AUG 29, 2023

Going the whole nine yards for his community

Section Foreman William Pawley from Cornwall, ON, has had a lifelong love of football, playing on U19 teams and on the Canadian Junior League in his younger days. So, it was natural for him to want to step up to volunteer as a coach in the Cornwall Minor Football Association for the Cornwall Wildcats in 2010, teaching local youth the fundamentals of the game.

“I coached for five seasons, then took a break after our twins were born. I got back into it when my son, Carter, started playing at the U9 level,” says William, who has 17 years of service with CN.

Photo: William and his 9-year-old son, Carter, bond over a shared love of the game.

As Assistant Coach, William works with kids from U10 to U19, and is on the field three times a week for practices when the regular season starts in July and every Sunday for game day. Off-season work also takes place through an indoor skills camp that this year involves about 70 kids.

“With the younger kids a lot of the time is spent doing up laces and teaching technique,” says William. “At all levels, they inspire me with their enthusiasm and willingness to learn. When you see a group that has worked really hard make it to the playoffs, the excitement on their faces is a special thing.”

CN supports William’s volunteer time with grants to the association. “All of the equipment the kids need is covered by the association so CN’s money goes into purchasing things that have a shelf life, like helmets,” says William.