Kimberley’s Tom Buchy has been honoured with the 2020 Coach of the Year award from Curl BC, the provincial sport governing body for the development, promotion and organization of curling in the province.
Each year the organization recognizes people who have made outstanding contributions to curling here in B.C.
As 2020 marks 125 years of curling in British Columbia, Curl BC said they are, “delighted to celebrate our curlers’ success on the national and international stage, the dedication of club volunteers and administrators towards growing curling in the province, the excellent work done by officials and coaches at competitive events, and more.”
“It was surprising and I’m very honoured,” Buchy told the Bulletin. “Because there’s lots of other coaches that are probably well deserving of it too, but I’m very honoured to have won it, it’s an honour to have even been nominated, but to win it is kind of cool.
Buchy’s many years of multi-faceted dedication to the sport are certainly deserving of such recognition. Alongside his wife Lori, and their good friends Dave and Robyn Toffolo, Buchy has claimed four B.C. Mixed titles.
He also assists with juniors at the Kimberley Club, coaches his own teams and this year was one of two teams to qualify for the BC Senior Curling Championships.
This year, Buchy coached his daughter’s U21 Team Kaila Buchy all the way to a gold medal at the 2020 BC Junior Curling Championships. Following this triumphant victory, they were named Team B.C. and headed to the 2020 New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Langley to represent the province.
The team performed well, winding up finishing second in the seeding pool with a record of 5-4.
“Coaching the girls throughout the years, I can’t really pinpoint anything that’s real standout,” Buchy said. “Getting to Canadians is absolutely amazing for these girls but what means a lot to me is having such a good group of kids over the years, all the kids I’ve coached they want to learn and they want to be better and strive to be better and to see them be successful is very rewarding when you’ve seen how hard they work.”
Kaila’s U18 team was also the first to qualify for the U18 provincials, but this event was unfortunately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She won the provincials back in 2018, and Buchy said it was “pretty special” backing her up along the way. He was assistant coach to Jim Cotter then, whose daughter Jaelyn was on the team as well. The following year, Buchy was joined by Dave Toffolo for coaching duties, and Dave’s daughter Arissa was on the team as well as they won bronze in Canada for U18. He’s also worked alongside Grant Farquhar, whose daughter Haylie played with Buchy’s eldest.
“I’ve been fortunate to have these guys work alongside me,” Buchy said. “They all bring something to the table that all the kids and myself have benefited from, so that’s certainly helped over the years and developed the kids where they’ve gotten to.
“It’s not just me, it’s a team effort, I’ve had good people on my side helping me.”
Since the U18 mixed provincials have been cancelled, as well as the U18 Provincials in November which Kaila’s team was the first to qualify for, Buchy said he’s hoping something will develop to allow them to play.
“What’s happened is Curl Canada has made a exception for the U18 Canadians,” he said. “They’re allowing the 2020 teams to join the 2021 teams and make a double-sized national play down. So we’re hoping that Curl BC can come up with something to allow these kids to play off, because other provinces are having over-aged kids from 2020 join the 2021 Canadians and it’s just because of COVID that Curl Canada has said we want to give these young players the opportunity to play the national event, we don’t want them to miss out we’re going to do everything we can to make it happen.”
Additionally, he said he’s still waiting to see what the Kimberley Curling Club does to know when they will be able to be back on the ice locally.
“I guess Sport BC just had a meeting today I heard that they’re talking about what will be involved for phase three in sports and so we’ll hear more on that in the next few days I imagine and kind of see where curling’s at,” he said. “Hopefully we can get the girls back on the ice sometime in the fall and then go about it with whatever precautions we gotta go through to make it happen.”
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