Ten of Port Alberni’s sporting leaders were honoured Monday night at a Sport BC Community Sport Hero award ceremony at the Best Western Barclay Hotel Plus.
Ida Oberg (softball), Cal Davies (softball), Erin Anker (wrestling), Tom McEvay (wrestling), Kelly Fines (lacrosse), Dave and Jill Sherlock (multi-sport), Jas Purewal (rugby), Larry Spencer (badminton) and Doug Stoutley (blind sports) were all honoured for their commitment and dedication to their respective sports.
Oberg stepped onto the softball scene in the Alberni Valley in 1973 when her son started playing ball. She did whatever was needed of her that season. By 1979 she became the league’s associate secretary, which required her to look after the club’s bingo. She still holds the position of treasurer and has also been registrar, provincial playdown director and scorekeeper.
Davies has served as president of Alberni Valley Minor Softball for more than 20 years. He was nominated as a sport hero because of his tireless efforts to maintain AV Minor Softball as a strong local sports organization.
Anker has been the head wrestling coach at the former Neill Middle School for 11 years and a volunteer coach with Alberni Wrestling. “It is hard to measure the impact Erin Anker has had as a volunteer coach,” a nominator noted. “She has introduced countless numbers of youth to the sport of Olympic wrestling. Many have gone to compete successfully and win provincial and national championships.
“While this success is impressive, even more impressive is their growth and development as human beings.”
McEvay has been the leader of Alberni Valley Wrestling for more than 25 years and has helped build the club into one of the strongest sport organizations in the community. McEvay’s leadership and dedication to the club has helped earn it a reputation of being one of the strongest youth wrestling programs in the province.
Fines was introduced to lacrosse at age 10, when he snagged balls for his brother’s Port Alberni Senior B team. He played bantam lacrosse for the Port Alberni Lacrosse Association until it folded in 1980. In 2002, he and an ex-teammate resurrected lacrosse in the Alberni Valley and now serves as president of the revamped league.
The Sherlocks have worked in tandem for 11 years as coaches of the Alberni Valley Track Club. They work year-round with their athletes and have conducted conditioning programs for hockey teams.
Purewal has been involved with the Black Sheep Rugby Club for more than 25 years as a player, coach and club president. He has been instrumental in the development of a first-class program.
Spencer has been a member of the Alberni Athletic Association for 35 years and serves as president as well as president of the adult badminton club. As well as being an active player, he also coaches youth despite having no children of his own in the program.
Stoutley is a tireless ambassador in the field of sport and recreation for individuals who are blind. He is a retired PE teacher, coach and avid golfer and continues to volunteer his expertise to BC Blind Sports, Canadian Blind Sports and the Canadian Blind Golf Association