Kingston fencing coach Patricia Howes was awarded a top provincial coaching honour from the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO) at the 2020 Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards on Sept. 19.
Howes was one of 10 coaches from across the province recognized for their dedication and commitment to their athletes and community.
“It was a huge surprise because in this time of COVID, whoever expects to get an award?” said Howes, the longtime coach at Royal Military College of Kingston.
She is a graduate of the National Coaching Institute, with a focus on High Performance Coaching.
Howes is one of only two female Maître d’armes (fencing masters) in Canada, training athletes in all three fighting disciplines of fencing: epee, foil, and sabre.
The fact that the award focused on safety and security was especially important to Howes.
“We want our gyms and we want our practises to be safe, physically, mentally and emotionally for our student-athletes,” continued Howes.
“It was a timely moment to be recognized for making the efforts to combat COVID-19.”
Howes has coached at five Canada Games, numerous international events including Junior Pan Ams, Junior World Championships, and was selected as the first female head coach for Team Canada Fencing at the 2013 and 2015 University Games in Kazan, Russia and Gwangju, South Korea, respectively.
A full-time coach, she joined RMC in 2002, and has led the Paladins to five Ontario University titles.
“I am so fortunate to work with outstanding athletes who are motivated and driven to succeed,” said the 2020 OUA fencing coach of the year.
“RMC has a lot of team spirit and there’s a great sense of family and a great sense of belonging. That attitude is what we need to get us through COVID.”