Bob Radojcin, head trainer and former coach for the Mount Forest Rams, won the Dr. Tom Pashby Provincial Trainer of the Year award from the Hockey Development Centre for Ontario on Aug. 13.
“I was more than honoured to receive the award, it caught me by surprise,” said Radojcin.
He is an advanced care paramedic and has been a trainer for over 15 years. He started as head trainer last year while he coached the Bantam Rep team.
He said he started his trainer career when his oldest son was playing hockey. Parents and coaches would look to him to help out if an injury occurred.
“If something happened they always looked at you to help out, so everyone knows you’re a paramedic and soon as there’s an injury they call you down or call you to help. So that’s how I got into the trainer part of it,” said Radojcin in an interview with the Advertiser.
“I’ve always liked to see safety and risk management get promoted.”
Radojcin ran a concussion seminar last year at which Jason Brooks, former OHL player and current coach of the Listowel Cyclones, was a guest speaker. Brooks spoke about how his concussion affected him and Radojcin said it was a successful seminar.
“It’s a very hot topic these days and I’m sure it always will be but I think any awareness education that can be brought out to not just players, but to parents, trainers and coaches is always beneficial,” he said.
The award’s namesake, Dr. Tom Pashby, was an advocate for safety in hockey and he helped push mandatory helmets and face guards.
Safety lies in knowledge
For Radojcin, safety lies in the knowledge of CPR, which he said is the best tool for trainers.
“I think having it to the point where trainers have to know it to be behind the bench is very important,” he said.
“Being educated and trained and to properly (react to) a situation, it can save a life.”
Terry Bell and the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) nominated Radojcin for the Trainer of the Year award. Bell is the former technical director for the trainers program at OMHA.
He met Radojcin and his wife Jaime, who is also a paramedic, though the Action Clinic he was hosting in Mount Forest. The paramedic duo helped Bell in his clinic and he asked them to assist in five future clinics.
“They were like your perfect parent-expert-type people… for that job,” said Bell.
“He and his wife do everything on a volunteer basis, and that’s what the award is all about. From an expertise perspective he, being an advanced level paramedic, his knowledge was very valuable to me and the Action Clinic.”
Radojcin and Jaime have been volunteering their time to show people how defibrillators work and pushing safety training for players and trainers.
Bell said they have gone above and beyond their volunteer position.