Terrace ringette coach Dinah Qualizza has been named the Community Coach of the Year by Ringette BC.
Nominated by Terrace Ringette Association president Raeanne Vandenbroek, Qualizza was chosen because of her volunteer dedication and her inspiring and positive spirit with the kids.
“[Dinah] is a huge part of the Terrace Ringette Association,” said Rebecca Adams from the BC Ringette Association, which honoured Qualizza with the award.
“She coaches multiple teams… she’s [the northern rep] for our sport and athlete development program and has been a huge part of developing a new children’s ringette program we’re starting this fall.”
Adams says the long-term investment in Terrace, combined with Qualizza’s contribution provincially was a big reason for the award.
And the extra dedication Qualizza gives by continuing to coach after her children are no longer in the sport, just really tops it off, said Adams.
Qualizza started coaching ringette more than 10 years ago, signing up because her husband needed a female assistant coach in order to head up their daughter’s team. She’s earned all her coaching certification since then, and has been involved in ringette ever since.
“She does not have any children in the sport anymore, but continues to give… of her time to be on the ice, at a board meeting, or on a conference call dealing with our association,” said Vandenbroek in her nomination of Qualizza.
“She has grown our sport by being an incredible mentor, and we are so thankful for her each and every day,” Vandenbroek added.
This year, Qualizza was coaching three age groups, U7, U9, and U10, and says she was touched to receive the award.
“I was very touched that they would consider me,” Qualizza said over the phone. “Because I have never played ringette, but I have watched it and coached it since my daughter was very young.”
“It’s something I enjoy doing,” she said, “and I want to keep the sport doing in Terrace. I think that kids need a positive experience on the ice and when they do it keeps them coming.”
Only one community-level coach in B.C. receives this award every year, along with one provincial-level coach in Ringette BC.