliments a coach can receive is to watch former players give back to the sport you introduced them to.

“Recently, at the Sport P.E.I. banquet, Barb, upon receiving another award, talked about the influence Charlie Ballem had on her as a coach. I am sure he would be proud and honoured that one of his former athletes and students is following in his footsteps and is being recognized (with an award) in his name.”



Organizations: Retired Westisle Composite High School, Stonepark Intermediate School, Evangeline School Charlie Ballem Builders Summerside Intermediate School P.E.I. school P.E.I. Officials Association

Geographic location: West Prince

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