INSPIRATIONAL COACH - A new coaching development fund was started by ‘62-63 Innisfail Pontiac players in honour of their coach Larry Reid. photo submitted

INSPIRATIONAL COACH - A new coaching development fund was started by ‘62-63 Innisfail Pontiac players in honour of their coach Larry Reid. photo submitted

Innisfail Minor hockey receives new boost

Larry Reid Memorial Coaching Development Fund unveiled

Innisfail Minor Hockey coaches recently received a huge asset with the announcement of the Larry Reid Memorial Coaching Development Fund.

Late last month, members of the 1962-63 Innisfail Pontiacs announced the initiative, which will provide funding for minor hockey coaches to improve their skills and enhance their credentials. The fund honours former Pontiacs Coach Larry Reid, who coached the ‘62-‘63 Innisfail Pontiacs team to the Central Alberta Midget Championship. Reid would go on to coach the China Junior National teams in 1984 and was honoured with Hockey Alberta for being one of the top 100 contributors in the last 100 years for his time as a pioneer and leader in coach education and athlete development.

“Our launch today was to the start of the fund,” 1962-63 Innisfail Pontiac Al Scott said during the event. “We had a huge gathering of Innisfail Eagles alumni and about six Innisfail Pontiacs alumni. We also had many members of the community as well as two sons of Larry Reid. We had seven speakers and we learned a lot about Larry that we didn’t know.”

Scott believes the fund is a perfect way for the Pontiacs to honour their mentor.

“Everyone seems to be thrilled this fund was created,” he said. “Everyone has the same feeling about the great Larry Reid and the contributions he made as a player, a coach and a coach educator in the Innisfail area and throughout Alberta.”

After hearing about Reid passing away last December, Scott and other former Pontiacs heard about the contributions their former coach had made to coaching development in Alberta and beyond.

“Larry was a great technical coach and taught so many values to us that were lifelong, life changing things in both our personal and professional lives,” Scott said. “We didn’t know about his 15 year involvement with coaching certification and coaching education. Once we learned about that, the focus became pretty clear that we could give back to the Innisfail Minor Hockey Association with funds targeted to enhance a program for coach development.

“We could create a legacy for Larry by doing that. We could also give back to the greater Innisfail community for all the great memories we had over 50 years ago.”

Many of the former Pontiacs have now contributed to the fund, with the ‘62-‘63 players donating $15,600 between them. Promoting quality coaching is an easy financial call for Scott.

“My experience in a lifetime of coaching are the positive experiences that are created by players, parents and coaches is almost always determined, not by club administration, but purely by quality of coaches that each player has,” he said. “It is our hope the money we are able to disperse on an annual basis to Innisfail Minor Hockey will enable them to do things they have never done before.

“The Pontiacs feel just ecstatic.”