Being this year’s recipient of the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association’s (OFSAA) Leadership in School Sport Award wasn’t something Sydenham High School’s Leslie Lawlor was expecting.
“I was surprised,” she said. “But I’m really grateful and appreciative.”
The award came at the opening banquet for this year’s OFSAA AA Boys Volleyball Championship, which Sydenham hosted.
The award is presented annually at each OFSAA Championship to a teacher-coach who has made a significant contribution to their educational athletic program. The recipient exemplifies the values of fair play and good sportsmanship, while promoting enjoyment, personal growth and educational achievement through school sport.
Lawlor was a student at Sydenham High school, representing them at OFSAA track and filed and cross country.
She went to Queen’s University where she played five years on the women’s soccer team.
She’s been at SHS for more than 22 years, teaching primarily phys. ed. but also students with special needs and English. Before SHS, she taught at KCVI and the old Sharbot Lake High School.
As a coach, she guides the cross country team in the fall and then in the spring, she coaches both the Boy’s Senior Soccer team and is Head Coach of the Track and Field Team — a team that regularly features more than 80 athletes.
“I have known Leslie personally for over a decade and have come to know the amazing rapport and mutual respect she has earned with the students at our school,” said fellow teacher-coach Mark Richards. “I have seen first hand how Leslie has truly made each of her athlete’s lives better in many areas.”