Sport B.C. will recognize eight Vancouver volunteers Wednesday night for their contribution to amateur sport in the province. The Community Sport Hero Awards, which are sponsored by Teck, will be presented at a public award ceremony at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame at B.C. Place.
Canadians communications manager Rob Fai will host the awards ceremony, beginning at 6 p.m.
The awards honour outstanding sport volunteers in B.C., recognizing the contributions of coaches, officials, mentors and administrators who have dedicated themselves to developing amateur sport at the community level.
These are the 2012 recipients, as detailed by Sport B.C.:
Tony Chin, nordic ski
For over 10 years, Tony Chin has volunteered as a nordic ski coach,
official and administrator. When Vancouver won the bid for the 2010 Winter Games, he started a Nordic Racers Ski Club adaptive ski program and single-handedly ran the program from 2006 to 2010. The result: five of Canada's Paralympians were from the Nordic Racers.
Chris Fuoco, wrestling
Chris Fuoco started theJohn Oliver wrestling program over seven years ago and his involvement in the sport surpasses 20 years. He is also a volunteer on the Vancouver Minor Hockey board of directors, of which his two sons are members. Fuoco tirelessly devotes his time and resources to break down barriers and make wrestling available for boys and girls. He organizes interactive wrestling demonstrations for people with disabilities and helps create opportunities for athletes from all socio-economic backgrounds. States Sport B.C., “Chris works hard to develop the sport of wrestling as much as he can in order to help shape the lives of the individuals he works with and through this he is one of the hardest working volunteers in the sport.”
Gord Hopper, gymnastics
Active in gymnastics since 1994, Hopper began his career as the technical director for Gymnastics B.C. and also judged at the national
level for 12 years. For the past three years, he has provided outstanding leadership to Coaches B.C. as the association's president. Writes Sport B.C., “His vision has been invaluable […] His ongoing involvement ensures the growth of coaching and gymnastics in Vancouver and throughout B.C.
Simon Litherland, rowing
Part of the province-wide rowing community for over 15 years and a member of the Rowing B.C. board of directors for 12 years, Litherland is Masters rower for the Vancouver Rowing Club and a Rowing B.C. umpire. According to Sport B.C., his biggest accomplishment so far is his development of the False Creek Rowing Club.
Ray Myrtle, volleyball
Ray Myrtle has dedicated himself to sport for over 40 years. In this time he has not only been a successful athlete, but has shared his passion for volleyball as a teacher, coach, and administrator. He coached high school boys and girls volleyball as well as the Canadian senior women’s national team, for which he also helped develop a training centre in Vancouver. Myrtle launched the first Beach Volleyball Championships at Kits Beach. According to Sport B.C., “Because early career experiences have a lasting effect on the way teachers develop, Ray is currently working to embed his Start UP! program for early career teachers into B.C.’s educational culture.”
Michael O'Connor, lacrosse
Michael O’Connor began his lacrosse career as a referee in the 1970s. He coached youth box lacrosse in the Killarney Minor Lacrosse
Association. Says Sport B.C., “Mike is always there for the kids and coaches using positive encouragement with honesty and integrity and most years he can be found coaching more than one team.” In 2010, one of his major achievements included the resurrection of field lacrosse, now the
Killarney association boasts four teams and 75 field lacrosse athletes.
Richard Saunders, baseball
Richard Saunders first became involved with Hastings Community Little League as a parent in 1989. He then served as president for 15 years. He helped develop a full concession stand along and brought in a batting cage as well as expand the number of players. Hastings Little League has been the Canadian champion twice in the last four years and the club will host the 2016 national tournament.
Hilary Quick, figure skating
Hilary Quick has been involved in skating almost her entire life. She skated as a competitive singles and synchro skater and is now an active judge and clinic leader with the ultimate can-do spirit embodied by committed leaders.