National Coaches Week

National Coaches Week is an annual event where we take a week to celebrate the tremendous positive impact coaches have on athletes and communities across Canada! This is an opportunity to recognize coaches for the integral role they play by simply saying #ThanksCoach.

National Coaches Week will be take place September 17 to 25, 2022.

Here are some of the ways you can take part:

Coaching Workshops

Coaches are invited to register for the upcoming NCCP coaching workshops, taking place September 24 and 25 during National Coaches Week. Course registration is subsidized by the Coaches Association of Ontario. 

Location:  Canada Games Complex - Upstairs Meeting Room                                
Registration: Only $10 per course

Fundamental Movement Skills 
Saturday, September 24
8:00am to 1:00pm                

Making Ethical Decisions  
Saturday, September 24
2:00pm to 5:45pm                       

Design a Basic Sport Program 
Sunday, September 25
8:00am to 1:00pm

Basic Mental Skills 
Sunday, September 25
2:00pm to 6:15pm

For more information email, or call (807)631-6135.


Coaching Resources

ThanksCoach Toolkit

 ThanksCoach Printable Postcard



 Thunder Bay Sports Summit




Community sport leaders, including board members, coaches, staff, and volunteers, are invited to participate in a full day of workshops and discussions at Thunder Bay's second annual community sport networking and professional development event.

Thunder Bay Sports Summit promotional photo with various sports figures

Keynote Speaker: Jeff Adams 

Jeff Adams For Jeff Adams, a wheelchair is a vehicle for success. This five-time Paralympian and six-time World Champion in wheelchair sports is living proof that focus, determination, and spirit are the keys to achieving “gold medal” dreams. Combining his unique understanding of life’s challenges with his experience as a world-class athlete, Jeff synthesises his experience in sport, government, and business into messages that show how the path to success is often the same, regardless of the goal that is being pursued.Jeff Adams in wheelchair

Jeff started using a wheelchair at nine years old; the radiation therapy that saved his life while battling cancer in infancy had, by nine, permanently damaged his spinal cord. Since then, he has faced this monumental challenge admirably, competing in six consecutive Summer Paralympics, from 1988 to 2008, and winning a total of three gold, four silver, and six bronze medals.

Jeff has appeared in television commercials, acted as a global spokesperson for multinational corporations, and worked as a journalist and commentator for media. He served as Chair of the Accessibility Committee for the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid Committee, and is Chair of the Ontarians with Disability Advisory Council. He is a recent inductee into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame.Jeff Adams winning race


A rare breed of an athlete, Jeff successfully transitioned from sport to business.  He founded two companies, Marvel Wheelchairs, and Icon Wheelchairs, Marvel underwent an acquisition in 2010, and Icon was acquired in 2015. 




 Nick AldertonNick Alderton, What Is Mental Training For Sport?

Description: This session will increase participants' knowledge of Mental Training by addressing several key questions such as:  What are mental skills?  Why are mental skills a key part of an athlete training?  What are some common misconceptions of mental training? How does mental training work? Nick will discuss the steps involved in developing a mental training program and the benefits of including mental training into your sport program. Finally, this session will address how mental training can improve athlete and team development, performance, and well-being.


Bio: Nick Alderton is the owner of Aspire Performance Consulting, a Thunder Bay company that provides mental training to athletes and teams. Nick completed his Masters in applied sport psychology at the University of Ottawa. He is a Professional Member with the Canadian Sport Psychology Association. He has provided mental training to athletes from more than twenty different team and individual sports including Nordic skiers, wrestlers, and track and field athletes who have competed internationally at events such as the Commonwealth Games, World University Championships, and World Championships.

Nick has worked with several local sport teams/organizations: Lakehead University Basketball, Thunder Bay Kings Hockey, Lakehead University Volleyball, Thunderbolts Swim Club, and Thunder Bay Lakers Baseball.

 Justin BobbJustin Bobb, Director of Sport Programming- MLSE LaunchPad

 Description: Justin Bobb is the Director of Sport Programming at MLSE LaunchPad. Justin will share info about MLSE LaunchPad; a Sport For Development facility in Toronto. Developed by MLSE Foundation, the charitable arm of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC), MLSE LaunchPad is a place where youth can recognize and reach their potential. Justin has an extensive background in community and sport development, as well as the social housing sector, all while using sport as a tool of engagement to support youth facing barriers.


 John CairneyDr. John Cairney, Physical Literacy: What Is It? Why Is It Essential?

Description: In this session, Prof Cairney will discuss the concept of physical literacy and why it is essential to participation in sport, in physical activity and life! As Chair of the physical literacy research group at Sport4Life, Dr. Cairney will discuss the latest developments in physical literacy in Canada and globally.


Bio: Dr. John Cairney is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto, adjunct Professor of Family Medicine at McMaster University, and the Director of the Infant and Child Health Research (INCH) lab. He is currently President of the North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine. As an internationally recognized leader in the field of child health and physical activity, Dr. Cairney is the author/editor of four books and more than 230 peer-reviewed research articles. 


Dr. Cairney was co-lead on the evaluation of Ontario’s child and youth mental health strategy, a member of scientific advisory board for Healthy Kids Community Challenge, expert advisor to the ParticipACTION Report Card (2018), and lead investigator on Ontario’s special needs strategy.

 April HadleyApril Hadley, Health Promoter: Thunder Bay District Health Unit

Description:  April Hadley is a Health Promoter (Physical Activity) with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit. April is an import to Thunder Bay, arriving in 2003 to attend Lakehead and lo and behold she's never left. She loves sports and physical activity and hopes to pass this on to her children so they can be active throughout their lives too! Being a Health Promoter at the TBDHU gives April a fabulous opportunity to combine her nerdy interest in the Psychology of Physical Activity, her love of playing sports and being active outdoors, and the collection of qualifications she has acquired from various post-secondary institutions.


In her Physical Literacy session at the Sport Summit, April will provide individuals working with children in the early years (0 to 6 years) with an increased understanding of physical literacy development.



Greg HenhawkGreg Henhawk, Developing Cultural Awareness in Sport –A Holistic Approach for Positive Athlete Development, Positive Coaching and Community Impact

Description: Greg Henhawk will provide an introduction to a First Nations worldview combined with a Holistic approach promoting a positive influence on athletes, coaches and communities of all cultures. Terminologies and Territorial land recognition as well as the Aboriginal Coaching Module’s hybrid medicine wheel will be discussed. Applications for reframing the knowledge and skills in every Coach’s toolbox will be provided.


Bio: Greg Henhawk is a Mohawk of the Bear Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River FN in Southern Ontario. After 32 years teaching in Ontario, Greg retired from being a secondary school teacher. He taught Physical Education and Science; served as a Department Head of Physical Education; and in his final 7 years he worked on Six Nations – in an alternative education program called SWAC (School Within a College). A program that assists at-risk students with completing their high school diploma and earning College credits towards a career at the same time. 


Greg has competed in, coached and administered an extensive number of sports at the Community (Aboriginal and Mainstream), Provincial, University, National and International levels. His present coaching focus is Field Hockey and Badminton; and his personal activity focus is Kayaking and Skating. He was a member of the Project Advisory Group (PAG) for the Aboriginal Coaching Modules and was a Founding Board Member for the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO)

 Cara ThibaultCara Thibault, Basic Sleep Education + Athlete Sleep Screening  

Description: This session begins by building an understanding what happens when we sleep. Introducing a high level understanding of what happens in the brain, the stages of sleep, circadian rhythms and the internal clock (sleeping and waking), ‘time givers’ (light, meals, melatonin) and the orchestration of these elements will help an athlete understand the importance of sleep in a performance environment, and for life. 


Evaluating baseline sleep of the athletes is critical to predicting the overall efficacy and effectiveness of the recovery strategies for the athletes, and address undetected baseline sleep disorders that could be affecting recovery and performance. We will explain and deliver the Athlete Sleep Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ)© to attendees. This tool is designed to capture athletes sleep behaviors, identify athletes with abnormal sleep and primary sleep disorders, and determine the frequency with which athletes have difficulty with sleep while training and travelling.


Bio: Cara Thibault is the Director, Athlete Program Services for the Centre for Sleep and Human Performance. Cara joined CSHP after working in the Canadian high performance community, most recently at Speed Skating Canada where she was the High Performance Director for the Long Track Program, leading the team through the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.


Cara spent four years at Own the Podium as Manager, Sport Science, Medicine and Innovation working alongside a variety of leading sport professionals worldwide. These experiences instilled in her the belief that sleep may have a significant impact on an individual’s human potential. Cara believes in the importance of recovery and regeneration in the performance environment and brings a strong commitment to athletes, coaches and teams to deliver education, screening tools, and research based strategies to establish healthy sleep hygiene for athletes throughout their career, and for a lifetime.

Matt Ventresca Dr. Matt Ventresca, Understanding Concussion Beyond the Brain: Why Sociology Matters

Description: Despite greater scientific knowledge and increased awareness about the dangers of concussions in sports, doctors and athletic therapists have communicated much concern about how frequently athletes play through these injuries or avoid seeking medical attention when experiencing symptoms. Many commentators have issued calls to “change the culture” of sport to ensure athletes will always report concussions and receive proper treatment. What does “changing the culture” around concussion actually mean? This session explores sociocultural dimensions of concussion across men’s and women’s sports and will discuss how efforts to improve athlete safety should go beyond the brain and involve re-examinations of some of sport’s core values. 


Bio: Dr. Matt Ventresca is a postdoctoral research associate in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Integrated Concussion Research Program at the University of Calgary. Matt is a sport sociologist who specializes in the sociocultural study of media, pain and injury, science and technology, and gender in sport cultures. His current research investigates how neuroscientific research, media coverage, and athletes’ experiences come together to create complex and sometimes contradictory understandings of sport-related brain injuries. He is the co-editor (along with Dr. Mary McDonald) of the forthcoming book, Sociocultural Examinations of Sport-Related Concussions: Forces of Impact (Routledge, 2020).

Other Opportunities for Discussion

Youth Recruitment & Retention Panel Discussion (Greg Henhawk, Justin Bobb, Jeff Adams)

Funding Opportunities and Grant Writing Tips - Pamela Caland (Government of Ontario), Paul Pepe (Tourism Thunder Bay), Paul Burke (City of Thunder Bay)

Local Sport Roundtable DiscussionsFacilitated by Katie Crowe (a) Findings from 2018 Summit (b) Indigenous Youth Recruitment Plan

 To register, call 807-625-TIME (8463) and quote course code 411240.

Questions? Call 807-625-2305 or email
ACCESSIBILITY: If you require accessibilty accommodation please call (807) 625-2305 or email by April 12, 2019

Thank you to our sponsors: Impact Promotions, Fort William Curling Club, Italian Cultural Centre, Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, Valhalla Inn, Tourism Thunder Bay, Maverick Audio
Interested in Becoming a Sponsor? Contact Doug Henry - 807-629-7098 or


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