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A legend and a chair remembered at ThrowsFest

Don Fennell   May-23-2018

The chair from which Richard Collier guided many Richmond Kajaks throws practices.

Photo by Don Fennell

Who knew there could be so much history in a simple folding chair?

On the surface it appears to be just another metal and plastic-crafted seat. One of literally hundreds of thousands.


A secondary piece to the inventory of equipment belonging to the Richmond Kajaks Track and Field Club, but with the eye of history, its value is priceless.

From this chair Richard Bernard Collier spent countless hours presiding over throws practices, encouraging hundreds of young athletes to reach levels that many themselves wondered were even possible.

His sense of vision and determination reflected who he was. As Athletics Canada said in a statement following his passing: “In the pursuit of excellence Richard Collier has always seen the big picture, recognizing that every situation presents an opportunity to learn and grow.”

Each year, since his passing in 2015, the Kajaks pay homage to the legendary coach with the Richard Collier Big Kahuna ThrowsFest. Recognizing Collier’s Hawaiian roots, kahuna means a wise man.

Dedicating his life to serving others enriched his own. And last Saturday, during the third annual ThrowsFest at the Minoru complex that now bears his name, a Hawaiian proverb magnified the support the athletes demonstrated for each other throughout the day’s competition: ‘A’ ohe loko maika’i i nele ka pana’i (no kind heart lacks reward).

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