For almost 17 years, Shelly Nobile has volunteered in the lacrosse community, becoming more and more involved as the years went by. This month, she was recognized by the Ontario Lacrosse Association (OLA) for her efforts in promoting the sport for the 2019 season.
Nobile first joined Huntsville’s minor lacrosse association executive as treasurer when her two young sons began to play lacrosse. Her oldest son only played for a few years but her youngest son has proudly worn a Hawks jersey for 18 years.
Over the years, Nobile held many different positions within the association, from tournament coordinator to vice-president to president. She was also the VP for the Senior B team and president of the Junior team. For eight years, Nobile was the zone director who would oversee ten other clubs including Huntsville. During those eight years, Nobile also served on the OLA board of governors.
This year, she was nominated for the OLA’s Merv Mackenzie Award by Sonya Crossey, the organization’s vice president of promotion, which was awarded at the OLA’s Hall of Fame dinner on Saturday, November 16.
Generally the recipients of this award are told ahead of time, but they were able to surprise Nobile.
“I was very surprised, extremely honoured and grateful to be acknowledged in that way,” she said. “Receiving the award was a little overwhelming. When Sonya began the induction, I had no idea who she was presenting the award to and as she described the different positions I’ve held in lacrosse, I realized she was talking about me.”
Nobile feels her work in getting the new Senior Series Lacrosse (SSL) league started was key to receiving the award.
“Starting the league was one of the most challenging and yet most rewarding things I’ve done in lacrosse,” she said.
The SSL league was established for lacrosse players that are over the age of 22 who want to continue to play box lacrosse. The teams play three weekend tournaments in June and July with a fourth weekend of championships. Five teams played in the league’s inaugural year: Huntsville Hawks, Lakefield Rage, London Blue Devils, Peel Region Tigers, and Six Nations Tomahawks.
“I wanted a place for players who were over junior age but couldn’t make the commitment to playing Senior B or Major A a place to play,” said Nobile. “I put together a proposal to the OLA board of governors and board of directors to start this league and once approved I starting communicating with all minor, junior and senior clubs in the province to accept applications from new teams. This past season was amazing. Obviously I loved seeing players from Huntsville who I have watched play their entire lives continuing to play but also lots of others in the province.”
Nobile said she enjoys working alongside the other special volunteers from the OLA who all give a great deal of themselves to the game they all love and to be a part of such an incredible lacrosse family.
“Huntsville has an amazing lacrosse history and I love being a very tiny part of it. As with most families there are always people who will help when needed and I’ve been fortunate to have some incredible lacrosse people help me over the years,” she said. “The list is far too long to mention them all but in creating this league two key people were Sonya Crossey our VP of promotion and Ron MacSpadyen the OLA program director. The true inspiration for this league was every junior player I watched go overage that would no longer have a place to play.”
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