*Courtesy of the Humber Valley Sharks
To know Reg was to know his iron will, his passion for the game of hockey, and most of all. his unwavering loyalty to his family and friends.
Reg started to coach minor hockey in 2002 with the Humber Valley Hockey Association. In his early days of coaching, he spent more time tying skates and scooping little ones up of the ice but he loved every minute.
Reg valued his coaching experience. He was a Shark through and through and coached two ages groups concurrently so that both his sons, Mackenzie and Thomas, could benefit from his passion for the game. During his 15 years coaching career, Reg was involved in developing players at the house league, select and GTHL levels. He loved every minute of his time at the rink which often meant eight, nine, or more visits each week.
Working behind the bench with Reg provided the opportunity to witness first hand his passion for the game of hockey, but more importantly, his commitment to the players during a key window in their maturation into young men. Reg suffered no fools and took no crap from anybody. Not from his friends, his players, and certainly not from the referees who had the good fortune to officiate his games. You had to earn Reg’s respect, but once you did, he had your back forever.
He formed a bond with the parents that was grounded in open and honest communications, well-defined expectations and a shared vision of building, not only a winning and successful hockey team, but a team of leaders. He dedicated his time and energy to ensure that his players grew into young men who were equipped to be successful at life.
Reg Parker. He may be the only coach in history to be suspended from house league for arguing with the refs. The only coach to ever bring an oxygen tank with him on the bench. A coach who could hold a change room like no other.
In March of 2014, Reg underwent a double lung and liver transplant and his strength and determination were an inspiration to everyone. While it was never easy, he treated each day as a gift and always looked for the light at the end of the tunnel. Ironic that when the surgeons went in there and scooped his insides out, they left behind the most valuable organ of all – Reg’s heart of gold.
Even as his illness sapped his strength, it never weakened his resolve and commitment to the causes that he cared deeply about. After his surgery, he continued to coach and became a tireless advocate for both blood and organ donations.
To celebrate Reg’s life, his wife Cate and their boys Mackenzie and Thomas invite you to join with them in donating blood on Thursday, May 18, 2017, at Holy Angels Church, 61 Jutland Road at Islington in Etobicoke. The Clinic will run from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM and we encourage your participation in this important endeavour in Reg’s honour.
Please roll up your sleeves for Reg and pre-register to for the clinic here.
If you cannot attend the clinic, you can also make a donation to The Toronto General Hospital Foundation in Reg’s name which will be put towards improving the experience of transplant patients and their families. Click here to donate in Reg’s name.