For Lisa Murphy, coaching is a great way to give back to the community.
Having just been named Hockey Canada’s BFL Female Coach of the Year in the Community category for Hockey North, she clearly has been giving a lot.
But even with her work ethic, she said she was surprised when she found out she was selected.
“Super, super surprised,” said Murphy. “We’re so fortunate — this year especially with COVID-19 — to have had a complete season and three-on-three tournaments. This year was more of a survival mode than thinking about anything like an award.
“But yeah, it’s a really big honour and I’m lucky I get to work with amazing people. I feel really fortunate and grateful for the opportunity to get involved with the program.”
Having lived in Inuvik for two years now, Murphy said she loved being able to work with such dedicated people in the local hockey program.
Murphy was named the winner of the award during the ceremonies, which were broadcast online June 9.
Her coaching focus is the U15 bantam team under the Inuvik Minor Hockey Association. As a physical education teacher in a small town, she saw coaching as an extension of her work.
“Getting involved in the community as a teacher is super-important for success in the school,” she said. “For me, it’s just about creating relationships with the kids and making sure its really inclusive for everyone of all skill records.
“I’ve always loved sport. So to get out there, role model and show the kids I support them outside of the building as well, that’s important to me.”
Watching the youth grow, work together and learn to solve problems on their own were the greatest rewards from coaching, added Murphy. She likes to put an emphasis on leadership, skill development and team building.
Although Murphy was named the coach of the year, she said the entire Minor Hockey program in Inuvik deserved the credit and she was merely standing on the shoulders of giants.
“Everyone works really hard to provide the programming that we do for the kids,” she said. “I just hope I can really drive it home that everyone in all the divisions of the Inuvik Minor Hockey Association give their heart and soul to the program. That’s why I stick around there, it’s not work. It’s a lot of fun.
“I’m having a lot of fun here. This has been a great community to have an opportunity to live and work in. Everyone’s been so kind to me.”