It has been a little over a year since the passing of renowned mixed martial arts coach Shawn Tompkins and his legacy is alive and well in his home province of Ontario. Tompkins was an elite striking coach originally out of London, Ontario, more recently out of the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada. His real legacy is his elite students and his work throughout the community to grow the sport and raise money for important local charities.
In June of this year, a charity screening of "Driven" starring Jens Pulver was shown in downtown Toronto by local charity organization Show Your Strength. (video highlight attached) The organization was put together to help youth all around the world have the opportunity to participate in sport, exercise and healthy living. The event was attended by special guests, UFC and Tompkins trained fighters Mark Hominick, Sam Stout and Chris Clements. The event raised over $10,000 which was divided between various local charities.
Later this month, a second event will be held to raise money in honor of "The Coach" as the 1st Annual Shawn Tompkins Memorial Golf Tournament will be held at Fire Rock Golf Club near London, Ontario. The event will raise money for the Shawn Tompkins Memorial Fund and Heart and Stroke Foundation and will feature UFC fighters, NHL and media personalities. Tournament Director Joe Botnick has worked hard to deliver incredible sponsorship, prizes and people in honor of The Coach.
I spoke with Botnick on the phone this week and it is clear he was up for the challenge of this event.
"I'm hoping for and expecting to sell out all the spots in the event and many people have been great in supporting and sponsoring this event. We have four amazing hole-in-one prizes, one that includes tickets to a UFC event anywhere in the world."
Botnick is an avid Tompkins and MMA fan who has attended UFC events all over the world and he is constantly giving back; just one of the many fighters and fans who are and will continue to carry on the legacy.
Dwight Wakabayashi is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report MMA, and guest blogger for Sportsnet.ca.