Tyler has always led by example with his work ethic. It is what makes him so valuable to our team. For a smaller player, his toughness on the court is also inspiring; he is never afraid to make a defensive play that might end uop with him being knocked out of his wheelchair. Tactically, Tyler allowed us to create mismatches which are very valuable in our sport because of classification. We can have Tyler guard a player at a much higher classification which creates a positive mismatch/advantage for us elsewhere in our line-up, which is huge at the elute level of our sport. Also, a few years ago our speed game was lacking. Tyler was part of the new wave of players we developed to enable us to be dominant on the press s and in transition.
What I am most proud of is that Tyler is giving back to his community. He has been a tireless representative of our sport with numerous public appearances; he is a positive role model to others that may want to take up our sport.
(Jerry Tonello, Head Coach – Men’s Program Wheelchair Basketball Canada)
Tyler Miller was introduced to wheelchair basketball in 2007 by a friend who brought him to a practice because he felt Miller needed sport in his life once again. Miller took a liking to the sport immediately and seized every opportunity to participate in wheelchair basketball. Miler soon found a place on a junior club team in his hometown of Kitchener, Ontario. He later earned a roster spot on the Ontario provincial team and won a bronze and two silver medals at the Canadian national championships. In 2011, he won a national title with Variety Village at the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League finals.
Tyler enjoys wheelchair basketball because of the exhilaration of competition and the opportunity that on any given day any team has a chance at success. The rough contact and physicality of the game is not something that he shies away from. Miller is a hardworking, dedicated athlete. Both of those qualities were on full display when he made his debut with the Canadian Men’s National Team at the World Championships in 2010, Hel also won a bronze medal with Canada at the 2011 Parapan American Games. He earned a full-time roster spot on the national squad in 2012. In 2012, Miller competed in his first Paralympic Games in London, England (where Team Canada captured the gold medal.
(Wheelchair Basketball Canada)
My number one hobby is to travel. Through basketball I’ve been able to travel the world and see countries that I thought I would never see. I’ve seen quite a few wonders of the world and met some of the greatest people along the way. I also love to volunteer. When playing overseas we have so much time on our hands, I like to get involved in the community I am living in. I’ve also been learning to cook. Nothing fancy yet but the basics are almost covered.
Because I live overseas for 6-8 months of the year I don’t get to spend that much time with my family. I love spending time with my family and they are the most important people in my life. They have always been my biggest support system, cheerleaders and rebounders.
I have been playing in Australia for the past four years and I am now living in Australia permanently with my partner Shane.
Something that most people don’t know is I used to be a rugby player. I loved rugby, well let’s be honest, I loved hitting people, and in high school I had to pick between basketball and rugby. I chose basketball not only because I loved it, but also because rugby was not in the Olympic Games. As it turns out, in international basketball you get to hit people just as much!
I was born and raised in Waterloo, Ontario by my parents Pam and Gord Buttinger. I am the oldest of seven kids, my five sisters are Natalie, Jessica, Danielle, Emily and Rachel and my one brother Scott. Needless to say there is never a dull moment in our house. There are 12 years between all seven of us and growing up people would say that all the girls were “Mini Maddies” because of how similar we all look. However, we aren’t just alike in look, but we are also extremely close emotionally. My family truly means the world to me and I don’t know where I’d be without the support and love of my parents and my siblings in my life.
After competing at a high level in many sports, I was able to narrow it down to the ones I had the most passion for: track and field and soccer. I played soccer at the OYSL level provincially for Waterloo up until grade 10, when I qualified for the World Youth Championships in track and field. It was after making this national team and earning the chance to represent Canada at an international level in tack and field that I chose to quit soccer. I knew that I was truly most passionate about track and field, and the only way to achieve my goals and aspirations to compete at an Olympic level, was to focus solely on one sport. Track and field has been used as a vehicle in my life to travel, education, networking and so much more.
I have gotten the opportunity to travel to amazing places all the way around the world, like Marrakesh, Morocco, and Brazil for international track and field meets, as well as a number of different cities and provinces within Canada. My accomplishments in track and field earned me an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Notre Dame, where I was able to earn an amazing degree, and meet some of the most incredible people in my life.
Track and field has opened more doors and created more opportunities that I could have ever imagined. I am so excited to continue to train for the sport that I love in pursuit of the Olympic dream that I have had ever since I first learned to run. I know that with the support of my family and loved ones around me, my goals to become an Olympian in the next few years are possible.
I grew up on a family farm in St. Clements, where at a young age, I was taught to work hard on and off the farm. I gained strength doing farm work and learned perseverance from my grandfather and parents. I played competitive hockey throughout my childhood including minor hockey in St. Clements, Elmira and then Waterloo to play AAA. I received invitations to play for Stratford, Waterloo Kitchener and Elmira Jr. B teams and the Owen Sound Jr. A club. I chose to complete my Farm Operations Manager’s Diploma at the University of Guelph and play hockey with my friends in Wellesley for their junior team. I played there for four years where we won the Ontario Championship. This was and remains the only Ontario Championship in the team’s history. I was fortunate to be captain of this team where I also received awards including MVP, Most Sportsmanlike and top scorer to name a few.
I married my wife Lisa in November 1999. On June 30, 2000 Lisa and I were working in the field. My family owns and operates a dehydration mill and while we were harvesting our alfalfa and bringing it back to the mill to get dehydrated and pelleted, the harvester rpm gauge malfunctioned which left me with my right hand being amputated at the wrist. This was very traumatic for me. While in the hospital during my recovery I was struggling with how I was going to live my life without my hand; how I was going to work, play hockey, care for my family, what would people think of me, etc?
During my rehabilitation I met some people who were struggling and basically were giving up on life because of their amputation. I couldn’t bear to live this way. From that point on, I worked hard during my rehabilitation and become both mentally and physically strong. Today I live a happy and fulfilling life with my supportive wife and my two wonderful children, Isabelle (8) and Isaac (6), I have done many “talks” about my story with children and adults at farm safety conferences, at elementary and secondary schools, and businesses. Before my accident I was a volunteer firefighter for St. Clements. Currently I am still farming and have been successful at growing our family business.’
When I’m not working, I enjoy coaching my son’s hockey team and cheering on my daughter and wife while they play ringette. I enjoy woodworking, fishing, gardening, being active, cooking and eating healthy. This winter I flooded a barn that we were not using and created a rink that is 150 x 42 feet which allows our family and friends to gather regularly to play the great game of hockey, enjoy the outdoors and create memories that will last forever.
When Dustin Miller decided to change from short-track to long-track speed skating, it was almost like taking up a new sport.
“They’re two very different sports,” Miller said. “A lot of people think they’re similar, but they’re very different. It was always something that I kept on the back burner that I would consider switching at some point and give it a real run. I did that in October (2011) and so far, it’s going well”
The 25-year-old native of Kitchener, Ontario said he grew frustrated with his progress on the small ice and needed a change.
“I had some injuries in short track,” Miller said. “And I was always on the cusp of making the team for years. I finally broke through once last year and made the World Cups, but then the next competition was a letdown. I was tired of feeling like I was getting better and the results not showing that. So I figured long-track is the place to be. If you put in the work, it should show in your times. It certainly showed Sunday at the Olympic Oval, where Miller finished second in the 1,000-metre race of thw last day of the 2012 North American Championships. He stooped the clock at 1:09.11, taking nearly a full second off his previous personal best of 1:10.05.
Edmonton’s Jamie Gregg took top spot at 1:08.71 while Manitoba’s Tyler Derraugh was third with a 1:09.13. While recovering from a concussion and back injury suffered on the short track last year, Miller started skating long-track to get his legs back in shape.
“To come back from that, I started skating long-track because there’s a little less torque on the body in the corners”, Miller said. “While I was using it as a recovery method, I was also considering switching at the time. But there’s so much to learn – so many little technical things. But when you get the results, it helps keep you going. (By Scott Fisher, Sun Media)
When news reached Elmira that Garrett fell a heart-breaking stroke short of being invited to the 2013 Masters Golf Tournament, a very interested grey-haired lady knew he’d handle it with class. He’d be disappointed. And she’d expect nothing less from her 25-year-old grandson. But he’d deal with it and move on. After all, that’s exactly what he did in early 2011 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. His last check-up was perfect.
Nana Gladys Price has seven grandchildren and three great-grand children. She loves them all. But it was Garrett and his siblings Kyle and Caelen whose requests for Kraft dinner, grilled cheese sandwiches, and pancakes were regularly prepared and delivered by Nana Gladys, during their active and event-filled childhood years.
In measured and thoughtful words, Gladys says that Garrett always looked at things differently. Early on, tangible evidence of perfectionism, organizational skills and dedication were displayed by his efforts at school, Gladys knows that it is those qualities, along with his high intelligence and competitive spirit that have taken him to a level of excellence as an outstanding golfer and highly regarded OHA referee.
Over the years Gladys has frequently watched Garrett perform as a hockey player and referee. But circumstances and distances don’t allow her to be in the gallery in golf tournaments. In the summer of 2012, Garrett entered eight tournaments. Yet a fond memory for Gladys was seeing her grandson tee-off at the legendary St. Andrews Golf Course in Scotland some years ago. Her family’s roots are in the Scottish Highlands.
Garrett’s remarkable accomplishments on the golf course are proud moments for all members of his family. Yet Gladys foregoes mentioning them as things about her grandson in which she takes the greatest pride. Rather, it’s the fact that he’s never been in trouble, that he is friendly and outgoing, that he is always respectful, that he has made significant sacrifices to more towards his goals; and regularly tells his grandmother that he loves her.
Garrett’s striving for excellence in all things has led to a conundrum. Does he turn professional and pursue his dreams as a golfer? Or does he continue his efforts to earn his way into the ranks of NHL on-ice officials?
Nana wants her grandson to pursue whatever dreams he wishes. She’ll be proud of him regardless. “But,” she quietly says with a hint of a smile, “I really do miss going to the arena.” (By Ian Logan)
For Leah, 2012 was a year of both athletic excellence and re-evaluation. She was named to the Canadian team that competed in London – a huge feat – one that very few athletes can say they have ever done once, let alone twice by the age of 18. Leah, of course, also competed in Beijing in 2008. She and her coach, Hugh Conlin worked hard to achieve this high level of success.
2012 was also a major year of learning for Leah. Through a long soul-searching period post-London, she came to the conclusion that “just making the team” is no longer enough for her. Where previously she just wanted to “get to the show”, Leah now has her sights firmly set on “being the show” in Rio. These words were prepared by Laurier Primeau, Leah’s current track coach at Trinity Western University in Langley B.C. (where Leah is attending on a scholarship). Primeau is also the head coach of the Canadian National Track Team.
Leah competes in the T37 category for athletes with cerebral palsy. The disability affects the muscles on the right side of her body, mostly in her leg. As a result, she walks with a limp but it’s barely noticeable when she runs the 100m and 200m races. “She’s a fierce competitor” said former Canadian Paralympics coach Dave Greig. Leah says that the Paralympics have changed her life for the better. She has made countless friends, travelled to several countries and cities, and holds three national records.
“I’m really happy because there is an organization like this, as it just lets people like me accomplish things that people don’t always think are possible. That’s a really good thing because of what is possible when one strives to overcome a disability.”
At 6’3”, Mark Scheifele brings size and skill to the center position. He is also a five-tool prospect blessed with size, speed, smarts, skill and vision. Playing against the best centers in the OHL every game, Scheifele stood out thanks to his work rate and ability to make the best of every situation.
2011-12: Scheifele made his NHL debut with the Winnipeg Jets as an 18-year-old, skating in seven games at the beginning of the season before returning to the Barrie Colts for his second OHL season. He also played for Team Canada in the 2012 U20 World Junior Championship. Scheifele scored his first career NHKL goal on October 19th against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Scheifele joined Jets’ affiliate St. John’s in the AHL playoffs and had one assist in 10 games.
Playing in 47 games with Barrie, he scored 23 goals and had 40 assists. The Colts finished second In the central Division and reached the playoffs’ second round. Scheifele was the second-leading scorer in the playoffs for the Colts (behind fellow Jets’ prospect Ivan Telegin). He scored three goals with three assists and was plus-two in six games in the WJC as Canada won a bronze medal.
For the 2010-11 season, Scheifele opted to forgo his commitment to Cornell University and instead chose to play for the Barrie Colts of the OHL. In 66 games he scored 22 goals and added 53 assists. His points total placed him second among OHL rookies, while his assist total topped that category for rookies. Scheifele played for Team Cherry at the 2011 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game. He also played for Canada at the 2011 U18 World Junior Championship. Scheifele played for the Kitchener Dutchmen Junior B team in 2009-10; his rights were traded to the Barrie Colts by the Saginaw Spirit prior to the 2010-11 season. In the 2009 OHL Priority Selection draft, Mark Scheifele was chosen in the seventh round by the Saginaw Spirit. (By Hockey’s Future)
Gerhard Griebenow’s life exemplifies the values of excellence, vision and service to others. Born and raised in Germany, he came to Canada following his university education in Germany and Wales. In 1971, barely two years after his arrival in Canada, he was already volunteering with a small gymnastics club that was composed of mostly girls using space at Kitchener Collegiate Institute and portable equipment. From these humble beginnings Gerhard was instrumental in guiding the Kitchener Waterloo Gymnastics Club to a well organized club of over sixteen hundred members. As well as offering programs both boys and girls, at all levels, the club is now in a permanent facility.
During those visionary years, Gerhard held many positions including instructor, coach, various administration roles, vice-president and for the past twenty-three years has been the president of the club. He has been a Gymnastics Ontario clinician, an NCCP instructor, and interpreter for Gymnastics Ontario at international competitions, a Gymnastics Ontario Board member and a gymnastics instructor at Brock Teacher’s College. In addition to his commitment to excellence in sport, he has volunteered in the community with many German events and organizations including Oktoberfest, the Transylvania Club and over twenty years of teaching with the German Language School, of which he is currently the principal.
It is an honour for the Awards of Excellence Committee to recognize and present Gerhard Griebenow the 2013 Award of Excellence in the individual Category for his commitment to excellence in sport, his community spirit and extensive volunteer work making his community a better place.
The K-W Predators Volleyball Club demonstrates athletic excellence, community involvement, volunteerism, leadership training and good sportsmanship. The largest volleyball club in the area, it is incorporated with both the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo as a not-for-profit organization.
The club runs both competitive and non-competitive training programs focusing on youth from grades three to eight. Teams have competed in the Ontario Volleyball Associations well as the national and international levels. The skill of the competitive teams is evident in the results achieved.
At the start of the 2012-13 season, the 15U Girls, 14U Girls and 14U Boys all won gold in the Trillium Division, As well, there were three more bronze winners and eleven other teams placing in the Top Ten.
All coaches (over forty in all) and executive members are volunteers. As well as coaches there are senior club players who work with the youth, providing mentoring while developing their own skills.
Skill development, team work, sportsmanship and leadership are not all that occupies the K-W Predators Volleyball Club. The club gives back to the community in offering coaching clinics by nationally certified clinicians, and providing coaching clinics for high school teams and physical education teachers.
Members and volunteers also offer their time helping to make their community a better place through work wit Mennonite Relief, volunteer programs at the Grand River Hospital and various Christmas initiatives.
At the K-W Predators Volleyball Club, no one is turned away, and those whose financial resources might other limit their participation are offered the help they need to ensure full involvement.
It is an honour for the Awards of Excellence Committee to present the K-W Predators Volleyball Club, its coaches, players, supporters and many volunteers, the Organization Category Award in recognition of the difference they are making in the lives of young players, volunteers and the community.
Building partnerships is the theme that characterized the past year for the Kitchener Jr. B Dutchmen. In an effort to move out of the shadow of the Kitchener Rangers, The Dutchmen began the year by asking how they could be more involved in the community. This led them into many outreach activities that included a successful Movember campaign supporting prostate cancer awareness. Zehrs Markets, one of the team’s sponsors, provided space for this initiative.
As Christmas approached the Dutchmen worked alongside rivals to support the Salvation Army Toy Drive and then helped pack hampers at the Salvation Army warehouse.
The new year saw team members barbequing on a cold January day to raise money for the PC Children’s Charity.
Partnering with Aeropostale the Dutchmen ran a Teens for Jeans campaign. In only three games,79 pairs of jeans were donated on behalf of the Dutchmen, a good accomplishment, as their team brought in the most donations to that date.
In addition to the volunteer work in the community, the Dutchmen opened their dressing room and their hearts to the KMHA Pre-Tykes players. They provided dressing room visits, post game meetings and mentoring to these young players. The beneficiaries of their efforts have been many, not the least of whom are themselves.
Building co-operation and team spirit off the ice has improved their game, while raising their profile in the community by providing examples of community spirit, team work and good sportsmanship.
It’s an honour for the Awards of Excellence Commttee to present the Kitchener Jr B Dutchmen, its coaches, players, supporters and many volunteers the Team Category Award in recognition of their commitment to excellence in sport, their many community initiatives and their willingness to mentor young hockey players.