Contributed                                Wes Hammer of Maple Ridge has been named a coach of the year.

Contributed Wes Hammer of Maple Ridge has been named a coach of the year.

Maple Ridge man wins provincial coaching award

Former national team competitor Wes Hammer honoured

Behind every great athlete in B.C. is a coach deserving of praise, and a Maple Ridge man is getting those kudos.

Canoe and kayak coach Wes Hammer has been chosen as the B.C. Regional/Provincial Coach of the Year by the Coaches Association of B.C.

With eight years of experience as an athlete on the canoe/kayak national team, Hammer brought his expertise to B.C. as a coach, and changed the landscape for canoe/kayak clubs in the west. After his arrival at the Burnaby Canoe Kayak Club, the club captured the Pacific Cup three times in the past four years.

Hammer’s continued dedication to the club has also led three athletes from his senior training group to the canoe/kayak provincial team. One of his senior performance athletes was the youngest member of Team B.C. to attend the 2015 Western Canada Games.

In addition to being a coach, Hammer also strives to be a life mentor who actively inspires and encourages his athletes to become leaders themselves.

For nearly 20 years, the Coach of the Year Awards have recognized individuals for their contributions to sport, community and the lives of those they impact. Founded by the Coaches Association of B.C. and funded by the Bob Bearpark Foundation, the Coach of the Year Awards were created to recognize the history and dedication to coaching. Each year, B.C.’s best coaches are nominated for their contributions across three categories: Recreational/Grassroots, Regional/Provincial and International.

Bruce Kamstra of Prince George won the Recreational/Grassroots Coach of the Year award, and Peter Lawless of Victoria won as the International Coach of the Year.

“When sport experiences are positive and inclusive, sport can have a lasting impact,” said viaSport CEO, Sheila Bouman.

“Coaches have always been a contributor to sport. They have this innate ability to shape lessons that allow people to thrive, both in sport and in life. It’s our pleasure to highlight these passionate leaders and the legacies they’re leaving to further the impact of sport and physical activity.”