Halfway through the night, Darcy Brioux, manager of athletics at Centennial College, announced the inductees for the Class of 2017 for the Hall of Fame until he came to the last one: “Joan Healey.”
Everyone in attendance stood up cheering as soon as they heard the name of their current varsity athletics coordinator.
Healey could only smile in disbelief at the reception.
It was clear how popular Healey is at Centennial, as the student athletes chanted, “MVP! MVP!”
Healey said she was humbled by the honour.
“It was wonderful … I didn’t know what to say. It was beautiful,” Healey said. “I’m not a person who likes accolades since I’m usually modest.”
Centennial’s 50th Athletic Banquet was held at the college’s Progress Campus on April 7. Inducted were seven individuals, including Healey as a builder, and the 1983–84 Colts men’s basketball team — which was also a first for the hall.
Healey has a storied history at Centennial College.
Before working at Centennial, Healey played on the Colts women’s basketball team during the 1979–80 season and was named MVP. She was later one of the driving forces behind rebuilding the women’s program in 1983, eventually becoming assistant coach.
Healey was then named head coach of the team. As coach, she helped the women’s basketball program for many years before being named the varsity coordinator in 2010.
Since 1981, she has been making sure the athletics and recreation program is a “home away from home” for student athletes.
“I want to make a difference in the lives of athletes, and the lives of the people that I’ve touched,” Healey said. “Sport, recreation and activity is important to me.”
Healey said she plans to continue to be a role model to student athletes in the years to come.
Her advice to her younger self?
“Enjoy the moment a little more,” Healey said. “Maybe not work so hard but enjoy the moment.”