CALGARY, AB – Canada’s most deserving and influential coaches and sports administrators will be honoured this evening at the 2017 Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Awards Gala, a group that includes longtime lacrosse volunteer Duane Bratt, winner of this year’s Investors Group National NCCP Coach Developer Award.
Hosted by the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC), the Gala recognizes those who live out the values and competencies of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) and the positive impact they have within the Canadian sport community.
“We are all inspired by the coaches and coach developers who ignite change and encourage growth for our athletes within an ever-changing landscape,” said Lorraine Lafrenière, Chief Executive Officer of the CAC. “It takes leadership to bring out the best in our coaches and athletes, and the Coaching Association of Canada is thrilled to recognize this year’s award winners and the impact they’ve had within the Canadian sport community.”
The Investors Group National NCCP Coach Developer Award recognizes an outstanding individual who has gone above and beyond to inspire and develop certified and trained NCCP coaches in their communities. The winner of this award embodies the spirit and characteristics of the “best of the best” Learning Facilitators and Evaluators throughout Canada.
In 2017, Investors Group presented nine community-level and one national-level NCCP Coach Developer Awards, the latter of which was presented to Calgary’s own Duane Bratt.
“Duane has invested time and commitment to the game of lacrosse, and he’s had such a positive impact on the lacrosse community across Canada,” said Trevor Krahn, Director, Sponsorship & Community Engagement at Investors Group. “He’s been such a leader within the sports community and has had such an impact on providing valuable resources to aspiring coaches. We’re honoured to present the Investors Group National NCCP Coach Developer Award to him this year.”
Bratt, a professor of political science at Mount Royal University in Calgary and father of two, has been involved with the sport of lacrosse as a player, coach and administrator for over 40 years.
He has worked as a Master Learning Facilitator and Evaluator for over a decade, traveling across the country to teach and certify coaches at every level. He is also the Canadian Lacrosse Association’s national resource person for coaching, leading the development and design of coaching resources, and chair of the organization’s Long-Term Athlete Development committee.
“To be selected as the 2017 award recipient is quite significant to me. I was surprised, and then I was deeply honoured,” said Bratt. “This is a tribute to all the other coach developers I have worked with in lacrosse and in the CAC, and to all of the coaches who have taken my many clinics over the years. And, ultimately, it’s a tribute to all the players who have benefited from better coaching practices.”
In winning this award, Bratt becomes the first member of the Canadian lacrosse community to be honoured by the Coaching Association of Canada, a very significant accomplishment for our sport.
Bratt began playing minor lacrosse in Calgary in 1975, before moving to Ontario where he finished his minor career and jumped to the junior ranks with the Aurora Stallions (84’-‘88). He played field lacrosse for two years while studying at the University of Windsor (’90-’91), before moving back to Alberta to finish off his career with the senior Edmonton Miners (‘93-‘94) and Calgary Mountaineers (’95-‘96).
His return to Alberta also marked the start of his coaching career, one that has seen him coach box and field lacrosse teams at nearly every level, including for the Calgary Sabrecats, Calgary Axemen and Calgary Field minor associations, the Calgary Chill (Jr. B), and the Calgary Mountaineers (Jr. A, Sr. B).
He has also held a number of administrative positions over the years – with the Alberta Lacrosse Association, Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League, and Calgary Mountaineers – while also finding the time to scout for the Calgary Roughnecks of the National Lacrosse League.
“Duane is the epitome of a lacrosse volunteer,” said Lisa Grant, Executive Director at the Alberta Lacrosse Association. “When it comes to coaching, he is always ‘on-call’ to teach the highest level of the Competitive Development clinic or to evaluate a coach attending a national competition.”
“No matter the task, Duane will gladly volunteer his time,” added Grant. “He is always there for grassroots coaches, wanting to help them achieve their potential through education and mentorship.”
While the NCCP Coach Developer Awards may be Bratt’s most recent personal accolade, it is certainly not his first. He was awarded with the James McFall Memorial Award to become a Life Member of the Alberta Lacrosse Association in 2009, received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work in lacrosse in 2012, and won the Coach Developer of the Year Award from Alberta Sport Connection in 2015.
On behalf of all the players and coaches lucky enough to have been taught by Duane, the Canadian Lacrosse Association would like to extend a heartfelt congratulation on this award and thank him for his commitment to Canada’s national summer sport.