Grant Balkema Award

Grant Balkema was a longtime NGS board member, coach, referee and friend who died suddenly at his Boston College office in November, 2004. As an NGS coach, Grant led teams that ranged from a fun-loving, 3rd Grade intramural team to a remarkably over-achieving U16 team that competed passionately at the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions. As a referee, Grant was knowledgeable, relaxed, and in-demand as a Grade 7 referee who loved the teaching moments available to officials. We were all deeply saddened by his sudden loss. Years later, Newton’s fields and sidelines still feel empty without him.

Newton Girls Soccer has created an annual award to be presented every December to recognize a youth referee who exemplifies the personal qualities and professional standards that guided Grant Balkema as an accomplished referee. The Grant Balkema Memorial Award will be presented to a high school youth referee and will carry with it a college scholarship in an amount to be determined annually by the Award committee.

The winner of the Balkema Award will be a high school youth referee who has been active with Newton Girls Soccer games and who has achieved high standards of maturity, sensitivity, good humor, and sound judgment in managing play to promote the great game of soccer. The recipient will also have demonstrated keen knowledge of the Laws of the Game and highest respect for the traditions of the game that have so enhanced the lives of many young people in Newton.

We hope that many Newton families will join in making tax-deductible contributions to the Balkema Award fund to help NGS provide this annual memorial to Grant. Checks should be made to “NGS — The Balkema Award”.  Contact to make a donation.

Balkema Award Winners
# Year Name
1 2004 Julia Balkema
2 2005 Maddie Sall
3 2006 Maddie Sall
4 2007 Jaime McKenna
5 2008 Georgina Teasdale
6 2009 Caeden Brynie
7 2010 Libby McDonald
8 2011 Jennifer Holthouse
9 2012 Carolyn Holthouse
10 2013 Leah Jacobson
11 2014 Eliza Joseph
12 2015 Anastasia Kyratzoglou
13 2016 Kaavya Chaparala
14 2017 Amrita Iyer

Ioannis Kyratzoglou and Amrita Iyer (2017 Balkema Award Recipient)


NGS also offers a Distinguished Service award to recognize referees for long service and superior referee accomplishments:

Distinguished Service Award
# Year Name
1 2012 Libby McDonald
2 2015 Alexa Rhynd