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 Ontario Para Network is proud to announce the establishment of the ‘Ken Thom Memorial Coaching Award’. The award is to be presented annually during National Coaches Week to an adaptive sports coach who embodies the passion, knowledge and skills that that made Ken such a cherished member of the ONPARA organization. Nominations will open in summer 2019.

“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 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 beautiful grandchildren.

2019 Ken Thom Memorial Coaching Award

The Ken Thom Coaching Award will be awarded during National Coaches Week from September 21-29, 2019 to an adaptive sports coach who embodies the same qualities as those exhibited by Ken over his decades of leadership in adaptive sports in Ontario. The selected coach will be awarded $250.


  • A passion for sports;
  • The technical knowledge and skills for coaching in adaptive 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.


  • Nominated coaches must have NCCP training / certification
  • Coaches must be working with para-athletes in a Paralympic sport
  • Both Grassroots or High Performance coaches are eligible to apply
  • Nominations must be received by August 31, 2019

The nomination period is now OPEN for the 2019 Ken Thom Memorial Coaching Award

Click here to download the 2019 Nomination Form

Nomination forms are due on or before August 31, 2019 and should be emailed to