Sports and education in Alameda have been a big part of Jeff Cameron’s life for more than 30 years.
Cameron, who retired as the Alameda School principal at the end of the 2018-19 school year, was recently presented with the Len William Memorial Award by the South East Cornerstone Public School Division for service, dedication to coaching and working with extracurricular and intramural sports.
It’s named in honour of Williams, a long-time educator and sports enthusiast from Weyburn who died in 2014.
Cameron started his teaching career in northern Saskatchewan in 1986, and came to Alameda in 1988 because it was close to his hometown of Pierson, Man.
“I was involved with the coaching of all the sports at the school, and I continued with that until I retired this past June,” Cameron told Lifestyles.
In a typical year, he coached golf, cross-country, volleyball, curling, badminton, and track and field. He likely would have guided the basketball team, too, but the school’s gym wasn’t big enough for that sport.
He often coached three or four volleyball teams from the school.
In the community, he coached hockey and softball, and did some coaching in Estevan for a few years.
Sports are a great way to learn life skills, he said.
“I think it helps you to be a better human being. I like kids to be active. If you look at all of the data, we have such a high rate of diabetes and the cancers and so forth, and all of the articles … that you read, would point to a healthier diet and more activity to reduce the risk of getting some of these things,” he said.
When he grew up, he played all kinds of sports, and met people and made lifelong friendships.
“I just hope that I can pass some of that on, and it has helped where for some kids sports have gone on to help them with their education,” said Cameron.
While it’s a nice way to wrap up his teaching career, and he’s humbled by the recognition, Cameron said he’s more concerned about who he was as a teacher, an administrator and a person.
“People forget what they say and they forget what you do, but they never forget how you make them feel,” said Cameron. “That’s the biggest thing for me. I just hope I made an impact on how people feel about themselves, about their friends and about their families, and to interact more.”