Coaches Week Spotlight: Khalil Ajram
September 18th, 2022
(Whitby, ON) - National Coaches Week is an annual campaign lead by the Coaching Association of Canada. Coaches week is an opportunity to recognize coaches for the integral role they play by taking the time to recognize and thank them for all there efforts. Join in on the week by recognizing your favourite coach on social media using the hashtag #ThanksCoach. Tag Rugby Ontario in the post so we can recognize them as well!
In celebration of National Coaches Week, Rugby Ontario is profiling volunteer coaches from across the Ontario rugby community. Today’s profile is on Khalil Ajram! Khalil coaches with the Aurora Barbarians and the Ontario Blues and also manages and volunteers with multiple teams. Read below to learn about Khalil's coaching journey!
How did you first get involved with rugby?
I started playing rugby in 2005, I began playing for my high school team and the Aurora Barbarians.
What is your favourite rugby memory?
When Rugby Ontario U18 Boys Sevens won back-to-back Canadian Rugby Championship in 2018 and 2019 at BC Place in front of 25,000 fans. 2018 was likely my favourite memory- a Ontario vs Ontario Final knocking off strong BC and Alberta teams in the semi finals.
What do you love most about the sport?
Rugby has given me a lifetime of memories and friendships.
What made you want to become a coach?
Sandy Townsend, my under 18 coach at Aurora and coach educator had me join him coaching Aurora under 16 boys in the summer of 2010.
What role have mentors and mentees played in your coach development?
Anyone you want to give a shoutout to? I've been lucky to have work lots of great and passion coaches. The mentor I've learned the most from would be Paul Myers- he always challenged me outside my comfort zone and always help me keep my emotions in check.
What challenges come with being a coach?
There's such a shortage of coaches, I'm bouncing between 3-5 teams at a time.
What is your favourite part about coaching?
Best part about coaching is watching players grow on and off the field.
How have you changed as a coach over your career?
There's only so much in rugby you can control. I learned having a short memory and not getting mad at things you can't controls, goes a long way
What have you learned during the pandemic that can help you grow as a coach?
The pandemic allowed me to refocus my energy to the grassroots level. I've been working with the same group of players in Aurora since 2018 and it was great to have them out to train/play when restrictions allowed it. We were one of the first games back in 2021- return to rugby season and they've just captured the 2022 Ontario Championship.
What would you say to someone who is considering getting into coaching?
Coaching can be one of the most challenging but rewarding things you do in life. Personally, I'd ease into it, start by shadowing, and build from there.
What are your goals as you move forward in your coaching career?
To help players achieve their goals in rugby and hopefully create new coaches and referees along the way
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Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to lead, support and promote Rugby for All from communities to clubs to province. This mission signals a movement toward creating a more cohesive, supportive and progressive sporting environment that is responsive to the needs of all members.
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