Valley Royals Track and Field Club coach Harold Willers has been named the recipient of the Jane and Gerry Swan Award as the Canadian Development Coach of the Year for the 2017 season.
Willers, a Chilliwack resident, has for many years served as a throwing coach for the Abbotsford-based Valley Royals. A four-time Canadian Champion (1981 to 1984) in the hammer, Willers brings a wealth of experience and coaching expertise to the event area. In the past he has coached a number of athletes who have represented Canada internationally.
In addition to his coaching duties with the Royals, Willers assists with coaching throws for a number of schools and clubs in the Fraser Valley.
Willers and his athletes had a spectacular 2017 season, as two of his athletes competed at the international stage. Royals athletes Vikramjit Gondara and Rowan Hamilton were both selected to represent Canada at the 2017 Pan-American U20 Championships in Peru. The pair qualified for that honour at the 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships in Ottawa when Gondara and Hamilton achieved identical top throws of 62.37 metres with their second-best throws determining Gondara as first and Hamilton as second.
He also helped athletes Jayden Driver, Elliot Payne and Joshua Carsience achieve success at national, provincial and high school levels in throwing events.
Willers has contributed to the high-performance achievements of his athletes by his incredible eye for detail as he examines every throw at practices and gives insightful feedback. Willers is meticulous at noticing every part of the movement of his athletes when they throw and he coaches them to excellence by training them gradually, throw-by-throw, teaching them exactly what they need to do to improve.
Though his training group is small, Willers has a remarkably high success rate among his athletes. For more on Willers and the Valley Royals, visit valleyroyals.ca.