This year's Coach of the Year exemplifies all of the traits we hold dear to us here at Augustana. A sense of community and hospitality, service, a focus on the future and giving back to the next generation and supporting his team through every step of their athletic journey.
Like all of the coaches at Augustana, Roger puts in countless hours over the course of the season for his team, focusing on practices, prepping for bonspiels, and making sure his athletes are reaching their full potential in their given sport, which paid off this year as his men's team had a terrific run at Nationals two weekends ago to place fourth after a tough game against the NAIT Ooks.
But beyond that, Roger shares his passion for curling with the community, and the world, at large. This winter, Roger and the Augustana curling teams hosted the UShanghai Team for two weeks, showing them caring hospitality and the sense of community that we aim to give to all our visitors to Augustana and Camrose. It was an opportunity for his curlers to meet other athletes from another country and culture, and for the athletes from Shanghai to experience what we do here at Augustana. Roger is currently working on a cooperating visit for the Vikings to head to China next year, which is a great opportunity for his curlers to combine their passion for their sport with the chance to explore and experience another culture. Roger is taking Augustana's beloved idea of experiential learning and combining it with sport to help it reach its full impact for his students.
Roger also gives back to the Camrose community continuously through his Little Rockers program. There are fewer things more inspiring than watching a seasoned pro pass on their passion and knowledge for a sport to the next generation, which is something Roger has been doing for many years through Little Rockers. He also spends time with Special Olympics athletes and shows them the ropes of this sport, making it accessible to everyone and demonstrating that anyone can be an athlete and do well at a sport if they've got someone cheering them on and supporting them.
Roger's dedication and commitment to the sport has been shown in mutliple ways over the last year, from his part in planning and supporting the Pinty's Canadian Open Grand Slam of Curling which Camrose hosted in January, to procuring the services of a Scottish piper at the last minute for the curling Championship that Augustana hosted this February, Roger goes above and beyond in whatever ways he can to make sure things go smoothly for everyone.
Of course, Roger's support of the curling community at both Augustana and Camrose wouldn't be as successful if it weren't for the support that he receives from his wife, Judy. So we thank you as well, Judy, for all the support and behind the scenes time and effort you put in alongside Roger to make all of the events and community engagement possible.
Congratulations Roger and thank you for everything you do for your athletes and all of the curlers in the Camrose and surrounding area. We appreciate your dedication and commitment to this sport and are honoured to present you with this year's Augustana Vikings Coach of the Year Award.
Coach Galenza has announced his retirement, effective at the end of the 2017-18 season. Throughout his tenure as Head Coach, Coach Galenza has been honoured as the CCAA Coach of the Year, has grown community youth curling considerably through the Vikings Little Rockers program and has substantially expanded recruiting reach for the Vikings. His Teams have earned several Conference Championships and a National Bronze medal in 2016. We wish Coach Galenza and his wife, Judy, all the best wishes in their travels.