Kelowna Minor Hockey coach wins top coaching award

A Kelowna Minor Hockey coach was named the B.C. Hockey Coach of the Year last weekend at the B.C. Hockey Annual General Meeting in Whistler.

Eric Blais, who coached the Kelowna midget Tier 1 team last season, was awarded the  Ernie Gare Award as the 2011/12 BC Hockey Coach of the Year.

BC Hockey District Director Lochie Bell presented the award to Blais in front of close to 600 delegates.

"Eric epitomizes what Ernie Gare was all about in his commitment to youth and his dedication to helping nuture our greatest resource" Bell said.

In a press release, the Kelowna Minor Hockey Association said Blais has been sharing his passion for hockey with kids for a long time.

"It is with great pride that we congratulate Eric on this amazing accomplishment and well deserved honor," KMHA stated. "We at KMHA recognize the asset we hold in Eric Blais and wish him much more success in the future as he continues to share his passion for hockey with the children of Kelowna Minor Hockey Association."

The Kelowna Minor Hockey Association itself was presented with a prestigious award in the form of the B.C. Hockey President's Award.

The award capped off the evening and is presented to a minor hockey association that shows growth on the ice but more importantly celebrates the humanitarian efforts of a member, team or organization that goes above and beyond to support it's community.

KMHA was acknowledged for providing our local community food bank with the largest donation of food from a single organization in the history of the food bank, providing support for the local Salvation Army during the Red Kettle campaign and for the distribution of food hampers, for its Game Day program.

Among the humanitarian efforst of KMHA was the adoption of a needy family at Christmas and a donation of equipment that went to Ecuador to enable players in that country to enjoy a game of road hockey.

"We have set a standard in our Association that other's across the province marvel at and it was very clear as this award was presented that our efforts certainly did not go unnoticed," KMHA stated

Kelowna Minor Hockey President Leonie Popoff accepted this award from BC Hockey President Shannon Bell.


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