Chilliwack’s Harold Willers wins Athletics Canada coaching award

The longtime track coach has mentored athletes who are on the cusp of making waves internationally.

Chilliwack’s Harold Willers has won the Jane & Gerry Swan Award as Athletics Canada’s Development Coach of the year.

Willers teaches at Chilliwack secondary school and coaches with the Valley Royals, specializing in throwing events.

Sardis secondary school student Rowan Hamilton is one of his protegees. Another is Abbotsford native Vikramjit Gondara and both competed in the 2017 U-20 Pan-American Championships.

Willers himself is a former high-level athlete at Simon Fraser University who was inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

Willers won four Canadian Championships in the hammer throw (1981 to 1984), and represented Canada at the Commonwealth and Pan American Games.

He still holds the SFU record in the hammer at 67.28-metres. Hamilton threw 66.35m at last week’s Fraser Valley track meet.

Willers was one of three nominees for the Jane & Gerry Swan Award, along with Edmonton International Track Club coach Mark Cocks and Saugeen Track and Field Club coach Randy Millar.

The Swans were huge contributors to the development of track and cross-country in B.C. and the home of the Valley Royals at Abbotsford’s Rotary Stadium was renamed the Jane and Gerry Swan Track in their honour.

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