Peter Cassidy came to the Yukon in August of 1977 to start his teaching career in Mayo. During his three years there he acted as primary coach of virtually all the sports programs at J.V. Clarke. He was active in coaching Volleyball, Badminton, Track and Field, Basketball and many others.
In 1980, he moved to Whitehorse to take up the position of department head of F.H. Collins P.E. department. During his stay at F.H. Collins he actively promoted volleyball and many other sports in the Yukon. With the help of colleagues, he ran the Volleyball Yukon Championships at the school for ten years. He became a fixture in the Volleyball community. Peter believed every student should have the opportunity to play the sport at a competitive level and as a result would often coach 3 different levels during the same season.
The pinnacle of Peter’s volleyball career, by own admission, was the 1987 Canada Games Team he took to Nova Scotia. In preparation for these games the team participated in the B.C. Northern Games where his team took home the Gold Medal. As a result of this unexpected win he and his team were invited to the B.C. Provincial Championships in Mission B.C. even though they were not a B.C. Team. They were not expected to place but pulled off a Bronze medal. Whitehorse hosted the Arctic Winter Games that year and the team took home the Gold Ulu.
Peter has had an impact on the lives of all those he has coached. He has instilled a love for the game of volleyball in many of Yukon’s citizens. Players who have been involved in Peter’s program have gone on to play at the national level at university and many have returned to the Yukon to teach, coach and become leaders in our sport community. Peter’s interest in sports did not only involve coaching volleyball. He is now the Head Master at Gadzoosdaa Student residence where he continues to promote sport and leisure activities through outdoor education trips that help develop self-esteem in students. Peter is keenly interested in developing the whole person in any way he can.
Peter has also been involved with Sport Yukon as a director and a member of the Games Committee for the last 15 years. During his tenure as Chair of the Sport Yukon Games Committee, Peter was involved in redefining the discipline policy for all Yukon athletes participating for the Yukon. Sport Yukon also benefited from Peter’s experience when, in his words, he has the privilege to be a Mission Staff doe the Canada Games in Prince Edward Island in 1991 and Regina, SK in 2005. When we hosted the Canada Games in 2007 Peter was the person in charge of the Athlete accommodations, which took care of almost 4000 athletes.
His latest sporting interest has been being part of the Glacier Bears Swim Club where he has served as a Board Member and Vice President for the last 7 years. His ability to sell raffle tickets is amazing and he can zip around the bingo hall in record time.
Throughout Peter’s coaching and administrative experience in the Yukon he has maintained a simple philosophy: “Sport builds character”. In this he is a leader. His influence permeates across the Yukon, both through his past performance in creating excellent athletes and coaches, and by his current involvement in all sports in the Yukon.