Prince Albert, Saskatchewan – Eight individuals will be inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame at their 29th induction banquet Saturday, April 27th.
Among the 2019 inductees is Derek Smith, who will be inducted in all three individual categories-athlete, builder and meritorious service. Blair Hoffman will be inducted as an athlete and for meritorious service. Brad Bibby will enter as an athlete. Inductees in the Builders category include: Don & Ethel Hlewka, Paul Roy, Mark McElligott and Blake Edwards. Luc Robin will be inducted for meritorious service. The Prince Albert Gymnastics Club will be recognized as the Sports Organization of the Year by the Hall.
The banquet will be held in the Ches Leach Lounge, adjacent to the PA Sports Hall of Fame on April 27th beginning at 6:00 PM.
This event is possible with the support of Prince Albert Photocopier, Novus Law Group, Crown Vacuum and Duane Braaten Advantage Real Estate.
Brad Bibby – Athlete
Brad Bibby can be found on the softball diamonds in the spring and summer and at the curling rink in the fall and winter; excelling for decades in both sports.
In softball, Bibby has been a lifelong catcher, one of the key positions in the game, as you are in on every play while on defense. He started in the minor softball days with Parkland, then playing Senior for Coronet Kings followed by the Aallcann Developmental softball teams in Prince Albert. The 1993 Kings won the Senior B Provincials and Western Canadians. Bibby was part of Aallcann teams from 1994-2001 that would win two Senior A and one Senior B Provincial title, finishing second in Senior B twice.
Bibby has travelled to Saskatoon twice a week for over 20 years to compete with various teams including the Saskatoon Merchants, Aspen, Delisle, Allied Masters and the Melfort 222’s. He has competed in Senior A, Senior B and Masters levels locally, provincially, national and internationally. Bibby has played for three national championship team: Saskatoon Aspen (2008 Senior A), Delisle Diamond Dogs (2015 Senior A) and Melfort 222’s (2018 Masters).In total with these teams Bibby has the 3 National titles to go along with 3 Provincial Senior A titles and another Senior B crown. At the Senior A Canadians in St. Thomas, Ontario in 2004, Bibby was named an All-Star outfielder.
All totaled, Brad Bibby has played in 1 Junior Western Canadians, 11 Senior Western Canadians (1st three times, 2nd once, 3rd once), 7 Canadians (1st three times, 3rd once) and at the ISC World Tournament 4 times.
Bibby is also a mainstay at the Prince Albert Golf & Curling Club during the fall and winter months. He is a regular skip in the Econo Lumber Super League and traditionally has his rink near the top of the leaderboard. He has won the Thompson Rock in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Bibby was on the 1989 Under 16 Juvenile Saskatchewan Provincial Championship rink and the 2011 Saskatchewan Provincial Travelers Club Curling Champion rink.
Giving back to the sports he loves is also important for Brad Bibby. He has volunteered at many softball and curling events in both Prince Albert and Saskatoon including the 2018 WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championships and the 2019 New Holland Canadian Junior Men’s & Women’s Curling Championship in Prince Albert. He also instructs in the Prince Albert Junior Curling league and mentors young athletes with his knowledge, patience and kindness.
Brad Bibby will be inducted in the athlete category.
Don & Ethel Hlewka – Builder
Prince Albert’s Minto Bowl has been a second home for thousands of Prince Albert residents for over 50 years since Don & Ethel Hlewka took over the operation in 1968. Family has always been the theme for the Hlewka’s and it has resulted in a lifetime of memories for many at Minto Bowl.
In 1967 Don & Ethel began negotiations with Art Swift to purchase the original location of Minto Bowl: 154 – 8th Street. However, before the final deal was reached a fire damaged the alleys. Don told Swift if he rebuilt the alleys he would buy them. That transaction was completed in April, 1968 and Don & Ethel became the owners of Minto Bowl which featured 11 mixed leagues, 1 men’s league and the introduction of the Youth Bowling Council.
In 1983, with the popularity of bowling and expanding numbers, the Hlewka’s would move to a much larger location beside Superstore. This new facility would include 20 lanes and the opportunity to modernize. The Hlewka’s always wanted to stay on top of new trends in the industry to keep bowlers coming back and attracting new ones, so they would make improvements over the years. This included new seating, a lounge, computerized scoring and overhead monitors showing scores, and the ever-popular Saturday Night Glow Bowling! During a 6-year period in the 80’s YBC bowling was at an all-time high at Minto Bowl with over 400 youth taking part each week.
With Superstore eyeing expansion, and looking to purchase the alley, Don looked to buy the land where North American Lumber was located on 13th Street East. So, in 2004, another new location was purchased allowing the Hlewka’s to expand again, and introduce the Minto Bowl Recreation Centre. The new location includes 20 lanes and allows for more recreational activities for families.
Prince Albert bowlers prospered out of Minto Bowl with no less than 68 provincial champions and 19 National medalists: 3 gold and 16 Silver & Bronze coming from P.A. Don would serve 9 years as the Chairman of the Youth Bowling Council in Saskatchewan.
Minto Bowl was the pride and joy of Don & Ethel. Since Ethel’s passing in January, 2018. Don Sr. has been joined on the staff by sons Don Jr. and Derek, and Derek’s son Mark in providing a high quality, family-friendly bowling facility in Prince Albert.
Don & Ethel Hlewka are inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame together in the builder category.
Mark McElligott – Builder
Mark McElligott’s passion for the game of rugby, and friendship with Paul Roy, has resulted in the development of the sport in Prince Albert. McElligott played rugby in Saskatoon for Holy Cross High School and the Wild Oats of the North Saskatchewan Rugby League, before attending St. Francis Xavier University in Halifax, where he played for the X-Men. In the mid-80’s McElligott moved to Prince Albert to work for CIBC and joined the Prince Albert Gryphons Rugby Club. He was a leader on that team as a player and coach, including being a team captain through 1995 when the Gryphons ceased operation.
In 2001, McElligott teamed up with Roy to develop a high school rugby program leading to the Prince Albert Dragons who joined the North Saskatchewan Junior Rugby League in 2002. The Dragons were made up of high school players from the public school division and played in the North Saskatchewan Junior Rugby League. The year 2018 marked the 16th season for the Dragons who finished 1st or 2nd fourteen times.
The debut of the Prince Albert Whiskey Jacks senior team came in 2015, initiated by McElligott and Roy. The two were instrumental in coaching, fundraising and guiding the club with hard work and determination. McElligott also was a key player with the Whiskey Jacks, who would win the second division title in 2017 then the provincial crown in 2018.
In 2016 McElligott and Roy teamed up again to create Prince Albert Mini Rugby. This program is for children aged 3-14 to be introduced to rugby and had 70 registrations who would have the opportunity to learn from the two veteran coaches.
McElligott has coached, mentored and developed over 200 student-athletes in the Dragons program from its inception in 2002 through to 2018. Dragon players to go on to play at a National level with the Prairie Wolf Pack and Prairie Blizzard include: Rylan Gibb, Ashton Milligan, Tristen Franc, Kaleb Beauchesne and Jesse Mourot, among others. Franc and Milligan have also played internationally for the Dog River Howlers during South American tours.
Rugby in Prince Albert exists because of the friendship of Mark McElligott and Paul Roy and their hard work, time, knowledge, skills, determination, sacrifice and love of the game.
Mark McElligott joins the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in the Builders category.
Paul Roy – Builder
A career as a teacher brought Paul Roy to Prince Albert enabling him, along with Mark McElligott to introduce the sport of rugby to the city. Roy played rugby at a young age in his home province of New Brunswick, moving to PA in 1986 after receiving a degree in education at UNB.
He became a member of the Prince Albert Gryphons, playing, coaching and being an official with that team, until that organization ceased in 1995. In 1988 Roy began a mini-rugby program at 3 city schools for Grades 7-9: Riverside, Boucher and Holy Cross, coaching the Riverside contingent.
In 2001, Roy teamed up with McElligott to develop a high school rugby program which led to the Prince Albert Dragons joining the North Saskatchewan Junior Rugby League in 2002. The Dragons are made up of high school players, originally from PACI, but then expanding to take players from across the public system, and have finished 1st or 2nd in 14 of their 16 seasons (through 2018) including 1 silver and 2 bronze medals at provincials. Through 2018, 213 student-athletes have played under Roy for the Dragons.
The Prince Albert Whiskey Jacks senior men’s rugby team was created in 2015, again led by Roy and McElligott who have fundraised, coached and guided that team to the second division title in 2017 and the 2018 Provincial Championship.
Seeing an opportunity at the younger ages to introduce the sport of rugby, Roy, with his sidekick McElligott again, formed Prince Albert Mini Rugby in 2016. This program is for boys and girls ages 3-14, with 70 players registering to learn and play rugby in the city.
Over the 30 years of coaching, mentoring and developing hundreds of athletes, Paul Roy has provided an opportunity for many to go on to play at a higher level. In 2018 alone, six U-16 and three U-18 players were selected to represent Saskatchewan at Westerns. The Dragons to go on to play at a National level with the Prairie Wolf Pack and Prairie Blizzard include: Rylan Gibb, Ashton Milligan, Tristen Franc, Kaleb Beauchesne and Jesse Mourot, among others. Franc and Milligan have also played internationally for the Dog River Howlers during South American tours.
Paul Roy has dedicated his life to the sport of rugby in Prince Albert and is a deserving inductee who will be inducted in the Builder category.
Blake Edwards – Builder
Blake Edwards was a founding member of Ringside Fitness Centre Inc., which helped revive the sport of boxing in the City in the early 2000’s when the future looked grim. The Prince Albert Boxing Club was in financial hardship until Edwards, supported by the Prince Albert Kinsmen Club launched the R-U-Tuff Enuff competition.
R-U-Tuff Enuff, a showcase for amateur boxers, exploded from an initial budget of $600 to over $60,000 allowing the Boxing Club to replenish their coffers in a significant manner. The event became the largest of its kinds in Canada.
The financial influx allowed the Prince Albert Boxing club to expand and provide Boxercise, Yoga, Tai Chi and Junior Boxing Classes.
Blake Edwards is inducted as a builder into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame.
Luc Robin – Meritorious Service
Luc Robin is a highly sought after and valuable volunteer due to his knowledge, hard work, dedication and willingness to come up with and implement, solutions for all groups and associations with which he is involved. He is known for his work in Female Hockey and Softball throughout Prince Albert.
Robin has been coaching Hockey in Prince Albert for 33 years and has been a board member of the Association since 1988. Along with his good friend Jim Flynn, Robin has guided the Midget AA program for 31 of those years. He assists in running the annual Female Hockey Tournament, which is one of the largest in Western Canada, and has been on the Nor-Sask Female League executive since 2012 and is currently their Vice-President.
In 2014 Robin was awarded the Hockey Canada Century Tour Canadian Tire Heroes of Play Award which celebrates and recognizes the “behind-the-scenes” people who contribute to the success of hockey in Canada. He also received the Prince Albert Minor Hockey Presidents Award in 2014.
In the world of Softball, Robin also was a well-respected coach for both male and female teams over 12 years. He served on the Executive of PA Minor Softball for 15 years and was a founding member of the Aallcann Development Fastpitch Organization (ADFO).
If there is a major hockey or softball event in the city, Luc Robin is usually one of the first to volunteer and gregariously offers his time to not only make sure events are executed with ease, but also is the guy you go to for electrical, mechanical or structural challenges, as he will get a solution, most times, fixing things himself.
Luc Robin also has been a member of the East Hill Community Club Executive for 31 years, and a member of the St. Michael Knights of Columbus for 30 years.
Luc Robin is being inducted for Meritorious Service.
Blair Hoffman – Athlete & Meritorious Service
A lifetime of competing in hockey, baseball and slo-pitch with success at many different levels makes Blair Hoffman one of Prince Albert’s most decorated athletes. From 1960 through 2018 (58 years and counting), Hoffman did not miss a season of playing hockey and baseball.
Hoffman is a baseball and slo-pitch veteran. After playing minor ball in the Battlefords area, he joined the North Battleford Beavers organization. In 1968 the Midget team won the Provincial championship and finished 2nd at Westerns. The Junior team won two league titles between 1969-73. He also played with the Senior Beavers from 1971-73.
He joined the Naicam Vikings of the Central Baseball League for the 1974-75 seaons. Hoffman was the all-star centre fielder both years. He played with the Birch Hills Brewers from 1976-83, winning several Torch River League titles. The Prince Albert Oldtimers (35 years plus) added Hoffman to its roster from 1986-2002. During this time he was awarded the Sask Baseball Ten Year Appreciation Award for his participation in its Twilight Baseball program.
Slo-Pitch is the sport in which Hoffman excelled. He was a member of the Prince Albert Old Spikes Men’s 40 Plus Slo-Pitch team that won the National SPN Championship in 1994 and silver in 1996 as well as numerous Provincial titles in the 90’s. Hoffman then played with the Prince Albert Legends Plus 50 Slo-Pitch team from 2002-2015 winning two Bronze medals at the Plus 50 SPN Nationals and 1 silver & 1 bronze at the Plus 60 SPN Nationals.
Hoffman has competed a the Huntsman World Senior Games conducted annually in St. George, Utah for teams out of St. Albert, Alberta (the Buzzards and Combines) for 13 consecutive years (from 2005-2018 and counting), winning no less than 10 medals including 4 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze. This makes Hoffman the most decorated Huntsman World Senior Games Slo-Pitch athlete from Saskatchewan.
Hoffman also has competed in hockey for close to 60 years. He has skated with the Prince Albert Silver Foxes Oldtimers team since 1978 winning the West Hill and Melfort Oldtimers’ tournaments on multiple occasions.
Although Hoffman’s athletic accomplishments are many, he is likely better known for his contribution to Sport and Recreation in Prince Albert. He served as a Recreation Coordinator for 12 years and Director of Parks and Recreation for 18 years with the City of Prince Albert from 1975 to 2005. During this period, he was directly involved with the upgrade and /or construction of every Arena, Ball Diamond and Soccer Pitch in the City. This included construction for the Dave G. Steuart Arena, Prime Ministers’ Park and upgrade of the Art Hauser Centre. He was also involved in the upgrade of the Cooke Municipal Golf Course (89, 90 & 91) and construction of the E.A. Rawlinson Centre.
Hoffman has also volunteered freely of his time. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Prince Albert Minor Hockey, Minor Soccer and Minor Softball Associations for a minimum of 8 years for each in the 70’s and 80’s. He served as a Ringette Coach for 12 years. Two projects which brought great pride to the City were the 1992 Sask. Summer Games and the 1999 Western Canada Summer Games. In addition to his duties as Vice Chairman, he was Director in charge of Capital Facilities as well as Spectator Services for both events. On a Provincial level, Hoffman was a member of the Sask. Parks and Recreation Assoc. Board of Directors for 5 years, three of which included serving as President.
As a result of Hoffman’s extensive career in baseball, slo-pitch and hockey plus his continuous service to sport and recreation, Hoffman represented the City of Prince Albert proudly for over four decades.
Blair Hoffman will be inducted as an athlete and for meritorious service.
Derek Smith – Athlete, Builder & Meritorious Service
Derek Smith is a rare individual who has accomplished so much, and affected so many things, he is a triple inductee as an athlete, builder and for meritorious service.
As a competitor Derek Smith excelled in volleyball and softball at many levels. In volleyball he was a stand out for the St.Mary Marauders and Prince Albert Toppers club team. He helped the Marauders to Provincial gold in 1994. Smith and the Toppers won Provincial gold and Canadian silver in 1995 with Derek being named to the All-Star team at nationals. He would go on to red shirt with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies volleyball team.
Smith was a dominant pitcher in softball starting with PA Minor Softball in the Squirt B division in 1988 winning B Provincials with the MacDowall Monarchs. There were numerous accolades for Smith through the 1990’s in softball including gold at the Midget Canadians in 1995 with the PA Ken-Gar Selects where he was named tournament MVP. Smith was named the Softball Saskatchewan Athlete of the Year and adding his volleyball prowess, he was named the Kinsmen/900CKBI Athlete of the Year for 1995.
More softball honours came his way in the late 90’s including a Canadian championship with the PA Northern Business Selects in 1996, Junior Canadians Silver with the Saskatoon Junior Merchants in 1997, pitching again at Junior Men’s nationals in 1998 and finally an appearance in the Australian Men’s Fastpitch championship in 1999. The year 2000 saw Smith help the Prince Albert Aallcann Astros to the Senior A provincial title and an appearance at nationals, followed by various Senior A, National and International Softball Congress appearances with the Saskatoon Merchants.
Derek Smith then pulled back some from playing to get into coaching and mentoring, in a big way. That success in competition built the foundation for a coach that also has accumulated a stellar resume in volleyball and softball.
In softball, Derek Smith has been coaching since 2005, starting, like in his playing days, with PA Minor Softball. His success reflects his knowledge of the sport and ability to teach skills to young athletes. He followed his boys Riley and Ethan through the age classes with success including U12 Provincial gold (2012), U14 Provincial and Western Canadian Gold (2015), U14 Silver (2016 & 2017), U18 Provincial Silver & National Bronze (2017) culminating with the 2017 Softball Saskatchewan Coach of the Year Award in 2017.
His volleyball, coaching also is rather decorated, starting in 2013 with the Smashing Bananas program. He lead his team to a Nationals appearance for U16 in 2016 and won Provincial Bronze with another appearance in Nationals in 2017 and a Provincial Bronze in 2018.
For all of the tremendous successes Derek Smith has had as an athlete and coach, he is also a go-to organizer. He organized and has been President of the Prince Albert Community Basketball Association since 2010. He has grown that program from a couple of dozen young players in its inception to hundreds learning the sport of basketball. He administers the entire association including organizing coaches, gym times, registration, website, tournaments and more.
In softball he has been on executives of PAMSA and ADFO and one of the key organizers of Project Triple Play, which saw Derek Smith as the co-chair of the WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championships in July 2018. According to WBSC, that event was one of the best ever at the World level. Smith and Co-Chair Felix Casavant were named the Prince Albert Kinsmen Club/Daily Herald Citizens of the Year for 2018. The event left a lasting legacy of 2 world-standard diamonds as well as hosting the first ever World Championship in Prince Albert that will be remembered for decades.
Derek Smith will be inducted as an Athlete, Builder and for Meritorious Service.
Prince Albert Gymnastics Club – Organization of the Year
The Prince Albert Gymnastics Club has been in existence since 1966. It became incorporated in 1984 and operated out of the Margo Fournier Centre from 1967 until 1995 when they developed the 22,000 square foot High Noon Optimist Centre. This was accomplished in conjunction with the Prince Albert Youth Soccer Association and the Prince Albert High Noon Optimist Club.
The Facility is owned and operated by the Building Board who operated with the tri-party arrangement until 2010 when the Prince Albert Youth Soccer Association moved to the Alfred Jenkins Field House. The Gymnastics Club took over the programming of remainder of the facility.
The Club operates three individual gymnastics components – Women’s Artistic, Men’s Artistic and Trampoline & Tumbling. From 1995 to 2007 the number of registrants doubled. By 2018 the Club’s registration had grown to a total of 435: 41 Women’s Artistic, 13 Male Artistic, 16 Trampoline & Tumbling athletes as well as 365 recreational Gymnasts.
The Club has hosted Provincial Championship in 1999, 2002, 2008, 2011 and 2018. At the 2018 Provincials hosted by the Prince Albert Gymnastics Club at the Alfred Jenkins Field House, a total of 412 gymnasts representing 21 clubs from across Saskatchewan took part. The Club also hosted the Gymnastics Component of the 2014 Sask. Winter Games held in Prince Albert.
Since 2002 the Gymnastics Club also hosts an Annual Invitational Gymnastic Competition for provincial athletes. The Competition brings approximately 1000 participants, coaches, officials and spectators to Prince Albert.
In 2011 the Club was presented with the Ed Brougham Category 111 Award by Gymnastics Canada. The Award is presented to Gymnastics Clubs that have demonstrated exceptional services and provided an outstanding contribution to the development and promotion of gymnastics at the national and provincial level.
The Club was the first in the province to introduce a Special Olympics Artistic Gymnastics component in 2016. It was also the first Club to host a Special Olympics Artistic Gymnastics Competition in Canada that season.
The Prince Albert Gymnastics Club has produced over 150 Provincial Champions since 2007, was named the Top Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Association in the Province in 2011, and has captured 50 medals at the Western Canada level and 7 medal finishes at Nationals since 2010.
The Prince Albert Gymnastics Club is the Organization of the Year.
Tickets for the 2019 Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, April 27th are $50 each and available at Community Services in City Hall. Corporate tables of 8 are $500 each which includes sponsorship of the event.
For More Information:
Ellen Grewcock, PASHOF President – 306-980-6242
Bruce Vance, PASHOF Vice President – 306-953-4828