Whitehorse Daily Star

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INAUGURAL CHAMPS – The F.H. Collins Warriors celebrate winning the first annual Jamie Shaw Memorial Tournament in December 2018. The tournament raises money for the Jamie Shaw Memorial Fund and now it is ready to help eligible athletes and coaches to gain access to training and development.

Memorial fund announces eligibility for coaches, athletes

For the past two years in December, F.H. Collins Secondary School has hosted the Jamie Shaw Memorial Tournament.

By John Tonin on May 7, 2020

For the past two years in December, F.H. Collins Secondary School has hosted the Jamie Shaw Memorial Tournament.

The basketball tournament honours the late Jamie Shaw, who passed away at age 44. He was the athletic director at F.H. From 2007 to 2016 before transitioning to vice-principal.

Shaw coached many Team Yukon men’s and women's teams at the Canada Games, Western Canada Games and Arctic Winter Games, along with various other local, regional, and national level competitions in basketball and athletics.

Shaw's brother Jordan moved back to the Yukon after his sibling's passing. He said Jamie had a passion for teaching.

"When I came back to Whitehorse, in speaking with his colleagues and athletes you could see he made a big impact on them. Jamie was always a studious kid and a hard worker. Everything he had was due to hard work.

"He dedicated his life to serving others and athletics was how he could that. The number of courses he did was incredible. He has credentials in almost every sport imaginable."

He obtained countless certifications related to basketball, athletics, hockey and strength and conditioning.

In 2018, the Jamie Shaw Memorial Fund (JSMF) was created.

"The fund is charged with providing access to training and development for athletes and coaches in the Yukon. We will strive to honour Jamie's commitment to life-long learning by providing financial support to those who need it most," reads the JSMF mission statement.

Jordan said it seemed a fitting way to honour his brother, to carry on a tradition of life-long learning.

The fund, which raises money through the Jamie Shaw Memorial Tournament and private donations is set to make its first set of contributions to athletes, coaches, and a bursary for student-athletes.

"We are excited to finally be able to dole out some cash," said Jordan. "After the first tournament, we weren't prepared to give out money. We wanted to make sure we got to a critical mass."

Jordan said they waited the two years because they want to ensure the JSMF's longevity to help athletes in coaches for years to come.

First, the fund is offering $1,500 to offset training costs for athletes to reach their full athletic potential. This can include travel to attend camps, tryouts or competitions, access to physical training, or enhanced coaching opportunities. Athletes are eligible from ages 14-24.

Second, another $1,500 is being offered to coaches to provide them with lifelong learning opportunities in leadership or sport-specific training – conferences, seminars, certifications.

As well, a $500 bursary is available for student-athletes in financial need to attend school sport competitions, tryouts, and camps.

Jordan said they are going to work with the teachers and coaches in the communities to ensure the funds reach those in need.

Currently, the fund is accepting applications for the coaching intake from now until May 29.

"Coaches put a lot of time and resources in to help their community," said Jordan. "That's the idea to get coaches involved."

Tracey Bilsky, the executive director for Sport Yukon, said the JSMF is a great opportunity for athletes.

"There are athletes that are challenged in the Yukon to get moving forward," said Bilsky. "Jamie always challenged athletes to push them out of their comfort zone.

"There are also lots of Yukon athletes that have made the next level and this fund can help others do that. It honours what Jamie though athletes were capable of doing."

Jordan said they have delayed the athlete intake because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the Jamie Shaw Memorial Tournament moves into its third year, Jordan said he is happy with its success.

"I'm happy his memory is being carried on in a positive manner," said Jordan. "It's nice to see the athletes have really taken to his lessons."

"Sometimes in life, things go wrong; it's how you deal with it. Sports give us the avenue to learn how to deal with it," Jamie Shaw once said.

For Jamie Shaw Memorial Fund details, applications and guidelines or if you wish to make a donate, information can be found at jamieshawmemorialfund.com.

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