Stewart says he always knew he wanted to give back to the community but never wanted to coach his own kids. “Before you knew it though, like almost every community coach, you were helping out. I tried to keep at arm’s length from my boys and that’s part of the beauty of football. There’s lots of work to be done. I quickly learned how rewarding it was working with youth and how much the fundamentals had evolved over time. I enjoyed going to every coaching clinic and meeting I could and strongly encouraged my fellow coaches to do the same. I’ve been with the club for 15 years now, the last 5 of which as the President of the Warriors as well. Whether I had intended it or not, giving back to NCAFA football and the Warriors has been a great experience.” He explained.
When asked about the most rewarding part of being a coach, Stewart explained, “Indirectly, it was the collective moments I got to watch my boys make new friends while competing playing football. Seeing how they grew to better understand what I call ‘football values’ was the best. For those that ‘get it’, I want to be an advocate in their corner. We have lots of good guys that may need an advocate in their corner, and for the very large majority, I feel it is an honour to play that role. Additionally, I’ve made an effort to develop relationships with CIS coaches across the country. For those few that are driven and gifted enough to play at the next level, I find it very rewarding to play a role in them having football programs that will welcome them.”
Stewart said that one of the biggest challenges that comes with coaching is being faced with negative influences. “Negative influences come in many forms but regardless if they are within your organization, on the far sideline or in your own huddles, they are always a challenge in community sport. I am not sure if many realize the time and effort required to host a football program. It requires innovation, creativeness, resourcefulness and a tireless dedication of a lot of volunteers. This is why I clearly admire those families, volunteers and players that choose to be with the team as a team for the team. It is a team sport and the ultimate lesson for our youth to learn from playing football, aside from being competitive and driven, is to be thoughtful, caring and selfless.” says Stewart. Stewart says it is important to put the team first, “It is certainly the biggest challenge in community sport but the most worthy of aspirations and one that our club embraces. Aspire to be the best on the team but really aspire to be the best for the team! We want our families, volunteers and players to be ‘Warriors For Life’ on and off the field.”