The city’s sports guru, Tougas, walks away from the sports tourism station


Larry Tougas has resigned from his position as Sports Tourism Coordinator at Tourism North Bay, BayToday has confirmed.

The longtime former high school sports teacher and coach was hired in the new position in 2015, which moved from the City of North Bay to Tourism North Bay (in 2019) to boost sports tourism in the area.

Although Tougas would not comment on his departure, he noted that he has been involved in hosting more than 30 OFSAA-related provincial sports championships in the city since 2011.

Tim Lowe was a Tougas rival on the basketball court when his Algonquin Barons took on Tougas’ West Ferris Trojans. However, Lowe recognized Tougas’ passion for building high school sports and supported him in several OFSAA tournaments hosted in North Bay.

“Larry’s impact on sports tourism is immeasurable – especially in regards to the OFSAA Championships that have been held in the city since he started as coordinator,” said Lowe.

“He was a huge asset to the organizers helping them with just about anything they needed from sponsorship to event planning. Additionally, he was helpful to OFSAA staff as he was able to provide a cohesive voice. Overall he did a fantastic job, truly an unsung hero in this department.”

Most recently, Tougas helped organize Cycle North Bay, a unique cycling event in North Bay during the Civic Long Weekend, as well as a major bass tournament that took place on Lake Nipissing in late July. .

Matt Koprash, president of the North Bay Bassmasters, says Tougas facilitated the organization of two BASS Nation of Ontario provincial qualifiers.

“Without him and his touchpoints, these events would have nothing to do with what they have become,” Koprash admitted.

“His insight, knowledge and local contacts are an incredible resource for the smooth running of any event. It certainly helps that he is a great guy who only wants the best for everyone involved. Every community and committee of Event planning can benefit from someone like Larry.”

Greg Rawson, co-founder of Cycle North Bay, thanked Tougas for his persistence in making Cycle North Bay happen again despite event cancellations due to the pandemic.

“One thing through all of this that hasn’t changed is Larry’s persistence in keeping the dream alive,” Rawson said.

“I have a lot of running experience all over Ontario and people like Larry are instrumental in making sure these things don’t go away.

“I can honestly say Cycle North Bay would never have happened without Larry. He never stopped believing even though we had our share of issues like every event. When you’re not from the area, a guy like Larry is critical because he is able to connect you with all the people needed to make the event possible Thank you Larry for your dedication, countless hours and perseverance in making Cycle North Bay possible.

Tougas was also credited with assisting at the World Women’s Curling Championships event at Memorial Gardens in 2018; an event that has been recognized as a finalist for a national sports tourism grand prize.

Steve Dreany, executive director of Tourism North Bay, confirmed Tougas’ departure.

“Larry was a valued member of our team and a great ambassador for sports tourism in North Bay,” Dreany said. “We wish him all the best for the future.”


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