TJ Coker wants to become Canada’s Greatest Explorer, a title he’d earn if he wins an outdoor adventure competition sponsored by WOODS. The Huntsville native and HHS grad, who moved to Canmore, Alberta in 2013, was selected as one of the top 25 applicants and is vying to be one of the 12 finalists who will move on to the competition phase. (Read to the bottom of this story to learn how to cast your vote for him.)
Growing up in Muskoka definitely fueled and shaped his love for the outdoors, said his mom, Evelyn, via email. “Port Sydney Beach was our family’s favorite spot. Hidden Valley ski hill was another – TJ spent as much time there as he could. It became very evident to me that TJ was definitely an outdoor guy. At a very young age he just knew how to take care of himself when in nature. Mind you, he comes from a long line of hunters and campers in this family.”
He’s got the experience to make him a serious contender for the title, too. He graduated from Algonquin College in Pembroke with an Outdoor Adventure diploma and then worked as a white water canoe guide here in Muskoka before landing in Canmore.
Since arriving there, he has worked at Nakiska ski resort as a trail crew member, a mountain dispatcher and has volunteered as a Ski Patroller. He has also been a raft guide for the Tim Hortons children’s ranch and has been very active with the Alberta Whitewater Association, repairing and maintaining the flood-damaged white water playground on the Kananaskis River.
To get a chance at the title, he first needs to garner enough votes to land him in the top 12. As of today he’s sitting at number 10 and with just over two days of voting left he needs as many votes as he can get to stay there.
If he’s successful, TJ and the 11 other winners will move on to the next phase: a “series of physical, skillful and artistic outdoor challenges in undisclosed locations across Canada” according to the competition website. Participants aren’t told what those challenges will be in advance and each must perform better than the other competitors, based on predetermined indicators, or risk being eliminated from the competition.
The single winner is crowned WOODS Canada’s Greatest Explorer and receives $25,000 in prize money.
To vote for TJ, visit his profile here, where you can watch his funny application video and enter your daily votes, or go to www.WoodsExplorer.ca and scroll down the page until you find the video labelled Thomas C. Supporters can vote via Facebook, a Google Account or Twitter up to three times per day, once per device.
Good luck, TJ!
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