Dave and Jodi Tjaarda were recently honored with the Bob Wiggins Tiger Football Volunteer Award, sponsored by the Clatskanie Booster, for their efforts and contributions to Clatskanie athletics.
The Tjaarda’s have lived in Clatskanie for a total of ten years – three years and seven years, respectively, with a four-year-gap in between. They’ve been involved with sports on some level since their kids were young. Dave has coached youth football, middle school football and helped out in the booth during home varsity football games for several years. Jodi has coached middle school track.
Dave said his inspiration to get involved with local athletics is a way to pay back his community. He remembers and appreciates the coaches and adults that were involved and influential in coaching him as he grew up. They helped shape him as a youth, he said, and he’s thankful that he’s has been able to be a small part of these Clatskanie kids’ lives.
“It is a way to help others, to fill a need, to stay involved with our kid’s activities and interests,” Jodi said. “It is very rewarding to watch individuals learn the importance of hard work and to see how their hard work can help them achieve their goals.”
The Bob Wiggins award was initiated in 2013, created to honor Wiggins for his 12 years of dedication as the announcer for Clatskanie High School football games. Each of the awardees receives a personalized plaque to take home while another plague hangs in the school with room for the names of future award winners who will be honored by the Boosters for their volunteer efforts.
The Tjaarda’s said they believe it’s important to support student athletics because of the positive role it plays in the life of a student. “Athletics can provide the opportunity for students to learn time management, discipline, cooperation, to work with others on a team, to demonstrate leadership abilities, how to learn from their mistakes, how to deal with disappointment and how to handle victory with humility,” Jodi wrote in an email response to questions after talking with her husband on the phone. “It also gives them the chance to represent their community, learn problem solving skills, can build self-esteem and promotes academic achievement.”
When asked how others can help contribute to local athletics, the Tjaarda’s answer was very simple – there’s always a need to fill, and a good place to start is to ask.