Teacher shares love of sports

[attach]1911[/attach]Kristina Kotsopoulos infused her love for school and sports into her career.

The 31-year-old has been teaching and coaching at Runnymede Collegiate Institute for eight years.

Her commitment and involvement earned her the first ever title of Coach of the Year in the West Region at Town Crier’s 25th annual athletic banquet.

Kotsopoulos also coached Liam Hodge, who was awarded as the overall Athlete of the Year Award.

Surprised by her honour, Kotsopoulos said she can’t imagine not coaching.

“I know it sounds cheesy, but one of my favourite quotes is ‘Not to transmit your experience is to betray it’,” she said. “I had such an incredible experience in athletics in my school that I feel like I have to give that back to students.”

Kotsopoulos coaches junior and senior girls’ volleyball, girls’ slo pitch, badminton and assists with track and field. And although all the sports are different, the common thread between them is working towards a collective goal as a team while having fun and being active, she said.

When in high school herself, Kotsopoulos joined all the teams she could, which she said made her school years more meaningful and special. It’s essential for all students to be a part of something – whether it’s athletics, a team or a club – because it will be a highlight of their school years while developing character, she said.

“Teamwork, organization, motivation, hardwork, perseverance, all of that comes out of sports, or at least it’s developed through athletics,” Kotsopoulos said.

Aside from teaching and coaching, Kotsopoulos is also the staff supervisor of the program Right to Play, which started up this year between Runnymede C.I. and George Syme Community School.

Kotsopoulos couldn’t pinpoint just one best moment throughout her time as a coach.

“There’s so many little moments,” she said. “It’s all about having a good time when you’re out there, playing hard, improving and having fun.”