Former Laval bas­ket­ball coach earns Re­gional Recog­ni­tion Award

The Compass - - Sports - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Amy O’Reilly (left) re­ceiv­ing the Re­gional Recog­ni­tion Award.

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