Chelsea Zavitz 2016 Jeffrey Reed Courage Award Winner

Photo courtesy Chelsea Zavitz.

Photo courtesy Chelsea Zavitz.

CHELSEA ZAVITZ NAMED JEFFREY REED COURAGE AWARD WINNER
ANNUAL AWARD RECOGNIZES INSPIRATIONAL ATHLETES

May 9, 2016 (London, ONT) – Today, Elizabeth and Jeffrey Reed announce Chelsea Zavitz of St. Thomas, Ontario as the inaugural winner of the newly-created annual Jeffrey Reed Courage Award.

Zavitz, 19, will receive a plaque and $1,000 cheque from LondonOntarioSports.com during an awards luncheon June 14 at Greenhills Golf Club in Lambeth.

In 2001, Reed, a long-time member of the London sports media, pitched for the London Majors of the Intercounty Baseball League. A disabled athlete, Reed accomplished this goal at age 39. Today, despite numerous skeletal deformities, Reed is a golf teaching professional and Staff Advisory member with Wilson Golf for a 12th season. Read his story here http://www.JeffreyReedReporting.com/speaking.htm.

East Elgin's Chelsea Zavitz pushes to the basket against the Central Elgin Titans. Photo: R. Mark Butterwick/St. Thomas Times-Journal.

East Elgin’s Chelsea Zavitz pushes to the basket against the Central Elgin Titans. Photo: R. Mark Butterwick/St. Thomas Times-Journal.

An all-around athlete with an incredible story of hope and determination of her own, Zavitz is a standout basketball, hockey and soccer player with the East Elgin Secondary School Eagles. Heavily involved in other community sports as a player, coach and mentor, Zavitz suffered a serious concussion on the soccer pitch during her Grade 11 school year in June 2014. Through many physical and emotional struggles, she persevered, and this season will play with the FC London women’s semi-professional soccer squad as an outside midfielder.

“Even during the toughest of times during recovery from her concussion, Chelsea never lost hope that she would again return to the playing field,” said Jeffrey Reed. “It was during her exhausting year-long therapy and recuperation that she turned to coaching an U-8 soccer team – an outlet that helped to further establish her as a mentor.

“Chelsea had countless medical appointments, and was forced to not only give up sports but also missed writing her Grade 11 final exams, and Grade 12 first semester exams,” Reed continued. “But Chelsea continued to fight back, with strong support from family, friends, mentors and medical staff. She’ll attend the University of Windsor to study Human Kinetics, in order to help others who have suffered brain injuries, and will also play for the Lancers women’s varsity soccer team.”

An honour roll student, and multiple award winner including OFSAA and WOSSAA basketball, hockey and soccer medals, a team captain and a mentor, Zavitz gives unselfishly of her time while coaching U-9 girls’ soccer with the St. Thomas Soccer Club (with whom she has coached for the past three years). She has organized and run clinics with the East Elgin Youth Basketball Club in St. Thomas, and for the past two seasons has coached with the St. Thomas Shock Novice girls’ basketball squad. She’s also co-president of her school’s Girls and Boys Athletic Association (GBAA).

“I am honoured to be named the first winner of the Jeffrey Reed Courage Award,” said Zavitz. “Jeffrey’s story has inspired me. I hope that by winning this annual award, I can inspire others with my own story.

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“After my concussion, I was spending each day in dark, quiet rooms and had to go to chiropractor, physiotherapy and physician appointments on a daily basis,” explained Zavitz. “I could no longer participate in my daily academic or athletic activities. The physical symptoms associated with my brain injury were overwhelming and left me nauseous, exhausted and in extreme pain every day.

“By taking advantage of the help offered to me by many supportive people in my life, I am gradually learning to overcome these setbacks. By encouraging myself to never give up and always maintain a positive outlook, I am confident I will achieve my future goals,” Zavitz said.

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About The Jeffrey Reed Courage Award

Est. October 2015, the Jeffrey Reed Courage Award recognizes a Southwestern Ontario athlete for his or her courage on and off the playing field. Each athlete must nominate themselves, and write a 1,000-word essay including information on their challenges, how they tackled them, how they achieved their goals, and how they inspired others. LondonOntarioSports.com awards the winner with a $1,000 cheque plus a plaque at an annual luncheon ceremony. In 2001, Jeffrey Reed, a long-time member of the London sports media, pitched for the London Majors of the Intercounty Baseball League. A disabled athlete, Reed accomplished this goal at age 39. Through his inspirational story and annual award, Reed now gives area athletes an opportunity to inspire others with their own stories. Reed’s amazing journey, Diamond Dream, is online at http://www.JeffreyReedReporting.com/speaking.htm.

Tickets for the Jeffrey Reed Courage Award luncheon and awards ceremony are $40 in advance only. The ceremony will include the London Ontario Golf Heart Award presentation to 2016 recipient Bob Martin. For tickets, e-mail Elizabeth@londonontariosports.com.

The Jeffrey Reed Courage Awards thanks its major supporters:

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About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office http://www.JeffreyReedReporting.com established 1989. Publisher/Editor of this website and https://londonontariogolf.com.

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