Audrey Sandbeck – Athlete

Softball in the summer and curling in the winter describes Audrey Sandbeck.

A softball player during her school years in her hometown of Smeaton, Sandbeck later played in Regina and Calgary. In the mid 1960’s she returned Prince Albert and founded the Key Realettes team with her two sisters and a brother‑in‑law. This club had an auspicious debut, winning the Saskatchewan Commercial Division championship. The Key Realettes repeated as champions in 1967 and in 1969 won the newly created Senior B division.  In 1970, Sandbeck hung up her spikes and concentrated her energies on managing the club and helping with the coaching.  It was also that year the team became the Browne Motor Dusters. In 1972, the Dusters embarked on a string of four consecutive provincial titles.  Dusters won again in 1977 and 1978. In 1978 the team also captured the Western Canadian championship in Medicine Hat. At that event, Sandbeck was named the all‑star coach.

During much of that time the Dusters did not have a league to play in, forcing Sandbeck to organize exhibition games and later to enter the team into the previously men‑only Sportsman Softball League. Among the exhibition games were contests with “The Queen and Her Court”, the reigning Senior A champion Saskatoon Imperials and a club from New Zealand. Dusters finally got to play in a Prince Albert league in 1981 and took two straight titles.

After a brief retirement from the Dusters after the team hosted 1982 Western Canadian championship, Sandbeck organized a twilight division team.

She served on local and provincial Softball Saskatchewan executives from 1969 to 1979 and in 1976 received an outstanding service award from the provincial body.  In 1984 her name was added to the Softball Saskatchewan honour roll.

Sandbeck has been a competitive curler for years having participated at many regional and northern playdowns and in 1976 at the provincial playdowns.  She has also taken many executive and organizational roles in this winter sport, including being one of the founders of the Prince Albert Business Girls Curling Club in the 1950s. She also assisted in the founding of the Twilite Ladies Golf Club.

In 1981 Sandbeck become the first Prince Albert Sportswoman of the Year.

Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.