Keith Forsyth a retired teacher from Boissevain has been singled out for his outstanding contribution to high school athletics.

The Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association presented their annual High School Coaching Awards Monday at the group’s annual general meeting in Portage la Prairie.

Keith Forsyth of Boissevain School was presented the Frank L. McKinnon Award for his outstanding volunteerism in high school sport. Forsyth spent more than 25 years coaching girl’s basketball at Boissevain School.

“Growing up sports was my number one priority in life so when I got to Boissevain I asked them what can I coach? Obviously hockey would have a great fit for me but Brad White and Greg Cameron were already doing that so I said what do you want me to coach and they said how about basketball. So I didn’t know much about it so I took it on.”

He has had an impact on many students, and although basketball was his most time-consuming sport the MHSAA said it was his willingness to help others in so many ways that makes Keith stand out. Apart from coaching other school teams he participated on several committees and was a leader in Zone 9.

“Al Stewart was coaching at the time and I work with him for a couple of years before taking over. There were certainly times I didn’t what was going on on the court. It took a lot of videos and I asked people who know basketball a lot of questions and it probably took five or six years before I felt comfortable” said Forsyth.

His teams enjoyed success both at the zone level and at provincials. “The big thing was I had kids who wanted to play. When I said we’re going to practice Mondays and Wednesdays and play Tuesdays and Thursdays and go to tournaments Friday and Saturday they jumped right in and the kids bought in and never suggested we were playing too much. The big thing is we tended to work harder than most teams.”

Keith Forsyth dedicated time and effort towards making Boissevain School a better environment for the students.

“The most rewarding thing was making a difference with the students. The wins and the losses are one thing but the fact is I hopefully have had a positive impact on a lot of students. That’s what makes me feel good I spent 25 years at Boissevain School and if you’ve helped one person that’s great and I think I’ve done that and that’s what makes me the most proud of what I’ve done at the school” said Forsyth.

“It’s nice to know your peers think enough of you to present you with something that is reflective of sports over a larger amount of time.”