2010 Recipient – Mr. Garth Turtle

“Garth dedicated his career to the advancement of quality physical and health education programming.” said Louise Humbert, PHE Canada President. “It is through dedication like his that PHE Canada’s vision to have all children and youth in Canada living healthy, physically active lives will be realized.”

The R. Tait McKenzie Award of Honour awards someone who has “made a significant impact on physical education, health education/promotion, recreation, and dance”. The key word here is impact. As one nominator cited, “there are many teachers who can fill class time or a sports practice with activities, but very few of them will make a lasting impression, change someone’s life, or be thought of years later with life lessons ringing in the ears of their past students or athletes. The test of a true teacher is if their lessons go beyond the classroom, beyond the schoolyard, and beyond childhood.

Garth Turtle provided effective leadership within the province of Prince Edward Island. He facilitated the development of a sportsmanship strategy for the P.E.I. School Athletic Association to ensure that coaches and student athletes understood the true meaning of fairplay. He also took a leadership role in planning and developing the P.E.I Department of Education Active, Healthy Schools Initiative which involved planning, developing, and facilitating the Active Healthy School Communities Strategy.

It was a natural progression for Garth to move to the national level. When the School Sports Canada required a constitution, Garth capably undertook this challenge with his enthusiasm and determination.

Garth is highly respected for his leadership with the Canadian Coalition for Active Living; his approach is inspired by the work of his hero Lester B. Pearson. His philosophy is that once the discussion is complete and good decisions are made, it is time to roll up one’s sleeves and get to it. According to Garth, opportunities will knock at your door only when you go looking for them. He devotes his boundless energy and enthusiasm to looking for opportunities to speak out for a more active future for our children and youth.

Garth accepted the role of President of Physical and Health Education Canada during a time when funding for national not-for profit organizations was difficult to obtain. Garth courageously lead PHE Canada through dark times with his hard work, positive enthusiasm, well honed skills, and exceptional leadership capabilities. The fact that we are present today at another successful Physical and Health Education Canada conference is a testimonial to Garth.

A basic tenant to Garth’s success is that he believes that success is seldom the result of one man’s efforts. He is a true team player and believes that at the end of the day, friendship is our most valuable asset.

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