Longtime Campbell River Storm trainer Jami Harris was honoured by the team at it’s annual awards night.
But, no, Harris did not receive an award.
She had one named after her.
“They didn’t tell me until I presented it because every year I present the Trainer’s Award as trainer,” Harris said. “After I did my speech they said, ‘Oh yes, and from this moment on this award will be now known as the Jami Harris Award. That’s how they told me.’”
Harris was touched by the recognition.
“I was pretty honoured. I have been with the team a long time,” she said. “So, it was a pretty cool honour to have that award named after me.”
This was Harris’ last year as the team’s trainer, a job she’s done, on and off, since the team’s inception. Harris is also the team’s office manager.
She originally offered her services to the team back in the beginning.
“I decided to show up at the game one day and asked if they wanted any volunteers,” Harris said.
She started as an “ice kid” and worked her way up to game day coordinator. Then she stepped back from the team for three or four years
She returned to the club when jim Revenburg owned the team and they approached her employer for a donation. She told them that she used to work for the team and would love to get back involved.
She came on again as the office manager and game day coordinator. Her husband John was the trainer but they were looking for a new one. While a replacement was sought, Jami handled a serious injury at training camp.
“The next day when I came back, Jim Revenburg handed me a brand new track suit because the other one was covered in blood, and said, ‘I found my trainer, stop searching.’”
When the Spooners bought the team in 2011, Harris stayed on as office manager and trainer.
Harris is eminently qualified for the job. She is a highly qualified first aider having been involved with St. John’s Ambulance for years – both she and her husband were superintendents of both adult and cadet brigades for nine years.
“It was just a natural fit.”
And there’s more to it than helping an injured player off the ice and putting some ice where it’s sore. In fact there’s probably more work off the ice outside of game time than on.
She diagnoses all injuries. If a player’s injured on the ice, the trainer diagnoses the injury right away.
“If we can patch him back up and get him back on the ice we do.”
The trainer looks after all the players’ medical, dental and physiotherapy appointments arising out of the injury.
“And follow them through their injuries and their sickness to make sure they get back together and get healthy enough to get back on the ice to play again.”
They also communicate with the players’ parents about the injury.
“You do a lot of work, yeah.”
The Trainer’s Award – now the Jami Harris Trainer’s Award – is presented to a player his perseverance in fighting back through an injury. This year there were co-winners, Gage Colpron and Michael Holub. Harris presented her award to Colpron and her associate trainer Larry Adams – who will be taking over for Harris – presented to Holub.