Harold Chamberlain is the recipient of the 2019 Keith & Sandy Metzger Founders Award for his tireless dedication to the Woolwich sledge hockey team.
He received the honour at the year-end party last weekend. Chamberlain, who has been involved with the organization for the past eight years, said he was pleasantly shocked.
“I was actually kind of surprised,” said Chamberlain. “But it feels good. I knew they were going to present the award to someone, but I didn’t think too much about it. So it took me by surprise.”
The award is a new venture for the organization, started in 2018 by Drew Bomhof, a volunteer with the Woolwich Thrashers. Last year, it was given to the founders, Keith and Sandy Metzger. Sandy said that she was happy to hand off the award to Chamberlain.
“He’s always there. He’s always at every fundraiser, social event – he’s the go-to guy for everything. You need something, you ask Harold,” said Sandy. “He spends a lot of time working on equipment; he spends a lot of time working on fundraisers – everything you need, he’s the guy.”
The official motto of the award recipient requirement is: “Outstanding dedication to Woolwich Sledge Hockey with a large impact on the organization’s well being, without reward or recognition, so others may succeed.”
“He just quietly goes about and does stuff for everybody else,” said Sandy. “It’s never about what’s in it for him, and that’s exactly what the award is about. So it was just a great fit.”
Chamberlain got involved with the Thrashers after enrolling his son, Jesse, who has cerebral palsy. Jesse loved his time there, which inspired Chamberlain to join his other son and Jesse’s twin brother. He has been dedicating his time to the organization ever since.
He is on the board of directors, helps out on the ice every Saturday, and looks after the equipment along with Keith Metzger.
“Been a great season. I work with a lot of the parents getting everything set up – if they have any issues, they talk to Keith or me, and then we’ll decide what we’re going to do,” said Chamberlain. “Great team spirit, it’s just like another family, a sledge hockey family.”
As it was presented at the season’s year-end party, the regular hockey season has wrapped up, but there are still upcoming tournaments to look forward to. Their next tournament is in Ottawa this month, as well as the 2019 Canadian Sledge Hockey Championships May 10-12 at the WMC in Elmira.