ProMotion Plus Leadership Award recipient Stan McKinlay has spent decades helping to build girls softball. (Submitted)

Cowichan softball mainstay honoured for decades of commitment

Stan McKinlay receives ProMotion Leadership Award during BC Summer Games

A well-known member of the Cowichan Valley softball community was rewarded for his decades of hard work with a prestigious award presented during the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games.

Stan McKinlay was presented with the ProMotion Plus Leadership Award, which recognizes and celebrates people who have helped girls and women participate in sports and other physical activity.

“Stan’s strong belief that sports skills are life skills has fueled his commitment to giving opportunity to girls to play and learn,” read a statement from ProMotion Plus. “From grassroots house players all the way to A-level players. He has taken teams to the B.C. championships over a dozen times, coached teams at the Canadian championship level, and this past weekend was his fifth appearance at the BC Summer Games as the coach of the Zone 6 girls softball team.”

The committee for the Cowichan ProMotion Plus Award was only able to hand out one award, but also recognized two other men for their contributions to sport for girls and women.

Dano Thorne, a member of Cowichan Tribes with a long connection to soccer, created the Native Indian Football Association in 2001. NIFA, a soccer development program for First Nations youth, uses a holistic approach based on traditional methods and technical skill development. Thorne has had great success mentoring and coaching female teams, including coaching the gold-medal winning team from Canada at the World Indigenous Games in Brazil in 2015. Thorne continues to head NIFA and works as the Cowichan Tribes recreation and sports director

Mann founded the Cowichan Women’s Football League in 1984, and handled nearly all the off-field duties as he got it off the ground. The league has grown over the last 34 years, and Mann has also created Sun Bowl, an annual tournament that attracts teams from across North America. Mann recently started a new league introducing football to girls ages 12-15.

ProMotion Plus is a provincial non-profit organization whose mission is to promote access and opportunity for girls and women in sport. The Leaderhip Award is presented in partnership with the BC Games Society.

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