Paul Andersen: Winner of the LHA’s George Turrell Spirit Award for 2023-24

Congratulations to Paul Andersen, winner of the LHA’s George Turrell Spirit Award for the 2023 – 24 season. Paul has coached the Leaside 2006 Red Select team since they began as Tykes (U7) twelve years ago. He also coached his older son’s hockey team and made the time to help his sister Shannon coach teams in both the LHA and the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association (TLGHA). His commitment to hockey is exceptional and he consistently uses a calm and measured approach to transfer his deep knowledge of the game to his players. That may be why Paul was nominated by so many of his players. One player tells us:

“Coach Paul has been the kindest and best coach I have ever had the pleasure of playing for. I played for Paul for around 4 years after that I played up for 3 years using the skills I learned from coach Paul. After those three years I came back to the team and have never looked back. He was able to mix fun with competitiveness making this the best environment I have ever had the been a part of. He has been a valuable member of the Leaside community for over a decade and is the most deserving person to win this award. As our team moves on we all think that our coach needs to be recognized.”

Another player had this to say about Paul:

“Paul is a great person, he’s coached me since tyke until I left for single A and when I decided to come back down he was happy to welcome me back to his team. He is a great coach and has great morals, and I wish I had more time with him as my coach.”

One of the parents on the U18 Red team described Paul like this:

“Paul has shown the boys what it is to be a respectful, hardworking and dedicated player through his actions on the bench and in the change room. I do not think that I have ever seen Paul loose his temper or get upset on the bench. I have 3 children in sports who have had many coaches, none have stood out like Paul.”

Paul takes great pride in treating his players fairly; rolling the lines regardless of the situation and giving each player an equal chance to contribute. Paul’s ability to create such a positive and cohesive community, combined with his ability to encourage and inspire his players, made him the clear choice for this year’s Spirit Award.

About the Award

The George Turrell Spirit Award is awarded to the individual who, in the view of the LHA Board of Directors, embodies the many ways that spirit inspires and connects our LHA community. This award is named in honour of the late George Turrell who volunteered at Leaside Arena for over 50 years. George’s larger-than-life personality and contagious smile brightened everyone’s day at the arena. George was extremely hard working, had a huge sense of pride for his work, and wore our Leaside colours with pride. George was a great example of someone that lived and breathed our LHA values of integrity, respect, discipline, sportsmanship, compassion, fairness, diversity, and last but not least community.