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She shoots, she scores! Volunteer honoured by Order of Collingwood win

People of Collingwood: Ivy Martin, one of this year’s recipients the Order of Collingwood
2022-03-25 POCIvy JO-001
Ivy Martin was recently awarded with the Order of Collingwood.

While she has spent years volunteering her time toward the evolution of youth hockey in Collingwood, Ivy Martin would prefer to toil behind the scenes and turn the spotlight toward others who devote time to volunteering in town.

For this week’s edition of People of Collingwood we spoke with Ivy Martin, 46, one of this year’s recipients of the Order of Collingwood.

Q: For how long have you lived in the Collingwood area?

My husband and I have lived in Collingwood for 22 years. We have three children: twins aged 15 and our oldest is 18. The Martin family is from Nottawa and my own family, the Leishmans, moved to Stayner in 1978.

Q: What circumstances brought you to Collingwood?

I was born in Haileybury, Ont. My folks started Cobalt Pottery in 1975; the year I was born. They decided to move closer to grandparents once my sister Ana was born. They settled in a schoolhouse south of Sunnidale Corners where they continued with their business, Leishman Pottery.

Q: Where did you go to school, and for what?

I attended Oxbow Park Public School, which is now Worsley. I also attended Sports Seneca in Toronto from Grade 6 through 8 and Earl Haig High School for Grades 9/10.

During that time I was billeting in Toronto and training in the rhythmic gymnastics program at Seneca. We trained in the morning, went to school in the afternoon and trained after school. I was training seven days a week, and retired at 15 as the Top Junior in Canada on the Canadian National Rhythmic Gymnastics Team.

My mother drove me to Toronto four days a week for training when I was in Grade 7 so that I could have Mr. Gren Bray as a teacher. Anyone local that knows Gren knows why I wanted him as a teacher. He changed the projection of my life and gave me the confidence to acknowledge my worth.

After gymnastics I attended Jean Vanier High School (now Our Lady of the Bay) and Collingwood Collegiate Institute.

My husband and I met in high school, so we are truly high-school sweethearts.

After graduating high school I attended Lakehead University in Thunder Bay for Geography. During my summers I worked for Missinaibi Headwaters Outfitters, a canoe outfitting company.

I took a year off during university to travel and backpack through Europe with $1,000 in my pocket. When I returned, I finished my degree and worked at the Barrie Golf and Country Club in landscaping.

Once my husband and I were married, I realized that there was no one to help and support my parents’ business.

Ryan and I talked a lot about having a family and since he worked shift work with the Collingwood Fire Department, one of us needed a flexible schedule in order to be with our kids. I have been working with my parents' business for 22 years.

Q: You are a very active community volunteer. What drives you to want to donate your time to these causes?

I have been volunteering in the Collingwood community for over 20 years. I started by helping Deb Chatwin with her Rhythmic Gymnastics program at the YMCA. Years later I was running my own programs at the Y and offered those same programs at Mountain View Public School.

I spent years on the parent council running events and volunteering in the kids’ classrooms.

I was 36 when I first gave hockey a try at the Collingwood outdoor rink on Friday nights. It was my sister Katy that encouraged me to come out. I’d met so many amazing and supportive women in this group, I didn’t want to see it fold.

I took over the group the following year and created the Collingwood Knights Women’s Hockey Club. We’ve since built the group to over 80 regular players and 20 spares, pre-COVID-19.

During the winter of 2017, my sister Katy was running a girls hockey group in Creemore on Saturday mornings. Around the same time, Craig Hammond had set out to bring girls hockey to Collingwood. I attended that first meeting and told him, “I’m in, what do you need me to do?''

I had no idea that the 17 people sitting around the table that year talking and planning would take me to where I am now with the Collingwood Girls Hockey Association.

We’ve grown from two teams and 30 girls to over 170 girls, 10 teams and 65 volunteers/staff. The sheer number of girls playing hockey in this community, their ability to improve, excel and draw even more people together is what drives me to continue volunteering.

Q: Many of your volunteer activities revolve around youth/girls and sport. In your opinion, why is this so important?

Creating space and opportunities for young people to participate, learn and achieve is an investment in our community as a whole.

Our young female hockey players will one day become leaders and community-builders themselves. They will pass on their knowledge of the game and life skills to another generation.

It is my sincere desire that our community continue to create space for our youth, not just in sports but in all activities.

Q: Is there any one specific thing you've been able to accomplish in your volunteer career that stands out to you as something of which you are most proud? What is it, and why?

I think I’ve done my best to show my children what being a volunteer can bring to your life.

I am also most proud that as a group, we have been able to introduce more girls to hockey and ultimately support them in their goals.

Q: This year you've been given the Order of Collingwood. How did you first hear you were being given the award, and can you describe your feelings when you first heard?

I was at a hockey tournament with my daughter when I read the email from the mayor's office.

At first, I was embarrassed. It took me a few days to share the news with anyone.

We have so many volunteers in our organization, I would like them all to be acknowledged for their time and effort towards our programs.

I am very humbled to have received the award and I hope this acknowledgement highlights all of the incredible volunteers within the Lightning organization and what we have collectively achieved.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like people in Collingwood to know about you?

I’d like people to know that I don’t enjoy the spotlight and that I’d like to fade into the background and carry on doing the work behind the scenes.

I’d like people to know that there are many volunteers in our group that do the work and never get recognized for their passion and effort within our Lightning organization.

I’d like people to know that giving a little of yourself is worth a lot to someone else.

For our feature People of Collingwood, we’ll be speaking with interesting people who are either from or are contributing to the Collingwood community in some way, letting them tell their own stories in their own words. This feature will run on CollingwoodToday every weekend. If you’d like to nominate or suggest someone to be featured in People of Collingwood, email jessica@villagemedia.ca.