Fort St. John Community Sport Hero ® Award Winners

Fort St. John Community Sport Hero® Award Winners

Gary Alexander – Hockey
Gary and his wife have raised their sons through the step ladder of hockey in Fort St. John for almost 25 years now.  Through his many years of dedication to hockey Gary is seen as a strong, progressive leader and is an exceptional mentor deserving of this recognition.  Gary volunteered as the chairman of the Junior Sports Centre Committee in 1972, working tirelessly to raise money.  He has been involved in hockey one way or the other since he was four years old.  He was instrumental along with Mike Waberski in becoming part of the Rural Alberta Midget League which the District Trackers now participate in.  He coached the Senior flyers and Junior B Huskies, ran fundraisers for the Flyers, is one of the original members of the Fort St. John Bus Committee and a member of the Junior Sports Committee.  “Hard work, discipline, desire and dedication are the keys to great teams and good times for players and fans alike” says Coach Gary.

Jenny Bell – Softball
Jenny has been a long-time volunteer with several organizations in Fort St. John. Not long ago, Fort St. John Minor Ball had fewer than a hundred participants and was in real danger of collapse. Jenny, along with a few other dedicated volunteers, was responsible for the complete resurrection of Minor Ball, and today there are several hundred kids filling the Kin Park diamonds during the summer months. Jenny has served at every executive position in  Minor Ball. In addition, She acted as Manager for several Rep Minor Ball teams (PeeWee, Bantam and Midget), and played a valuable leadership role in a couple of BC championship teams and silver medal teams at Western Canadian Fastpitch Championships. In 2005, Jenny was Chairperson for the Softball BC Provincial Championships held here in Fort St. John. This event is widely regarded in Softball BC circles, as one of the finest ever.  During her “spare time” over the last few winters, Jenny has been actively involved in helping with the organization and administration of school volleyball and basketball. This year, she is a member of the Gradfest 2009 Society, responsible for providing a safe, fun, memorable, and alcohol-free evening for hundreds of North Peace students.

Dave Stenton – Soccer
Dave has been involved in the evolution of the Soccer Club. For many years he sat as president and then the head referee position. He now holds the position of senior referee, and has spent countless hours mentoring the new referees. Helping them acquire the confidence needed to control and maintain a safe game for all divisions. Without Dave’s experience and continued advice, our club would not have been able to grow into the club it is today. He has always stood behind the club, and encouraged young and old to come out and try the most amazing sport.  We need more people like Dave to step forward to help build and grow much needed organizations for our children to participate in.

Janet Presley – Softball
Janet is an active mom who works full time in our community. She has truly made a difference contributing her skills and energy to making slow-pitch a success in Fort St. John and the North Peace. For 20 years Janet has been involved in slow-pitch, 10 years on the league executive and 8 as league president. Not to mention an active player/coach every season. She single handedly provided the leadership working with our city council to build a facility that everyone is proud of. We have an awesome park, with eight fenced ball diamonds, a playground for children, a tennis court, a horseshoe pit, trees and walking trails.  We are very fortunate to have such a remarkable lady in our community!

Janet’s daughter Ashely accepted the award on her mother’s behalf.

Grant Spelsberg – Action Schools! BC
Grant has been an elementary school teacher in Fort St. John for 34 years, will be retiring in November and will leave behind an incredible legacy of over three decades of amazing dedication to physical activity in the district. Grant has committed endless hours to coaching and officiating school sports and has been involved in soccer, volleyball, basketball, field hockey, softball, badminton, track and field, and cross country running. A firm believer in the benefits of daily physical activity, Grant is also an Action Schools! Regional Trainer and engages children during the school day through school based initiatives like Action Schools! BC and the Premier’s Sport Awards Program.

Grant has been a highly involved community sport volunteer since he and his wife moved to Fort St. John in 1975. He was a founder of various sport organizations in the area, and has served them over the years as a member of the executive committee, official, referee, coach, event organizer, and instructor. These include the Minor League Soccer Association, the Basketball Referees’ Association, the Sub Zero Track and Field Club, Sub Zero Running Club, and the local orienteering club. Other organizations have benefited from Grant’s passion for sport and physical activity. He currently holds the position of “Great Spirit” on the Sub Zero Running Club’s executive committee, responsible for organizing and hosting races and the club’s bi-weekly runs. He has also coached hockey, served as a master bowling instructor, managed an adults’ hardball team, and is a level C orienteering official and certified technical coach in basketball, volleyball, track and field, distance running, trampoline, tennis, and badminton.

Carlyle Kreiger – Softball
Carlyle has been an umpire with Softball BC since 1995and has been Softball BC’s Umpire in Chief for District 12 – a huge territory that includes much of the Northern Interior of BC. Each year of his tenure, Carlyle has increased the number of umpires in the District by taking the time to train and offer clinics to several communities. In 2009 Carlyle attempted to revive the umpire program in Fort Nelson, and although he registered only 5 umpires, that is 5 more than were registered in 2008. Carlyle is ensuring that the softball players of the north have officials so they can continue to play the game of Softball in their community. Carlyle travels from his home in Fort St. John, along with his wife Marion, to the communities under his direction each spring to offer refresher clinics and new clinics to umpires joining Softball BC. Without the dedication of Umpires like Carlyle our sport would not be able to function in the smaller communities of our province.

Pat Pimm – Golf
Pat has been a committed supporter of golf, minor ball and hockey for many years. A long-standing member of Lakepoint Golf & Country Club, he has served as president, junior coordinator and chair of the 2003 BC Amateur Championship. As chair of the 2003 BC Amateur Championship, held at Lakepoint Golf and Country Club, he coordinated 143 volunteers to help out during the week-long event. Pat has also been a director at the zone and provincial levels for ten years. As a Zone 8 director, Pat has regularly organized and run clinics for junior and amateur athletes for 10 years. As a business owner, Pat’s passion for the game shows in his dedication to amateur sports as an avid supporter. In addition to golf, Pat spent 8 years with minor ball as a coach and director and has not only played hockey but coached minor hockey as well.