Submitted by Jo Malisani on
Volunteer of the Month - May - Patrick Russell
Patrick Russell is the Chairperson of TUC's Women's Committee and sits on our Board of Directors. In his role as chair of the Women's Committee, he and the committee are responsible for the Pick-It-Up month initiative that runs throughout June.
His work includes reviewing the feedback received from the previous year's Pick-It-Up month and integrating the feedback to improve upon the initiative; attending all the Captain's meetings in May to speak about the changes and updates to the initiative; and lastly, liaising with our teams throughout June to ensure that Pick-It-Up month is a success.
Patrick is extremely passionate about Pick-it-Up month, and the Women's Committee's goal to provide a more inclusive playing environment for our female-identifying membership.
Thank you, Patrick!
Volunteers of the Month - June - Celine Nguyen and Jim Hui
Our co-volunteers of the Month for June 2019 are Celine Nguyen and Jim Hui for their work with our juniors' program at Agincourt.
Celine continues to be a huge contributor to the Toronto Ultimate Community (she was also a Volunteer of the Month in Jan 2018) and continues to grow as a dynamic youth coach. Along with fellow VOM Jim Hui, Celine was a much-loved leader of the Agincourt U10 program throughout both Summer seasons in 2019.
Celine has been an active coach with TUC since the Fall of 2017. She’s currently in her second year at the University of Waterloo majoring in Science and Business.
Between her coaching, studies, and dealing with some injuries, Celine has also found time to win a couple of bronze medals since her last VOM nomination. She earned a third-place finish e in 2018 at Junior CUC’s with Toro, and third at CUUC’s with the University of Waterloo Warriors.
A highly respected and involved community member with a warm personality, Jim also brings over 20 years of Ultimate experience with him. We were thrilled to have Jim step forward as a Head Coach for our Agincourt Summer programs all summer.
Jim is still an active player but says “I have shifted more focus on the next generation to give back to the ultimate community and I love to see youths thriving in this great sport”.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to bring the experience of such an extensive league and touring career, including playing with Team Canada WCBU Masters, Roy, Zen, Snipe, Fossil, Fuel, Bingo and Chill, and Tombstone.
Volunteer of the Month - July - Michael Pezzack
Michael has been playing Ultimate with TUC for close to 30 years and has been and continues to be a regular fixture in both indoor and outdoor leagues with teams such as Drastic Plastic, Wankers, Spidermonkey and ATP. He has been the Summer Tuesday West League coordinator for many years and in 2007 was recognized for his volunteerism by being named Volunteer of the Year.
When Drastic’s regular summertime fixture of Tuesday evening ultimate and post drinks was threatened by this year’s cancellation of competitive play, at too late a junction to organize a change of evening due to player commitments and other team obligations, Michael went into action.
He contacted an array of veteran TUC members and did some BBS posting to see if there would be interest in a pick-up league on Tuesday evenings in the west end. Recalling decade past practice of showing up at Riverdale, he hoped it could work and continue his team’s twenty-five years plus of summer playing. Other than a few weeks of questionable weather, Tuesday evenings at Eglinton Flats hosted a mishmash of players of varying skill levels in a fun pick-up game or dark versus whites with a few subs on the sideline. So, a fun summer was had, and a bad situation turned out well for some TUC west-enders.
Volunteer of the Month - August - Ben Elzingachen
Ben started playing ultimate in Vancouver in 1999 (“Way too long ago”, in his words).
This year Ben has shown his range as a coach, working with our u10’s in Agincourt, the u19 program at Felstead Park in July and August, and he is now one of our enthusiastic coaches running the Adult Scrimmage 101 program at Monarch. Everywhere he’s gone, enthusiastic and confident athletes have emerged.
As a player, Ben played mixed ultimate with Idle Hands, winning a CUC mixed nationals title in 2001 and competing in 2002 worlds. He has most recently played mixed masters with Bingo and Chill at the 2017 CUC and 2018 Worlds and Grandmasters with TRex, BCP, and Cur$!ve.
On top of all that, Ben finds time to occasionally Captain his Masters TUC teams as well.
Thank you, Ben!