John Hobbins Retirement

President's Message

Hello FIRST Robotics Canada community!  As FIRST preps towards what will be sure to be an exciting upcoming “Dive” season, we have some news to share with you all regarding a long time member of our staff, John Hobbins.  Many of you will know John from his many years mentoring FRC 1241 (World Champions!) or from his many years of supporting FRC teams as the FRC Director for FIRST Robotics Canada.  Last year was an exciting year as John kicked off a real push to renew educational partnerships with various school boards across the province as the Director of Education at FIRST Robotics Canada.  There are various seasons in life and John has decided that it’s time for a transition to retirement.  I know I speak on behalf of the staff here but likely also for many of you when I say that John has left a lasting impact on many mentors, volunteers, staff, and especially students over his illustrious career in the trades, in education, and finally with FIRST.  John epitomizes Gracious Professionalism and is a wonderful human being who will be sorely missed by us all.  We are happy for John to be entering into this phase of his life but will miss his laughs, his collaborative spirit, and his ability to inspire people to see his vision and help achieve it!  Thank you John!  We wish you all the best.

John has been an inspiration to me! He was, at times, a big pain when we were trying to find our footing as a new, upcoming team in FIRST or when I had to deal with some unruly, young mentors on Team DAVE dealing with John. But the one thing I always felt is 110% support for the team from John. He would move mountains to provide the best experience possible, support your team when we had to ship our robot or get into an event we really wanted. He was someone I could always rely on and he was always open for a chat or discussion. I’m truly going to miss him and I also hope that somehow he will stay connected with FIRST and we can still have our coffee klatch one of these! Thank you for all you have done to provide incredible experiences and memories for our students and mentors!

Daniel Delattre

FRC 3683, Team Dave

Congratulations on an impactful career and your retirement!
After years of dedication and hard work with FIRST Canada Robotics, it's time to celebrate all you've achieved and look forward to the adventures ahead. Your passion, leadership, and commitment have inspired countless students and colleagues, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of robotics and STEM education. Thank you for all you've done to help me as a mentor and for being a beacon of inspiration for all of us.

Dung Tiet

FRC 5024 Raiders Robotics

We met through Robotics and your dedication, passion, and the embodiment of teamwork left a lasting impression upon us. You have been an inspiration and a mentor to many students and parents alike, we see that reflected in our son’s personal and career growth. Congratulations on your well deserved retirement. Wish you all the very best on this next chapter of your life The fun is about to begin! We wish you all the happiness and health. Raising our glasses to you- cheers!!

Raj and Daljit Batoo

John you have been an inspiration from the first day I met you. Your enthusiasm, passion and knowledge supported me in many ways both as a mentor and FSM. Your sense of humour always made the day wherever you were, with jokes or funny things you did. I will miss working with you and knowing you were always there with the answers. Wishing you an amazing adventurous retirement, with good health and happiness. Take care and enjoy. 

Sheri Lynn Koscielski

Congratulations on your retirement! Thank you for being a such constant reminder that there is no idea too small or too big and that passion is the most driving force there is which was seen in everything you did. I am grateful for all the time we got to work together and thankful for the knowledge you have passed on but our trip to IKEA is not one I will forget anytime soon and is something I think back to often and laugh. I hope you have the most incredible retirement, I know I will see you around soon!

Shanika Mahakul

Thank you for all the time and effort you have put in over the years to give students from across the Province access to these life changing programs. Your legacy of dedication, mentorship, and passion for STEM will continue to influence and inspire future generations of students and mentors in this program.

Lisa Ramraj

The first time I met John, I was instantly drawn to how passionate and enthusiastic he was about FIRST and how it impacted students. Through the years, I enjoyed our visits and his stories about different students or teams. John will be missed from the team but his impact on the hundreds of students, mentors and teams will continue for many years to come. Happy retirement John!


John your commitment and drive to connect FIRST Robotics Canada and schools across Canada is truly inspiring. It’s so easy to see how much you care about students and the robotics community. I hope your retirement is filled with as many amazing memories as the ones we have with you!

Jessica Kelso

John, you've been a real wizard, changing the lives of numerous kids in STEM education. Your influence has not only affected them but also inspired me. Without your spark, I wouldn't have explored STEM or dedicated so much of my time to making a impact in various communities. It's been an exhilarating journey being your right-hand person all these years, contributing to your incredible projects and events! Wishing you all the best in your next chapter call retirement.

Florence Lee

I'll really miss our tag team dynamic, brainstorming wild ideas, and taking on big challenges together. These past 15 years have been a journey of bold concepts, ambitious visions, striving to create a meaningful impact, and believing that "anything is possible"! You've truly been a catalyst for change and an inspiration to me. Looking forward to your new journey ahead (because I know you won't stop here) 🙂

Arti Javeri

A Message from John to the Community

Man with short hairDear FIRST Robotics Canada Community:

I have enjoyed an incredible FIRST journey starting as founding lead mentor for FRC team 1241 in 2003. In 2012 FIRST president Mark Breadner invited me to join the FIRST staff as FRC Director;  a dream job being able to work with and deliver support to a fast growing FIRST community. In 2023, I moved from the FRC role to Director of Education – another dream job! My goal in this education role has been focused on elevating support for teachers, team members, mentors and school boards – all with the intent to create easy access to delivering FIRST programs in both the classroom and the competitive arena. An additional key goal has been focused on building communities outward from school board offices with the intent to grow not only FIRST participation, but to significantly elevate support for all of our teams. FIRST Canada understands how passionate the community is and the incredible efforts each and every mentor contributes to bringing opportunities to students across Ontario.

I am now moving onto my next life chapter; retirement, where my only reservation will be missing all the incredible FIRST relationships that have been a part of the experience all these years. I cannot say enough about what I have learned from you; all those who I have had the pleasure to meet and work with over the years. FIRST Canada is an exemplary organization and a community which is second to none.  Although I am retiring at the end of June 2024, I will be open to those moments when I can still assist or advise in a FIRST capacity – meaning that you may see me around here and there going forward.

I wish each and all FIRST members; volunteers, sponsors, mentors, educational partners, parents, including anyone who is a part of FIRST Canada and the broader global FIRST community – individual, team and organizational success, health and positive relationships!


John Hobbins