Jayme Menzies's whistle may be collecting dust, but she continues to make noise in Manitoba's athletics community.
The past year has been difficult for Menzies as organized sports have been thrown for a loop. She says she was surprised to be given two awards in a matter of months for her previous work.
"It is a little overwhelming in a good way, but it also feels a bit goofy," Menzies says, noting that coaching is not a job that people do to receive recognition. "It has been a nice way of connecting to the sports community again.
In January she was named Indigenous Female Coach of the Decade by the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports & Recreation Council. Recently she has been given the Peter Williamson Memorial Award from Sport Manitoba. Menzies says the awards have given her the excuse to catch up with others over the past few months.
Menzies is the head coach with Canadian Mennonite University's women's volleyball team and has teams of her own with her project Agoojin. She approaches coaching as more than just a physical thing.
"I have used references to the medicine wheel model before, but if the whole person is a circle, the sport is a piece of a pie, and physical activity one piece of that pie, and training to win is just one piece of that pie. But I guess that holistic model is trying to see all pies of the pie of an individual."
She says considering people's spiritualities, families, and other elements to their lives are important.
The hardest part of the past year for Menzies has been the separation between her and her usual teams. As a community leader, Menzies is a go-to for support, both on and off the court.
"Being forced to be at home has brought some advantages but it has certainly allowed me to think about all the reasons why I do love coaching."
Menzies says she misses working with the athletes and she cannot wait to see the smiling faces of players back on the court.