Coaching swan song memorable for Zinkan
When Ted Zinkan decided to pass the torch after many years coaching rugby teams at George Bonner School, he never thought it would end by passing the Mid-Island midget boys’ championship shield to his own son.
Ted Zinkan Senior’s Bonner team lost a long grip on the shield, but he had the honour of presenting it to Ted Junior of Shawnigan Lake School’s team.
Shawnigan — coached by Rhodri Samuel, Wes Plater and Ryan Hamilton — prevailed over Bonner 27-7 in the Mid-Island final.
“Who would ever thought I would be presenting this trophy to my own son?’’ pondered Zinkan.
Plater saluted Zinkan Senior for his many long years of service. “He has been the heart of rugby at Bonner and many boys received their introduction to the sport through his dedication and commitment,’’ noted Plater.
Zinkan, 59, officially retired from teaching in August of last year. But he extended his rugby coaching tenure one more season.
Zinkan actually started in the district teaching and coaching rugby at Mount Prevost School before moving over to Bonner. He later went to Quamichan Middle School as a vice-principal and then returned to Bonner in the same post.
In all, Zinkan spent 10 years between Prevost and Quamichan, and 23 coaching rugby at Bonner.
Zinkan followed in the footsteps of rugby enthusiasts Gord Morgan and Barry Roome initially at Bonner. “I picked up where they left off,’’ said Zinkan. “I coached forever there.’’
When he returned, “it was like going back to an old family,’’ said Zinkan. “It was quite comfortable.’’
He wanted to make a clean break after the present group. “That group of boys at Bonner I had coached them in Grade 6, last year in Grade 7 and I had to follow it through to Grade 8,’’ Zinkan said.
He’s not completely done with coaching, turning his attention to daughter Robyn in soccer and field hockey. “It’s not like I’m giving up the coaching,’’ said Zinkan. “I’m going to support what she’s doing.’’