News Release: Swan-Merrison Wins 2020 Courage Award


Londoner Preston Swan-Merrison Receives 2020 Jeffrey Reed Courage Award

Lucan Irish Goalie 5th Annual Courage Award Winner

Feb. 10, 2020 (London, ONT) – Today, announces Lucan Irish goalie and Monseigneur-Bruyè Catholic Secondary School student Preston Swan-Merrison as winner of the 5th annual Jeffrey Reed Courage Award for 2020.

Preston, 17, is the first male athlete to win the Jeffrey Reed Courage Award, presented by to a Southwestern Ontario athlete – amateur or professional – who inspires others by demonstrating courage on and off the playing field.

A disabled athlete, Reed was given no chance of playing competitive sports and very little chance of walking properly past the age of 50. But in 2000 and 2001, he was a member of the London Majors of the semi-professional Intercounty Baseball League, and at age 39 pitched as an IBL rookie. Today, at age 58, he is a scratch golfer and ambassador for numerous golf industry members. Read more at

Preston Swan-Merrison. Photo: Sharyn KC & Tom C.

The Jeffrey Reed Courage Award provides five pillars, encouraging you to dream big and never stop dreaming; work with mentors and mentor others; learn from failure; give 100 per cent at all times; and never quit.

Each spring, awards the winning athlete with a plaque and $1,000 award at the web publication’s annual banquet recognizing and celebrating his or her courage in sports and in life. Each athlete must write a 1,000-word essay nominating themselves for the award.

Past winners are: FC London and Fanshawe Falcons soccer player Chelsea Zavitz (2016); former Fanshawe Falcons female athlete of the year Ali Vlasman (2017); Western nursing graduate Danielle Austin (2018); and former Western Mustangs women’s softball captain Claire Linton (2019). Biographies are published at

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 9, Preston is a former football and hockey player with the Jr. Mustangs, a Jr. Knights hockey graduate, and currently a goaltender with the Jr. C Lucan Irish and backup with the Jr. B Chatham Maroons.

He is also a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Youth Ambassador; one of 13 teens to receive the 2015 Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year award; a member of MP for London West Kate Young’s youth council; a two-time author raising awareness of Juvenile diabetes; and a fundraiser and champion for numerous causes including diabetes, epilepsy and homelessness.

In addition to living with Type 1 diabetes, Preston has a learning disorder: Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), which affects up to five per cent of school-aged children. These students have difficulty processing the information they hear and are usually characterized as poor listeners when, in fact, their brains interpret sounds differently than those of others.

“Diabetes has made me a stronger person,” said Preston, “and the Jeffrey Reed Courage Award is everything I believe in. I am someone who has learned from my many failures and challenges, and I have never stopped following my dreams, even when I felt like quitting was the only answer. Instead, I have been able to give back and find strength in others which, in return, has helped me in this journey we call life.”

“Preston’s life is only beginning, yet already he has accomplished what some do during their entire lives,” said Reed. “There is certainly no quit in this fighter – a champion for Type 1 diabetes and so many other causes, and an outstanding athlete brave enough to stop pucks between the pipes. is proud to recognize Preston with the 2020 Jeffrey Reed Courage Award.”

There is much more about Preston in this feature story here Media: Feel free to use all or portions of the story. Please credit: Jeffrey Reed/ will honour Preston with the Jeffrey Reed Courage Award at its annual luncheon awards banquet on Friday, May 1 at FireRock Golf Club in Komoka. Information on tickets will be announced soon at the website.


For more information and high-res images of Preston Swan-Merrison, contact:
Jeffrey Reed, Editor, 519/643-6334 or

To contact Preston, call 226-224-9726 or 519/474-0621

About the Jeffrey Reed Courage Award
Est. 2015, the Jeffrey Reed Courage Award is presented to a Southwestern Ontario athlete – amateur or professional – who inspires others with courage on and off the playing field. A disabled athlete, Jeffrey Reed pitched as a 39-year-old rookie with the London Majors of the Intercounty Baseball League. Learn more at

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About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office established 1989. Publisher/Editor of this website and

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