Okotoks resident Liam Dowell was highlighted at the April 22 Okotoks Town Council with an "Awesome Kid Award" for his excellence in coaching the U11 Tier 1 Oilers travel hockey team.

Okotoks Mayor Tanya Thorn opened up the speech at Town Council praising the work that Dowell did with the U11 team.

"He was recognized because of his commitment to being at practice and his positive nature and support for the kids," Thorn said at the April 22, Town Council.

Dowell explained his passion for hockey led him to be the best possible coach he could be.

"I played hockey for many years in OMHA (Okotoks Minor Hockey Association) and the last two years I have coached U11, tier 3 last year, and tier 1 this year, with some of these guys two years in a row. In my last few years of playing hockey, I really wanted to give back to the community that brought me up because I was at the rink a lot and I was really in that community," Dowell told council members.

"I had a lot of great coaches who made me the guy I am today. One of my last years in hockey, one of my coaches said what goes around, comes around. So, I knew I wanted to give back and they made an impact on me, so I wanted to make an impact on someone else."

Thorn then read out a compliment that one of the parents from the team Dowell coached submitted to the Okotoks Town Council and Mayor.

"Liam helped coach our son's Tier 1 U11 travel team this year and truly made an impact on the kids, parents and helped the coaches in ways that I'm sure they didn't anticipate. He showed up for every practice, games, home and away, and all of our tournaments," Thorn read out to council.

"He played with the boys, supported them through difficult times, and was an amazing role model for what a team should thrive to be."

Councilor Rachel Swendseid praised Dowell stating that the team is lucky to have him and then asked what Dowell's favourite part of coaching was.

Dowell responded, "My favourite part of coaching was just seeing the boys every day and their energy and smiles as ten-year-olds. That was really fun and just still being on the ice since this is my first year of not playing."

Dowell not only showed his respect and love for the players during the season but after the season he made sure to send cards to all the players.

"I usually write cards for all my coaches, and I just like to give them something that they can keep," Dowell answered when Thorn asked about the nice gesture.

Dowell's plans for next season are to continue coaching except for the U13 program. His dream is to coach at the highest level and continue his journey in helping the youth in the community.