Countless years of sports volunteerism in Morden was on display during Morden's third annual Outstanding Sports Volunteer Wall of Fame induction ceremony Tuesday.
"The City of Morden is pleased to host the Outstanding Sport Volunteer Awards as part of our annual campaign for National Volunteer Week," said Morden Mayor Ken Wiebe. "Sport and recreation are something that benefits our community greatly and we are proud to recognize volunteers’ contribution. The people that we are honouring are but a few of the many that have contributed to the well-being of sport in the City of Morden. This annual program was established to enable the citizens to honour those volunteers who go above and beyond."
This year the wall saw four additions to it including Lloyd (deceased) and Dorothy Andrews, Troy Ehnes, Steve Sager, and Joe Wiwchar.
Lloyd, who accepted his award posthumously and his widow Dorothy Andrews were inducted as a couple and have been involved in sports for many years in the City of Morden.
Lloyd was passionate about community development. He was an organizer, a volunteer, and was best known for being a builder, both of sport and the community. Lloyd had great ideas and pursued them to completion. He was always willing to volunteer and lend a hand for sport and community development. Meanwhile, Dorothy was involved with the sport as a player, coach, organizer, and leader. Dorothy was a strong advocate for, and support of female participation in all sports. She has great community spirit and is always helping others.
Dorothy accepted the award on behalf of her and her late husband and was truly honoured to receive it. She remembered a time when she was about fourteen years old where she was playing baseball as a highlight.
"You won't believe this, but when I was really young we played ball and beat the boy's team one time,'' said Dorothy. "It was better than winning provincials. It was good because girls weren't supposed to do that."
The second inductee to receive his plaque was Troy Ehnes, who joined his late father Les Ehnes on the wall of fame.
Troy has been involved coaching in Morden for many years. Although he can coach at many levels, he often will take on the team needing a coach or help with the younger teams. His strong passion for coaching is evident in his practice, planning, and assisting each player to strive to achieve. Troy is a natural leader and quickly gains the respect of his players due to his knowledge, skills, and experience. One of his greatest strengths is his ability to help players reach their individual potential and to enjoy the game. Ehnes has coached alongside his dad on the same bench, creating lasting memories. He is always ready to have a discussion or debate about sports; whether out in the community or while he's sharpening your skates. He is supportive, encouraging and interested in the young athletes of Morden and the surrounding area.
"It's very much so an honour. It's nice to go up and be on there with my dad, people I've played for, Joe Wiwchar, Mr. Mutcheson, and people I've played with like Steve Sager and Bob Agnew," said Troy. "It's a big honour and I'd like to recognize all of the other sports volunteers that donate so much time to Morden."
During the short ceremony, Steve Sager was the next to be recognized for his contributions to sport in the community.
Steve is very active in coaching minor sports. He's a positive influence and treats players with respect. Steve often goes above his duties and assists with diamond and grounds maintenance to ensure the playing field is in great shape. He is positive and passionate about sports and is often seen practicing with his children in the front yard. Sager is always willing to help and assist with sporting events in Morden.
"It's a nice award to receive. It's something as a coach I've never really expected, but I appreciate the recognition," said Sager. "I've had a lot of fun and rewarding experiences coaching a wide range of different ages, players, and both boys and girls. It's been a very rewarding experience."
The fourth and final inductee during the evening was Joe Wiwchar, who has been and is in fact still active in the sports world. Wiwchar has been involved in sports throughout the City of Morden for about three decades.
Wiwchar has contributed to the development and growth of baseball in Morden and the province of Manitoba, through decades of coaching and mentoring young people in the sport. He leads by example through his dedication as a volunteer and administrator. As a coach, he inspired excellence, with many of his teams achieving local, provincial, national, and international success. He has coached three generations of players and many of these players have become coaches themselves. His commitment to baseball in the province is second to none. Wiwchar has passed his love for sport onto his children and grandchildren that participate and volunteer in their home communities. He has also passed on the love of the sport to many of the people he has coached. Both Ehnes and Sager have played sports for Wiwchar for many years.
"There's only one thing I'd like to do. I'd like to coach a third generation. I coached Gerald Rach, I coached his son, and now I'd like to coach his grandson. That's what I'd like to do. Then I'll be finished," said Wiwchar.