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TORONTO – September 13, 2023 – To celebrate National Coaches Week (September 16-24) the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO) and Hydro One are excited to present 15 coaches with the province’s most prestigious coaching honour, an Ontario Coaching Excellence Award. From rowing to rugby, the 2023 Coaching Excellence Award helps fund and recognize the power of sport across local communities in Ontario. Myma Okuda-Rayfuse, a champion rowing coach in Hamilton was also chosen as the recipient of the Hydro One Safe Play Award for her commitment to creating a safe, inclusive, and fun environment for all athletes and participants.

“We are thrilled to recognize each of these incredible coaches for their unwavering dedication and support of athlete development on and off the playing field. Our communities are strengthened by the relationships created and fostered through sport and coaches are leaders in creating those safe, fun, and positive spaces for youth to grow,” said CAO’s Executive Director, Jeremy Cross. “Congratulations and #ThanksCoach to all the recipients and for the impact you are having in your communities.”

“I’m humbled to be chosen as a recipient of this prestigious award, especially as rowing coach, a sport that doesn’t get as much attention in the mainstream,” said Myma Okuda-Rayfuse.  “The athletes I have been privileged to coach over the years are some of the most dedicated and hard-working young women and men I know, the recognition and support from these funds will make a big difference to grow the rowing community in Hamilton.”

“Hydro One believes that coaches are important role models and leaders to their athletes, teams and communities,” said Omar Javed, Vice President, Communications, Marketing & Investor Relations, Hydro One. “Through our partnership with the Coaches Association of Ontario, we’re proud to support local coaches and their athletes as a new season kicks off. Congratulations to Myma for winning the Hydro One Safe Play award and all the recipients. Thank you for your dedication to making sports safe and accessible for all.”

The Coaching Excellence Award recipients were selected from numerous nominations received by the CAO across over 35 sports and representing more than 60 communities. Presented annually, the awards represent all levels of sport from community to competitive, recognizing coaches for their unique commitments to inspire, innovate and share knowledge of sport with others. Each recipient will receive funding for new equipment to keep their athletes and teams safe and their respective sports affordable and accessible. The awards will be presented at a special celebration at the Toronto Blue Jays vs Boston Red Sox game on September 16 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

The 2023 Ontario Coaching Excellence Award Winners:

  • Hans Schroeder, Jozo Weider Race Club, Blue Mountain

  • Rebecca Turrill, Tillsonburg Ringette Association, Tillsonburg

  • John Ahlstedt, Robert Land Academy, Wellandport

  • Robert Studer, Archery 2 You Archery Centre, Oshawa

  • Amy Wilson, University of Waterloo & Indigenous Team Ontario, Milton

  • Ibrahim Kamal, MJKO Boxing, Toronto

  • Mark Peltier, Badminton Warriors of Mnidoo Mnising, Manitoulin Island

  • Jennifer Cuddie, London Curling Club, London

  • Oswald Jones, Rising Star Cricket, Brampton

  • Mary Munroe, South East Trillium Hunter Jumper Association, Gananoque

School Sport Winners:

  • Chris Finner, St. Michael Catholic High School, Kemptville

  • Stacy Ganogiannis-Reid, East York Collegiate Institute, Toronto

Susan Kitchen Trailblazer Award:

  • Spencer Robinson, Toronto Inner City Rugby Foundation (TIRF), Toronto

Hydro One Safe Play Award:

  • Myma Okuda-Rayfuse, Leander Boat Club & McMaster University, Hamilton

Andy Higgins Lifetime Achievement Award:

  • Grandmaster Young Su Choung, Young Choung Taekwondo Academy, Vaughan & Toronto

“The CAO would also like to thank the Ontario Government and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for their continued investment in National Coaches Week, which allows us to recognize and support Ontario’s most valuable volunteers: our coaches,” said Cross.

This year marks the ninth annual National Coaches Week, when Canadians say #ThanksCoach for the role coaches play in building safe communities and the positive impact they have on the lives of all participants. Ontario is home to more than 150,000 active coaches, with as many as 60 per cent volunteering their services. For more information about National Coaches Week across Ontario, visit

Through the Safe Sport 101 partnership between the CAO and Hydro One, 32 coaches from 20 communities across the province were also selected to receive the Community Coaching Grant to help keep the costs of sport affordable, while keeping safety top of mind. The Safe Sport 101 partnership between the CAO and Hydro One gives coaches the tools they need to make sports safe, fun, and inclusive for all. For more information about Safe Sport 101 and the full list of the Community Coaching Grant recipients, visit

About the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO)

The Coaches Association of Ontario is an independent, non-profit organization that supports coaches from community to high performance across all sports in Ontario. For more information, please visit, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Hydro One Limited (TSX: H)

Hydro One Limited, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is Ontario’s largest electricity transmission and distribution provider with approximately 1.4 million valued customers, approximately $30.3 billion in assets as at December 31, 2020, and annual revenues in 2020 of approximately $7.3 billion.

Our team of approximately 8,700 skilled and dedicated employees proudly build and maintain a safe and reliable electricity system which is essential to supporting strong and successful communities. In 2020, Hydro One invested approximately $1.9 billion in its transmission and distribution networks, and supported the economy through buying approximately $1.7 billion of goods and services. We are committed to the communities where we live and work through community investment, sustainability and diversity initiatives. We are designated as a Sustainable Electricity Company by the Canadian Electricity Association.

Hydro One Limited’s common shares are listed on the TSX and certain of Hydro One Inc.’s medium term notes are listed on the NYSE. Additional information can be accessed at; or

For further information: Hydro One Media Relations 24 hours a day at 1-877-506-7584 (toll-free in Ontario only) or 416-345-6868