PO Vice Chair, Archie Allison Wins 2017 Variety Heart Award
We’re happy to congratulate Parasport Ontario’s Vice Chair, Archie Allison on being the recipient of the 2017 Variety Heart Award. At the Variety Village “Throwback Thursday” Variety Gala this past week, Archie was given the illustrious award for his contributions over the past 30 years to inclusion and accessibility for people of all abilities.
Most sport related organizations realize that success requires the right start, helping young (sometimes very young) athletes learn to love sport. They also realize that the best coaches are needed at the introductory level, helping youngsters and their families navigate systems that are rarely simple.
Nowhere is this more essential than initiation programs for children with special needs. It is arguable that developing physical literacy is even more important for children with physical and/or developmental issues.
Enter Archie Allison - he is “world class” at helping others believe in themselves and getting them to enjoy the process of exploring what is possible in a world that routinely presents obstacles. Sustaining long-term fun, meaningful programs like fitness friends, the Lieutenant Governors Games, and the Toronto Police Games, has made Variety Village a world leader in creating opportunities for youngsters.
Simple math will indicate in his 30 years of working at the village Archie has led programs for some 600,000 participants. Some have gone on to podium performances at the Paralympics but most have simply gone forward to better lives. He has also instructed hundreds of community program leaders through the University of Toronto, Scarborough College and many municipal parks and recreation department training days.
The most reassuring part of the story is that neither Archie nor Variety Village nor Parasport Ontario sees the job as complete. Rather, it is simply a starting point for a more inclusive future for people who can play whichever sport they choose and be happier and healthier and that makes Archie Allison the best choice possible for the Heart Award, which he received last thursday.