Bentley resident recognized provincially for involvement in school sports – Sylvan Lake News


On November 25, the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association (ASAA) announced that Stephen Lush was the recipient of the 2021 Lorne Wood Award for his outstanding support of school athletic programs.

“I am very honored to be nominated and to receive such a prestigious award from ASAA. This award is a lesson in humility, but I couldn’t have won it without the support of our Bentley School staff and parents / community volunteers. Without their dedication to our students, what we offer in terms of sporting opportunities would not be possible, ”said Lush, Deputy Principal of the Bentley School.

The ASAA has gone from the typical awards ceremony to an online meeting. ASAA Executive Director John Paton personally presented the award to Lush during his regular coaching sessions on November 25. The winner was officially announced at the ASAA virtual meeting on December 2.

“Several nominations were made for the award and when the association’s executive committee reviewed the nominations, all of whom were worthy recipients, one thing that stood out with Lush was both the breadth and duration of the award. its involvement in the action for student-athletes. The award itself is intended for a school administrator who demonstrates exceptional support for the school’s athletic programs.

“There is so much that he does in his own school, but there is also so much that he does outside of his school in the world of school athletics, which ultimately benefits the students. students from his own school. Lush had taken student-athlete leaders to a conference on student-athlete leadership in Minneapolis. He’s always been the kind of person to step in and volunteer for all the kids, ”Paton said.

“Lush was the first commissioner when team handball was introduced as a whole new sport,” said Paton. “He was also the first president of the Alberta Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, an organization we created in 2008, and it is now a national organization called the Canadian Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. Lush worked closely with us as President of this organization as we developed it as a professional development organization for high school athletic directors, ”Paton added.

In addition to being the deputy principal of the school, Lush is also a director of athletics, school guidance counselor, and work experience and double credit coordinator for the Bentley School. With a passionate 35-year career as a coach, Lush has been training Bentley School students for 12 years in cross-country, golf, volleyball, basketball, handball, curling, badminton and Athletics.

Lush said school sports help build relationships with athletes while striving to get the best out of them.

“Our team mission when we play is to ‘leave a positive impact on this place’. I try to teach my athletes that playing as a team is about being positive, having fun, growing and learning new skills, supporting each other and building relationships. Many of the skills they learn from playing sports can be transferable in school and in life: persistence, commitment and dedication. For some students, the reason they stay in school is school athletics. Sports programs in schools play a big role in the culture of a school, ”said Lush.

Paton said extracurricular activities are an important part of schooling. He added that participation in activities such as music, art, dance, theater or sport is an integral part of the overall development of students.

“Sport brings life to the school building and creates a culture of striving to be better. While participating in school sports and being part of a team, students learn team spirit, camaraderie, sacrifice and hard work, which should be seen as part of the traditional educational offer in schools. It’s still an extracurricular thing, but for me it’s very important. School sports change, live, create the leaders of tomorrow, ”said Paton.

Lush looks forward to the continued growth of character-based athletics, in and out of school. It aims to rebuild leadership by teaching students to become officials in all of the sports offered.

“For a small town, I think we have decent facilities and opportunities for our young people. Aside from all of the school-sponsored sports, the Bentley community offers minor hockey, outdoor soccer, and youth baseball / softball.

“One thing I would love to see is an outdoor rink for the kids to play anytime during the winter months. Our arena offers free skating and stick time, but a person’s schedule may not always match the days or times of the arena, so having an outdoor rink accessible from dawn to dusk would be a great asset for this community, ”concluded Luxuriant.


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