Tomorrow's Legends Goodwill Ambassadors
Meet our ambassadors who share their stories about how organized youth sports played a significant role in their lives and how making a difference in their community enriches the lives of others.
Goodwill Sports Ambassadors:
Adam is a native of Sydney, Nova Scotia and grew up in a household of athletes who played various organized sports. As part of that avid sports family, Adam found basketball at age 5 and has been playing since that time. He started with the small ball program at Brookland Elementary where he trained and played for seven years. As a youth player, his first team was the Brookland Blazers where he played from grade four to grade six. During that time, he also made the U12 rep team for Basketball Cape Breton's (BCB) and played for two seasons.
As he moved on to middle school, his love for the game continued to grow along with his desire to compete at a high level. While playing for the WPM Mustangs, he returned to BCB as a U14 rep player where he enjoyed an additional two seasons. In 2016, he made the Sydney Academy Wildcats Junior Varsity squad and played for the BCB U16 rep team in the same season. The following year, he made the Wildcats Varsity team and had a remarkable three year run under head coach Jonathan Penny. During the summer seasons he continued playing U16 before moving on to U18, travelling throughout Atlantic Canada and Eastern United States. In his 2018-2019 season with the Wildcats, Adam earned 2nd team all star and solidified himself as a highly skilled competitor. In his senior year, he earned 1st Team All-Star at the 2020 Coal Bowl in New Waterford, as well as 1st Team All-Star in the Cape Breton league. Adam became known around the league as a not only a skilled player but one with tenacity and a high IQ for the game. He became a great leader and demonstrated his ability to bring out the best is his teammates, particularly the younger players. Sportsmanship has always been a pillar of his game and many of his teammates adopted his style. In his senior year of high-school he capped off the season earning the team’s MVP.
While Adam was pursuing his athletic goals, he always found time to volunteer, assisting with community camps, clinics, and officiating youth games. He is now enrolled a Mount St. Vincent University and currently plays on the men’s basketball team. Adam is excited about joining the cause to help his community and its youth population, bringing about similar opportunities and experiences.
Josh grew up in Mira, Cape Breton and thanks to his parents, he was introduced to multiple sports at a very young age. Unequivocally, basketball is his number one sport with introduction dating all the way back to grade 3. Josh attributes his competitive flare and hard-working disposition to organized sports and the many great coaches he has experienced along the way. Although still very active in basketball, he is already looking back with an appreciation for what he has learned about character both on and off the court.
Josh’s first basketball team was with Riverside Elementary where he was fortunate to have two great coaches – Ken LeBlanc and Din Donovan. They instilled a sense of passion for the game and helped him develop a strong worth ethic at such an early age. He wanted to compete, win and keep training harder. Countless hours spent in his backyard with friends and family are among his fondest memories as a youth player. In grade 5, he made the Sonics rep squad, further elevating his game and desire to achieve. A year later, he made the Basketball Cape Breton (BCB) U12 rep team under head coach Steve Fifield – a well qualified coach for many different levels, but considered by Josh to be the most significant youth coach. He broadened his understanding of the game, opening new opportunities for him to excel at higher levels of competition. He was also introduced to several road trips which, by many, are considered to provide the most amazing experiences for a youth player.
In grade 7, he moved on to a new school, playing for both BCB and Malcolm Munroe. After joining new teammates, he made lasting friendships that remain to this day. During his time with Malcom Munroe, his coach was also a soccer coach who taught him more about the intangibles of the game. He learned that cardio health and overall fitness is important to excel at a sport and that work ethic makes a difference regardless of skill level. As Josh was moving on to his senior year of middle school, he worked with BCB coach Fifield to improve different parts of his game. By his grade 8 year, he advanced to a higher level of play where his team made an impressive run with an undefeated season.
In 2016, Josh moved into his high school years, making the Riverview Royals squad as a starter. For the next four years, he made basketball a huge part of his life – training, competing and creating many memorable moments. He began many of his days in the gym at 5AM and ending in the late hours with frequent returns to the court. He met a personal trainer to help him with an already busy schedule and helped find a balance between academics and athletics. During that same time, he met another personal trainer who selected him for a team that travelled to Quebec and United States to meet elite level teams. Josh became one of three Cape Breton athletes that year to join Team Nova Scotia, also traveling to the US to compete. In his senior year of high school, he helped his team to an undefeated season in league play and a spot in the provincial championships. In the recent 2020-2021 season, he enrolled at Kings College in Halifax, Nova Scotia and earned a position on the men’s team. Unfortunately, with the pandemic, the season was cancelled.
Josh already understands the significance of giving back to community. During his basketball journey, he always made time to assist younger players, volunteer for BCB skills camps, and work at Cape Breton Highlanders basketball games. He plans on continuing with athletics for the next several years and to be part of Tomorrow’s Legends by making great contributions to our up-and-coming athletes.
Alex is a native of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and was introduced to sports at a very young age. He started with baseball, enrolling in Glace Bay’s Little League program and spent an equal amount of time competing against his older brothers in basketball. By age 11, he decided that basketball was his sport of choice and it did not take long before he developed a competitive spirit and an absolute love for the game.
In the mid-80s, Alex enrolled in a nearby school that assembled teams up to grade 8. He went through tryouts and quickly learned that he was not only a skilled player but held a high basketball IQ. In his final year of junior high, he was receiving call ups to play for the high school team. In 1986, he joined the Morrison High Mariners as a grade 9 rookie. Just a year later, he represented team Nova Scotia as a starter on the juvenile team that won gold in the Eastern Canadian Championships. In 1998, he led team Nova Scotia back to the medal rounds capturing silver. That same year, he also played on the Nova Scotia Men’s Junior team, remaining with the squad through 1989, where he played in the Jeux Canada Games in Saskatoon. After graduating from Morrison High in 1989, he enjoyed a four-year career with the University of Manitoba Bisons – a squad that achieved a top 10 national ranking in all four years and the number one ranking in the country multiple times. He trained with the Canadian National team in 1991 and represented the top 25 players in Canada under 21.
After an impressive career as a player, he decided to get involved in coaching, joining his brother as coach of the Community Y Under 16 boy’s team in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Today, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), Canada’s national anti-doping agency responsible for implementing the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP). The agency serves all national team sports for Olympics, world games, U SPORTS, and Junior Hockey. He also serves as a board member for Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF), an organization that promotes, through education, the knowledge, skills, values, perspectives, and practices essential to a sustainable future.
Alex is an award-winning environmental lawyer and a certified specialist in environmental law. He works for the Department of Justice in Ottawa, Ontario. In his 23 years as a lawyer, he focused on environmental law, oceans, and resource management law. Since 2003, he has led a series of lectures covering topics on governmental ethics, science and the law, environmental advocacy, and cultural intelligence. He delivered many of these lectures at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, the Institute of the Environment, and the Telfer School of Management. In 2016, the University of Ottawa appointed him as an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law, focusing on environmental law principles, policy and climate change. Alex is also a contributing author to the book entitled Environment in the Courtroom.
Alex graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1994 with a degree in Political Science. He earned his law degree from Dalhousie Law School in 1997 and is a practicing member of the Ottawa Law Society as well as a member of the Nova Scotia Bar Society. Alex currently resides in Ottawa with his wife and two children.
Larry is a native of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia with a deep understanding of the value of youth sports. He began his sports career as a youngster in 1981, picking up baseball and joining Glace Bay's Little League - an organization that assembled 16 youth teams - eight from Table Head and eight from Cameron Bowl. In 1983, he was selected for the Glace Bay Colonels - the renowned all-star team that won 5 Canadian Little League Championships under head coach and manager - the late Henry Boutilier - a 40 year coaching veteran. Larry was a multi-sport athlete, playing in Glace Bay's minor hockey association at the same time. As the late 80s arrived, Larry adopted basketball as his sport of choice. In his Jr. High years he played on the varsity teams and in 1986, moved onward into high school - playing for the Morrison High Mariners. In 1987, Larry was selected to the Basketball Nova Scotia Cape Breton Regional Showcase Team. A year later, he made the Nova Scotia Provincial Juvenile Team. In 1989, Larry played for the Capers , Cape Breton University Men's Basketball Team (formally UCCB), before moving on to Teacher's College (TC). While pursuing his education at TC, he played for the men's team and remained on the squad throughout his studies. In 1994, Larry became a teacher and remained very active in sports. He became a coach - coaching for the NSSAF Soccer, Basketball, Track & Field and Fastpitch teams. In 2000-2001, he was the assistant coach for the Atlantic Selects U17 Girls Basketball squad. Soon after, he became a NSBO Level 3 official, refereeing in the NSSAF, ACAA and AUS leagues. He continued officiating until 2018.
Larry lives in Truro, Nova Scotia and works at Brookfield Elementary as a Physical Education teacher.
Leslie is a native of Cape Breton. She grew up in Sydney being involved in a number of recreational and school teams, while attending Colby School and Woodill Junior High. In the summer of 1986, Leslie and her family moved to Albert Bridge and as a result she enrolled at Riverview High School. Leslie's first experience with high school competitive sport was with the Riverview soccer team. She played soccer for 3 years, helping her team win the Cape Breton Regional banner twice and representing Riverview at Provincials. It was in her grade 11 year that she decided to tryout for the junior varsity basketball team. After making the squad she played just half the season before being approached by head coach of the varsity team, Ron Shaw. Shaw invited her to practice during the holiday break as a few players were out with injuries. It didn't take long to earn a permanent spot on the team. Hard work and commitment empowered her to cease an opportunity and by the end of that season she was announced in the starting lineup at the provincial championships.
In 1989, Leslie was fortunate enough to be part of a truly special team and talented group of basketball players. Riverview High School won the regional banner and hosted provincials. In March 1989, Riverview won its first female provincial title which remains a highlight of Leslie's basketball career. In her grade 12 year, she was the recipient of Riverview’s Female Athlete of the Year and after graduating in June of 1989, Leslie was accepted to Cape Breton University (formerly UCCB), on a basketball scholarship. She represented CBU from 1989 to 1994. She played in every game for 5 seasons, without injury - a remarkable feat for an athlete playing at such a high level. She captained the Capers for the last 3 seasons of her career and was a two-time Female Athlete of the Year (91-92, 93-94). Leslie went on to represent Nova Scotia at the Canadian Junior Basketball Championship tournament, under head coach Mike MacKay.
For more than 30 summers Leslie played ladies softball at the local, and maritime level, and continues to carry on the family tradition of waterskiing on the Mira River. After graduating from CBU with a Bachelor of Arts Community Studies (Sport Option) Degree, Leslie continued her schooling at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. In 1996, she obtained a Bachelor of University Studies (Education Major) and has been a teacher with the Cape Breton Victoria Centre of Education since 1997. She is currently a grade Primary teacher at Riverside School, in Albert Bridge.
Leslie has coached many youth basketball teams, ranging from elementary to high school. She has been involved with Basketball Cape Breton for the past 6 years as both a coach and camp instructor. For 9 seasons, she was one of only a few female basketball officials, with the Cape Breton Metro Basketball Officials. She is an active volunteer in her community, having served as Vice Commodore of the Mira Boat Club and a member of the Riverside School Advisory Council.
Leslie believes that children learn more than just skills when being involved in organized sport. Learning leads to growth and growth leads to confidence. Leslie preaches the importance of having a positive mindset - and to be ready to learn and be the best teammate you can possibly be.
Leslie currently resides in Albert Bridge, Cape Breton with her husband Scott, and two children, Jenna and Luke.
Goodwill Business Ambassadors:
Sandy Dolan, Atlantic Meats
55 Harbour Drive, Sydport Industrial Park, Edwardsville, Nova Scotia
Sandy was born and raised in Sydney, Nova Scotia and is a huge supporter of community initiatives. He is a graduate of Sydney Academy High School and went on to study business at Cape Breton University (formerly UCCB).
His dad, Eric Dolan founded Atlantic Meat Packers Ltd in 1990. Sandy became involved in the business at an early age, working as a cleaner while attending school. He studied the business and worked his way through the company to take over for his dad after his retirement in 2002. He is now the Owner and Manager of Atlantic Meats which has established itself as a packer of quality meats.
Sandy and his wife, Melanie have three children. They understand the importance of sports and healthy activity in their children’s lives. They have introduced them to basketball, hockey, curling, soccer, and tia kwan do.
As a father and volunteering as a hockey coach for many years , Sandy understands the value of organized sports and how so many other indoor activities will benefit from a multi-sport complex.
Brian Purchase, Schwartz Furniture
Brian is a long time supporter of youth sports in Cape Breton as well as a highly motivated entrepreneur. He is the owner of several long standing businesses in our area - President of Schwartz Furniture & Showroom with four locations, owner of two Brick franchises, Rent Rite with three locations, a real estate company and Northside Self Storage.
After graduating from Memorial High School in 1984, Brian attended Cape Breton University (formally UCCB) where he studied business. In 1986, he transferred to St. Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia before graduating in 1988 with a BBA, Commerce degree. He immediately began working with Doane Raymond where he earned his designation as a Chartered Accountant and remained with the firm until 1992. It was not long after when he moved into a finance position at Schwartz and onward to becoming President.
Brian has been a substantial contributor to basketball on the Northside as well as for Basketball Cape Breton. He has been instrumental in building strong teams in North Sydney, particularly the female squads and has assembled clubs that travelled extensively over the years. He coached in all categories - under 14, under 16 and under 18 as well as the high school level - coaching for the Memorial Marauders. He has been part of the success of the long running Jr. Marauders program on the Northside and continues to provide coaching, guidance and advice to athletes.
Brian's business, Schwartz Furniture and Showroom on Reeves Street in Sydney, will be the location for the five Luck of Legends online 50/50 raffle draws for 2021.
Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, like many other kids, Rob grew up in Cape Breton playing hockey. While playing throughout his elementary and junior high school years, he discovered basketball and quickly developed a love for the game. With just one year of playing for Park Junior High, Rob made Sydney Academy's varsity team, playing 3 years before graduating in 1983.
Following high school, Rob attended Cape Breton University (formally UCCB), enrolling in the BACS - Marketing & Communication degree program. During that time, he played for four years with the men's basketball squad under head coach Tim McGarrigle. He gained valuable experience playing for McGarrigle, which he attributes to his coaching style today. He recalls playing alongside a list of great teammates who helped the program achieve success.
After graduating from university, Rob immediately moved into coaching, returning to his former high school. In the late 1980s, he moved to St. John's Newfoundland to work for Air Atlantic in Marketing and Sales. He remained with the company for several years as Sales Manager while coaching in the high school league at Prince of Wales Collegiate. He also continued playing basketball while in Newfoundland and Labrador, joining a senior league in St. John's.
As Rob's work took him to Halifax, Nova Scotia and onward to Calgary, Alberta with Canadian Airlines International he continued playing ball before deciding to return home. In 1996, he came back to Cape Breton to start his own business and once again returned to the coaching ranks at Sydney Academy, first with the boys and then with the girls varsity programs. His SA girls captured two regional titles in four years to cap off his High School Coaching career. He worked hard at helping his teams and players become successful. During this time he also volunteered on the coaching staff with the CBU men's program, with head coach Jim Charters.
Travelling throughout Canada and the US, Rob attended countless coaching clinics learning from pros and NCAA coaching staff. A long list of coaching greats have influenced and shaped Rob's successful coaching style – Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, Lon Kruger, Billy Donovan, Joanne McCallie, Gail Goestenkors, Hubie Brown, and Rick Majerus.
In later years with children of his own, Rob's passion for sport was passed on to them as he remained active in helping them pursue athletics. He instilled a strong work ethic in both his kids - experiencing success, setback and achievement through organized sports. He continued coaching in the elementary and middle school systems and onward into club basketball. He joined Basketball Cape Breton coaching at both the recreational and competitive levels. His team captured a provincial title with the U14 Div3 boys team. He was instrumental is launching BCB training camps and expanded into high intensity training - creating programs for many local high school athletes.
In 2018, he became a basketball official, refereeing NSSAF games for elementary, middle school and high school. He continues to share our passion for youth sports and developing athletes and young adults.
Rob resides in Sydney with his wife Lee-Ann and has two children - Elish (21) and Braeden (18).
Goodwill Community Ambassadors:
Alexander is a recent graduate of St. Francis Xavier University, earning his degree in business administration. His studies included attending Cape Breton University in 2015 where he later transferred to St. FX and completed his degree in April, 2020.
Alex grew up in Sydney, Nova Scotia, attending Riverview High School from 2012-2015. He has always been involved in various causes and activities while attending school. He has a rather extensive sports background where he was a member of Basketball Cape Breton, U18 Football, and HOA U17 Major Hockey . While in university he was a member of the St. FX Rowing team, and played on several hockey teams assembled on campus. Alex understands the value of fitness and nutrition when it comes to excelling in sports. Wherever his travels took him, he remained an active member of a local fitness centre such as the YMCA, Ascendo Fitness and Goodlife of Antigonish. He has developed a strong work ethic and that carries with him into his work life and with other personal endeavours.
In 2013, Alex began working as a labourer with employment for AMD Landscaping, Billy Bones, and Falcon Realty. In 2014, he worked as an Administrative Assistant for Unsworth Kachafanas before moving on to Boston Pizza in 2015. Today, he continues his employment at Falcon Realty and is a Representative for Rockstar Energy Drink. He has further his personal development by obtaining certifications in WHIMIS, Responsible Alcohol Service, and BPI Bullying and Harassments. He is skilled in public speaking, team building and customer management.
While managing busy schedules and his many commitments, Alex managed to volunteer for a number of great causes. He participated in Big Bike - a fundraiser to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Build Mission in the Dominican Republic - a 15 day mission to build homes and provide school supplies for families in need. Today he volunteers as an assistant coach for Cape Breton Panthers U13 Football.
Katherine is a graduate of Riverview High School and is currently enrolled in business at Cape Breton University (CBU). She is highly motivated and a very goal driven individual. She already has an impressive work history as she began working in 2015. Much of her experience is in accounting, ranging anywhere from bookkeeping to preparing tax returns. In addition to accounting, she worked at Boston Pizza in Sydney, learning not only about the importance of being organized and courteous, but also about business and processes that achieve operational efficiency.
In 2017, she attended St. Francis Xavier University where she studied business before returning to CBU to continue her degree studies. In 2020, she completed Harvard X - an online learning initiative by Harvard University in the field of Justice. She also has a passion for learning, working with others and using social media to support great causes.
Katherine has an equally impressive background as a volunteer. She participated in Big Bike - a fundraiser to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. As well, in 2016, she took part in a mission trip with the Live Different organization, travelling to the Dominican Republic for 15 days to build homes and to provide school supplies for families in need. Here at home, for the last three years, she volunteered for the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation to help raise money for the Cancer Patient Care Fund.
Shauna is a very proud resident of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and as a Community Ambassador she brings a wealth of volunteer, business and sports experience to our organization. Before graduating from Morrison High School in 1979, Shauna was active in various sports in her community. She went on to Cape Breton University (formally UCCB) and earned a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies – Sports Administration. This paved the way for a long career in sports management before moving into the accounting profession.
At a very young age, Shauna was introduced to dance and gymnastics. She became an associate dance teacher with the National Association of Teachers of Dance in the early 1980’s. Teaching at the Doris MacDonald School of Dance she taught ballet, tap, modern dance and acrobatics to approximately 200 young dancers a week.
In 1980, she founded the UCCB School of Gymnastics where she spent five years building a quality program. As a result of her efforts, the program has evolved and continues to operate as a successful long-standing operation on our island. In 1987, she served on the Cape Breton Island Games Gymnastics Committee. Soon after, she became the Development Coordinator for the Nova Scotia Rugby Union, serving a three-year term. During that same period, she also served as Co-Ordinator for the Nova Scotia Orienteering Association. In 1990, Shauna became the Executive Director for the Ontario Rugby Union serving a two-year term. While in these various roles, Shauna was involved in countless provincial, national and international sporting events. Along the way, she obtained National Coaching Certifications – Level 1 and 11 - Technical & Practical Gymnastics, Badminton and Volleyball. She also became a Registered Fitness Appraiser for the Canadian Association of Sport Sciences. As she continued to enhance her sports certifications, picking up Level 1 & 11 from the Athletic Trainers Association of Nova Scotia, she garnered an abundance of business experience. Business planning, proposal development and the preparation of financial plans for these various sports organization were incorporated to her roles.
In 1991, after an impressive run with sports organizations, Shauna decided to focus more on the business side of things and began working for a Chartered Accountant in North York, Ontario. She remained with the firm until 1997 before returning to Cape Breton. In 1998, she became employed with Unsworth Kachafanas in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Business planning, proposal writing, preparation of financial statements and the preparing tax returns are just some of the are accounting management duties for which she is responsible.
Today, she is employed as a Manager with the accounting firm, HKCPA in Sydney.
Kim is a native of Sydney Forks, Nova Scotia. She grew up in a sports family where she and her siblings played basketball and soccer while pursuing piano and highland dance. Organized sports has taught her the importance of commitment and teamwork - focusing on common goals to achieve results.
Married to Allan with two daughters, Katie and Ainslie, she instilled the notion of active lifestyles for her entire family. Both daughters play soccer and basketball and she is passionate about being physically active. They all enjoy the outdoors with time spent on a variety of activities including hiking, kayaking, biking and skiing and boating. Kim has also coached basketball and soccer for various organizations and remains active in her community today.
As a graduate of Riverview High School, Kim went on and obtained a Bachelor of Business administration degree from Cape Breton University (formally UCCB) and currently works for Parkland Fuels Corp. She has worked with the company for more than 20 years, with the past 15 years as Regional Operations Manager for Atlantic Canada. In her role as Operations Manager, she has travelled extensively throughout the Atlantic region, visiting communities of various sizes but Cape Breton remains among her preferred place because of the people, the culture and untapped opportunities.
Kim has volunteered for Loaves and Fishes, the IWK Telethon and 100 Women that Care. She too sees the challenges facing Cape Breton youth and believes that organized sports builds strong communities and empowers youth to achieve great things - as we often - maybe even legendary things.