Joe DeRush Memorial Award

 2005 Inductee

Joanna Edwards


Joanna is a special needs athlete whom has had great success in a number of athletic endeavors.  Joanna attends Alexander Mackenzie Secondary School.  Joanna has developed into an accomplished young athlete who performs well both in and outside the classroom.  Joanna's successes are numerous and her work ethic is excellent.  Her recent achievements have assisted her in developing a strong measure of self esteem.

Joanna participates in a number of in school activities.  She does intramural basketball, volleyball and soccer.  She readily participates in our daily integrated physical education program.  She was the first special needs student to participate as a member of the Alexander MacKenzie  W.O.A.A. (Western Ontario Athletic Association) indoor soccer team.

Joanna (r) with her brother Daniel accepting her award.

Joanna was approached by Mark MacDonald, who is a teacher and track coach at A.M.S.S. and also the head coach of Athletics Southwest Track and Field Club.  Joanna was entered in the Lambton track and field championships in the 100 metre ambulartory category.  Joanna went on to win this event at L.S.S.A.A, S.W.O.S.S.A, O.F.S.S.A. Regionals and brought home a gold medal from O.F.S.S.A.

The school was very excited with Joanna's success and the fact that this is the first time in the school's history that A.M.S.S. has won a gold medal at any O.F.S.S.A. competition.

Joanna competes in a number of Special Olympic activities  She participates in 5 and 10 pin bowling, swimming and track and field.  Joanna has competed locally, regionally and provincially in these activities where she has earned many medals and plaques at each level of competition.  Most recently at the Special Olympic Provincial summer games, she won a silver and a bronze in track and field events.

Joanna also participates in sledge hockey program and swims on a regular basis at the Y.M.C.A.  She is an active member of her church and presently holds down two part time jobs at Wendy's and Famous Players Theatres.

Joanna is an exceptional young lady who has had great success despite her challenges and would make a great addition to the Sarnia Sports Hall of Fame.

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