An athlete and a coach from the Brock Niagara Penguins program have been recognized by ParaSport Ontario.Joshua Gautier and Loretta Davis were among 12 award recipients at the Evening of Inclusion Thursday, June 1 at the Glenn Gould Theatre in Toronto.The Penguins are an athletics program for youth and adults with disabilities that focuses on swimming, wheelchair basketball and boccia.Gautier, a 14-year-old A.N. Myer High School student, was named the Rookie of the Year.Brock Niagara Penguins coach Loretta Davis, left, and athlete Joshua Gautier were among 12 award recipients at the Evening of Inclusion Thursday, June 1 at the Glenn Gould Theatre in Toronto.A talented boccia player, Gautier has won medals across Ontario and Quebec, including a silver at the Ontario provincials and a gold at the Brantford ParaSport Winter Games.Gautier attends weekly practices and trains at home and at school daily, all in an effort to make Team Ontario once he turns 15 and is old enough to qualify.“Josh can be a fiery competitor, taking the sport very seriously while still having fun along the way. He never gives up, always keeps trying and never lets his disability become a barrier to participating,” said Brock Niagara Penguins Director Karen Natho. “He has been a great role model for the other youth athletes on the team by attending practices early, being serious during them and respecting coaching staff and other players.”Davis, who won the Coach of the Year award, has embraced ParaSport opportunities in Niagara for the past 12 years.“She is one of those unique and hard to find people that you turn to when things need to get done,” said Natho.When the Penguins needed a boccia coach in 2012, Davis learned about the rules, equipment and classifications of the sport and became the volunteer coach.Davis leads the practices and clinics, and organizes local games and tournaments. She works closely with her eight athletes, all of whom have their own specialized training requirements depending on their abilities.“Loretta is a quiet and sensitive person, making her an excellent coach, respected by all,” Natho said. “If there was ever a ParaSport coach who deserves Coach of the Year for what she has done and developed and for the potential her athletes have with her as their leader, it’s Loretta.”The Niagara Sport Commission and Brock Niagara Penguins nominated Gautier and Davis for the awards.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *