Coaches honoured by SHSAA
By Phil Ambroziak
For more than 30 years, Linda Harman and Greg Hatch have helped young people succeed not only in sports, but also in life.
And, for this, both Harman and Hatch were honoured recently when they attended the 67th annual Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association’s annual meeting in North Battleford. The event took place June 17-19 and saw Harman – vice-principal at Jonas Samson Junior High School in Meadow Lake – accept a Service Award for the outstanding leadership she’s provided to high school athletics in the district.
“I went to the banquet on the 18th – it was lovely,” Harman remarked. “After lunch, they recognized 14 or 15 individuals from throughout different parts of the province. I was fortunate to be among those from the Northwest. All my work has been at the junior high level, primarily with basketball. It’s my passion and I’ve coached basketball every year since I started teaching. As for community involvement, I used to be the president of Minor Basketball and I’ve coached basketball at the Saskatchewan Summer Games on three occasions.”
Come the fall, however, things will be different at JSJH as this school year marked Harman’s last. As of the end of this month, she is officially retired.
“I only have five days left,” Harman said when contacted last week. “I’m excited, but I’m also a little nervous because I love my routine and I love school. I began my career in 1981 at Jonas Samson and can’t believe I spent my entire career here. I absolutely love teaching this age group because you get to see so much potential with the young people who are just on the cusp of adulthood.”
Even though her routine will now change, it doesn’t mean it will be any less busy.
“This summer, I’m volunteering at the Western Canada Games in Fort McMurray, AB,” Harman noted. “I’m really looking forward to that because it won’t be a big job – I’m not an organizer, just a volunteer.”
Meanwhile, Hatch – who coaches at La Loche Community School – received an SHSAA Merit Award, which honours people who have given outstanding leadership and service to the SHSAA and to the promotion of high school athletics in the province.
“I’ve been at it for 39 years – I came to La Loche in 1976 and, since then, have coached a number of different sports at the school as well as at the community level,” Hatch said. “I feel very honoured to have received this award. Looking back at the list of past recipients, it’s kind of a who’s who of high school sports. The late Ron Dosdall was a recipient one year and I actually referenced him in my acceptance speech. Ron gave us the opportunity to compete in Carpenter High’s Northern Lights Classic in the late 1970s and early 1980s, something that really helped us get our basketball program to the next level. Meadow Lake has been friends of the La Loche program for a long time.”
Currently, Hatch works for the Northern Lights School Division as the extracurricular phys-ed consultant. He said he can’t wait for the start of the next school year and for his chance to once again get behind the bench.
“It’s all about putting back in,” he said.