HUMBOLDT — Humboldt’s Brian Grest has been awarded with the Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association (SHSAA) Merit Award, the association’s highest honour.
Grest was a “very worthy candidate of the award” during the association’s 71st annual meeting in North Battleford, said Lyle McKellar, SHSAA’s executive director.
“He’s done it all, and has done it very, very well and very passionately.”
Jay Elder of SHSAA’s North West District was also a recipient of the award.
For the last 14 of Grest’s 31 years in education, he had been the district athletic director of the Horizon Central Athletic Association.
“My job is to do as much as possible to off load some of the planning and administrative work, so that the coaches can focus on coaching and teaching,” Grest said. “That includes governance … planning, that kind of stuff. And the decision making.”
“What I've done in my career really happens behind the scenes … when you work behind the scenes, not a lot of people really understand what you do. When the people who do understand what you do recognize you, that's very gratifying.”
Grest said he was a little bit surprised to receive the honour.
“There's a lot of people in the province that contribute a lot to high school athletics. Every year I got to the annual general meeting and sit and watch the merit awards, and I know there's so many good people out there,” he said.
Grest was able to attend the annual meeting to receive his plaque and make his speech, despite having planned to miss it for the first time in 28 years to recover from a double knee surgery.
“I was on medical leave, and then of course I get the phone call,” he said. “It was a little bit uncomfortable, but I respect the organization to the degree that I wasn't going to miss being there.”
At 55, Grest said he could retire.
“But I do not plan on retiring in the near future, because I simply enjoy what I do,” he said. “I really believe in what I do. There's so many good kids out there so many good coaches out there, I don't want to walk away from it yet, I just enjoy too much. It has been my dream job.”