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Christian school athletic coach wins highest honour

Written on September 19th, 2008

Jerry Roukema selected to receive Pete Beach Award

Jerry Roukema, teacher-coach at London District Christian Secondary School (LDCSS) has won the Pete Beach Award, the highest honour an Ontario coach can receive.

Roukema was selected by his peers in the Western Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association (WOSSAA) to receive the award for the 2007-2008 school year.

[caption id=”attachment_3138” align=”alignright” width=”175”]Jerry175 Jerry Roukema wins Pete Beach Award[/caption]

The award recipient is to be an educator who consistently provides an impression of stability and optimism, enjoys the company and respect of young people and best typifies the true function of teacher-coach — a source of discipline, a mentor and a friend.

Henry Kooy, principal of LDCSS, says the recognition is significant for LDCSS, which is a member of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS).

“(The award) recognizes Jerry and our coaches are a public witness to the teacher-coaches and student athletes whom we compete with in WOSSAA,” he says.

“When others recognize the presence of God in our teacher-coaches and/or our student athletes, then we are living out our school’s purpose statement, (which is) to integrate Christian faith, learning and living for a life of service.”

Roukema also says this award is about people seeing “the face of Jesus” in how he lives and the things he does.

“I think that’s what Christian coaches can do,” he adds. “If they just walk and talk like children of God they have influence, they make an impression.”

Roukema, who has been a teacher-coach at LDCSS for 33 years, says he took advantage of the opportunities God put in front of him and he believes that work was blessed.

He adds he wouldn’t be where he is today without those around him.

“You don’t win these things by yourself. You win them because you work with a whole bunch of good people who contribute to your career and your wisdom and to the whole enterprise of running a high school sports program, and so you share this award with people,” says Roukema.

Each of 19 associations of the Ontario Federation of Secondary School Athletic Associations (OFSSAA) selects a Pete Beach Award recipient annually.

Roukema was presented the award by Wes McConnell, the secondary school athletics co-ordinator for the Thames Valley Region Athletic Association (TVRAA) at the TVRAA directors meeting on Sept. 12.