Ken Thom Memorial Coaching Award


To honour the memory and contributions of our former president and long-time wheelchair athletics coach, the late Ken Thom, the OWSA is announcing the establishment of the Ken Thom Memorial Coaching Award.

The OWSA’s Ken Thom Coaching Bursary will be awarded annually in September during National Coaches Week to a wheelchair sports coach who exhibits the same qualities as those exhibited by Ken over his decades of leadership in wheelchair sports in Ontario:

  • A passion for sports;
  • The technical knowledge for coaching wheelchair sports;
  • A focus on and dedication to sportsmanship and giving back to the community;
  • The unwavering passion he brought to every practice, every game and every competition;
  • An infectious attitude that motivates athletes and participants to excel, to play their best and to support their fellow players;
  • A willingness to accept challenges that foster a “can do” attitude;
  • A commitment to keeping the fun in “fundamentals”;
  • The passion for mentoring athletes on the field of play and throughout their lives.

“This past season, the OWSA track program suffered a huge loss with the passing of Ken Thom,” said Dianne Christophe, OWSA Board Member. “The technical knowledge and expertise that he brought to the program, the passion he brought to every practice, his focus on sportsmanship and giving back to the community, and his infectious attitude and determination to continue to grow as a coach will be missed. The OWSA recognizes the impact that Ken made within our program and the value of these attributes he instilled in our athletes.”

Throughout his many years of involvement in OWSA sports, Ken touched not just hundreds of athletes, but also their parents. In addition to his sport leadership, Ken played an instrumental role for so many families in their navigation of the educational and healthcare systems, and how to advocate for their children.

Ken Thom died Sunday, September 24, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.  He leaves behind his wife Karen, sons Christopher and Curtis, daughter Stephanie and four grandchildren.

It is with great honor that we announce the creation of the Ken Thom Memorial Coaching Award to be presented annually to a wheelchair sport coach who embodies the passion, knowledge and skills that that made Ken such a cherished member of the OWSA organization. Nominations will open in spring 2019.