Former Laval basketball coach earns Regional Recognition Award
Amy O’Reilly was presented with a prestigious award for her work as a coach at the recent School Sports NL Annual Awards Banquet.
O’Reilly received the Regional Recognition Award, which is presented each year to an individual from each of the 11 SSNL regions. The recipient can be a coach, official, convener, or administrator who has played a vital role in school sports in their region.
“It felt really really great,” said O’Reilly, followed by a lighthearted laugh. “But I don’t really look at it as my award. There have been so many people who have contributed to the basketball scene at Laval, and throughout my life even, that have all helped in one way or another. This isn’t just a personal award, I feel like everyone deserves the recognition.”
O’Reilly said that the nomination came as a complete surprise. Ed Jarvis, a fellow basketball coach in the region, called her while she was on vacation, and she said she never really expected to receive the award, so it came as a shock when she heard her name called.
O’Reilly — a former MUN Seahawk — was as a coach at Laval High School in Placentia for a little under a decade, though she recently gave it up for a while to focus on her work as a physiotherapist. O’Reilly received the award for the Avalon region.
She was the coach of the senior female basketball team at the school, something she took on when her niece started grade 10 at Laval. O’Reilly started her coaching career with the school in the AAA division, and had been coaching and encouraging her team every step of the way.
While O’Reilly was been at the helm of the team, the Cavaliers have been ranked among the top eight teams in the province, and brought home several provincial titles in both the AAA and AAAA levels.
O’Reilly would travel from her home in St. John’s, where she works as a physiotherapist, to Placentia four times a week to coach the team. She told The Compass that the 130-kilometre trek is worth it every time as she sees her team improve and work on themselves each day.
Although O’Reilly has been away from the coaching scene for about a year, she said she does plan to go back eventually.
“I’ll always be invested in (basketball),” O’Reilly told The Compass. “Whether it was as a player when I was younger, or a coach, or just watching from the sidelines. I’ll never get sick of it, I don’t think. It’s just one of those things that you’re in forever, like it or not.”
From here, O’Reilly told The Compass she’ll continue to be involved in the sport any way she can, and doesn’t see herself giving it up any time soon.
Amy O’Reilly (left) receiving the Regional Recognition Award.