Jason Young has become the honoured recipient of the 2009 Gerald McGavin Coaching Award (GMCA). This special award acknowledges BC rugby coaches who have left an indelible mark on their rugby community and also offers them an opportunity to experience professional rugby abroad.
McGavin played for British Columbia and thereafter excelled in the business, professional and cultural community of Vancouver and BC. In 1999 he was made a Member of The Order of Canada and in 2006 he was appointed to The Order of BC. Through his love of the game, he has created an invaluable award that demonstrates his appreciation for what a
positive influence rugby has in developing young people.
The GMCA is surely a particularly satisfying award to accept, as the winners are nominated by those they have inspired. Jason Young is not the sort of man who seeks accolades and whilst being pleasantly shocked and overwhelmed to receive the GMCA, for Young a “simple thank you would have been enough!”
Young is clearly a dedicated man with an inventory of coaching duties that would keep an insomniac busy. He coaches at National, Provincial, Regional and High School levels. Young enjoyed his playing experiences as a youngster and has been giving back to the sport ever since.
“It was really neat to hear that I had won and it is great to be recognised for all the hard work I have put in on and off the field over the years. I already feel rewarded through the commitment of my players and by watching their full development.” And by ‘full development’ Young means the development of their minds as well as their rugby ability.
Young highly values the sport as an educational tool for life and so when asked by his former High School to coach the backs, he thought he’d “give it a shot”. Since then doors have kept opening, and Young keeps walking through them.
“Opportunities keep presenting themselves and I just can’t let them pass. I have been coaching for 20 years and things just keep falling into place”.
Now Young has the opportunity to experience an overseas professional coaching set up and he is enthused by the prospect. “I am looking forward to talking with the coaches and seeing the game at the next level. I just want to be like a sponge and take in as much as I can. I’m interested to see different coaching styles and the mentality coaches have when putting it all together”.
Young is also eager to acknowledge the many folk who have helped him give back to the sport over the years.
“I have been surrounded by great volunteers and there are many people who have helped me through my coaching career. I’d like in particular to mention Jack Hendry, who has been a huge influence on my whole process and I would be great if I could emulate what he has done for me”.
There is no doubt that Young will continue to give back to the game which he feels gave him so much. His attitude to the sport echoes that of McGavin’s and it seems entirely fitting that he has won this award.
Young boasts many attributes that players respect in a coach and indeed that youngsters respect from their elders. He is modest, sincere and genuine. He will return from his experience abroad equipped with a greater knowledge of the game, improved management skills and to probably one or two doors left ajar.