Arthur coaches recognized as outstanding citizens

Jeff and Teena McKee of Arthur were presented with the Arthur and Area Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen Award at the chamber’s annual general meeting recently.

Jeff and Teena were nominated for their contribution to youth Sports. Jeff has coached baseball, hockey and lacrosse for over 30 years.

In fact, when they were married, the Atom girls baseball team Jeff was coaching at the time held up bats outside the church to create an arch for the couple to walk through. He ended up coaching the team as they moved up in age groups.

Teena has coached a handful of times, but she also spends her volunteer hours at the ball  diamond booth selling drinks and snacks during games.

Teena said the game is important to them both.

“We want to keep ball in Arthur. The biggest thing is Arthur last year had 14 teams involved in ball and the next closest centre had five,” she said.  

“We go out of our way to try to ensure that we have the calibre of ball here in Arthur to keep everybody interested.”

Ruth Risidore, one of the children Jeff coached, now coaches ball herself and is currently the president of the Arthur Minor Ball Association.

She said the McKees “are phenomenal people.”

“They work really well with kids. Their main focus is the kids, making sure they have fun, making sure they are improving,” Risidore added.

Jeff conducts pitching clinics and other practices throughout the winter. Though he is finished coaching hockey and lacrosse, he continues to coach baseball for the Arthur Twisters, an elite novice softball team.

Teena said it is important for youth to be involved in Sports because “it keeps them interested in something … We just want them to be involved.”

Jeff added, “It’s practice for life.”

Teena said she and Jeff have instilled the importance of volunteerism in their children and hope to do the same with all the children they coach.  

“It’s good for the community,” she said. “We love to volunteer.”