There are remarkable individuals – athletic directors, administrators and coaches – who enrich the academic experience for student-athletes right across the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
You would be hard pressed to find a better person than Fred Batley, who retired last October after 42 years in athletics with Fleming College of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA). As the 2019-20 season officially comes to an end at the CCAA annual general meeting, so too does Batley’s run as CCAA Women’s Volleyball Convenor.
Batley served as a CCAA Convenor from 2008-10 and again from 2014-20 – a total of eight seasons. Prior to that, Batley was a member of the CCAA Executive for nine years. He was the VP Governance from 1999-2002, the CCAA President from 2002-06 and the Past President from 2006-08.
“Fred is one of the last of a vanishing breed who has stayed at one institution for 30+ years and he was able to be equally dedicated to Fleming, the OCAA and the CCAA as he made great contributions at the local, provincial and national levels,” said former CCAA President Leigh Goldie. “Fred’s wisdom and dedication will be missed at all three levels.”
Batley brought great knowledge of volleyball to his most recent position as Convenor and has always represented the Association with his positive and professional demeanor.
“I’ve always enjoyed Fred’s calm approach, but he could be quite firm if he had to be,” added Goldie.
CCAA Men’s Volleyball Convenor Ray Sarkis considers Batley a great friend – someone who is well respected by everyone in the OCAA and CCAA.
“Fred was always one of the people around the table who was the voice of reason,” said Sarkis. “He was always calm and collective whenever he spoke, especially when the discussion pertained to contentious issues.”
One great example of this was when Batley, who was CCAA President at the time, was forced to vote on the 5th year eligibility rule. A President doesn’t typically have a vote but Batley had to break the tie on this specific motion. Once again, he served as the voice of reason and provided detailed information and a rationale for his decision.
“The thing I learned the most from Fred is collect your thoughts and speak when you can make the most effect on the discussion,” said Sarkis. “He has been an outstanding member of the CCAA and took great pride in every position he has ever held with the OCAA and CCAA.”
Batley also has a passion for theatre arts and his local community involvement certainly kept him busy when he wasn’t at the gym or field.
According to Michele McConney, the former Athletic Director at Georgian College and longtime colleague of Batley’s in the OCAA and CCAA, Batley is a compassionate and caring person who loved his job. He was never afraid to take on extra work and would often step up to host provincial and national championships.
McConney admired Batley for always seeing the positive side of a situation, even if it was a challenging time.
“Fred’s honesty and unselfish ways served his college, province and national associations for over 40 years,” said McConney. “He was always student focused and would remind us when we were heading down a path that was to not beneficial for our student-athletes.”