Paul Ashby – Meritorious Service
Paul Ashby’s dedication and love for the game of softball has spanned 50 years. He taught those around him the importance of self respect, as well as respect for the opposition, fans and umpires. He also taught them that discipline, dedication and hard work is a sound formula for success.
Paul along with Dan Malan and Stan Winters founded the Prince Albert Minor Softball Association in 1955. The league had 65 boys and girls teams in their first year of operation.
That same year Paul began coaching his sons Lorne and Emile. Paul won his first city championship as a coach in 1958.
Two years later Paul started coaching his youngest son Kurt. Paul started the team from scratch with many of the players never having played softball before. He coached this group of players from squirt to the men’s division. Remarkably Paul was able to keep a core of his original players which he built around over 20 years. He led the team to 11 city championships. Paul often referred to this team as being the bridesmaid. They entered the Saskatchewan playoffs in every division and were runners up in 12 of 13 appearances.
One of Paul’s most gratifying moments as a coach came in 1972 when his junior men’s team won bronze at the Saskatchewan Summer Games.
Paul continued coaching in the 1980s. In 1981 he was coach of a senior men’s slowpitch team. From 1982-84 he coached his grandsons Mark and Aubrey in Prince Albert Minor Softball play. From 1986-91 Paul coached midget and junior girls’ teams. From 1991-93 he was coach of his granddaughter Robyn’s bantam house league team.
Paul took on an active role with Softball Saskatchewan over the years serving as a provincial representative at local provincial tournaments in and around Prince Albert. He also was involved with the hosting committees for the 1996 and 2001 Midget Canadian Championships volunteering his time and energy in the souvenir sales area. Paul was honoured by throwing out the first pitch at the 2001 Midget Canadian Championships recognizing his valuable contribution to the sport of softball in Prince Albert.
Paul has been recognized for his outstanding contribution to softball many times. In 1976 Paul received an outstanding service award from the Canadian Amateur Softball Association. In 1980 Softball Saskatchewan presented Paul with a 25-year service award, and in 1997 he received a lifetime service award from Softball Saskatchewan.
The endless hours Paul spent volunteering his time as a founder, coach and volunteer earned him an induction into the Saskatchewan Softball Hall of Fame in Regina.
Also, Paul is a life-time member of the Prince Albert Downtown Lions Club and has served in various executive positions with the club including district governor in 1983-84.
It is an honour for the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame to welcome Paul Ashby in the Meritorious Service category.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.