Shaw BCHL Community Hero Award
BCHL players and teams have long been an important fixture in their communities. Whether it’s a team visit to a school or a hospital or a food drive around the holidays, BCHL players are always helping out in their local neighbourhoods.
In addition, many teams are also supported by local businesses, so it has always been a two-way street.
That’s why Shaw and the BCHL have partnered to introduce the Shaw BCHL Community Hero Award which is given out monthly to a BCHL player who goes above and beyond to serve his community.
Submissions are now closed for the 2019-20 season, but will re-open ahead of next year!
This year’s winners are:
The award is given out monthly to a BCHL player who goes above and beyond in his community and Alexander certainly accomplished that as his October Saves Goalie Challenge raised hundreds of dollars for cancer research, while capturing the spirit of the community by getting fans, players, team staff and billets involved.
During the month of October, Alexander pledged to donate 25-cents per save made to the cause.
“With this being my last year of junior and being in Prince George here with the support we get from the community, it was a good opportunity to just try to raise a little bit of money for a really great cause that pretty much affects everyone,” said Alexander.
This was the first year the 20-year-old netminder participated in the initiative and it was only the second year it’s been open to Canadian participation. He says he drew inspiration from NHL goalies like Jake Allen of the St. Louis Blues who also takes part…Read more.
D Liam Visram – Nanaimo Clippers (January)
Visram, like the rest of his Clippers teammates, can often be found in the community throughout the year, spending time raising funds for the Salvation Army and other charitable initiatives. However, Visram recently went above and beyond when he went out of his way to make a huge impact in a young fan’s life.
In a game earlier this season, the 19-year-old from Langley, B.C., was making his way through the tunnel into the team’s dressing room when he overheard a young fan and his mother speaking with a team volunteer about diabetes — a cause that hits close to home.
Diabetes runs in Visram’s family and he’s been living with it himself ever since he was diagnosed as Type 1 at 13 years old. After confirming that the young fan is also living with the disease, he made an instant connection.
“I just talked to him about how I’m diabetic and it hasn’t really stopped me from doing anything and how I still love playing hockey,” said Visram. “I think it impacted him a lot.”…Read more.
F Coalson Wolford – Salmon Arm Silverbacks (February)
Wolford and the rest of the Silverbacks can often be found at local schools reading to kids, helping out minor-hockey teams in the area and acknowledging young fans at their games.
“We have three kids skates a week where we’re out with elementary schools, skating with kids and interacting with them,” said Wolford. “We go to the schools and the daycares and do arts and crafts with the kids. It’s kind of constant here in Salmon Arm.”
The entire team participates in these initiatives, but Wolford goes above and beyond in connecting and building relationships with the kids.
“We’re the kids’ role models,” he said. “We’re the older guys that play hockey, which is what a lot of them want to do. I know when I was growing up, the older guys that I would hang around with would seem so much better than me at hockey and it was just fun being around them because one day I wanted to be that good.”…Read more.
For the final time in the 2019-20 season, the BC Hockey League and Shaw Communications are proud to announce the latest recipient of the Shaw BCHL Community Hero Award – Marty Westhaver of the Victoria Grizzlies.
Westhaver, who is born and raised in Victoria, B.C., just wrapped up his fourth and final season with his hometown Grizzlies. He’s had a lasting impact on the community in the province’s capital, having volunteered his time coaching minor hockey, visiting schools on his own and, most importantly, helping raise money for cancer research along with the rest of his family.
For the Westhavers, the issue of childhood cancer has been something that’s been a big part of their lives for more than a decade.
“I have three younger brothers and the second-youngest one, born in 2003, he was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was five,” said Westhaver. “It’s had a huge impact on our family. I’m four years older than him, so when he was diagnosed, I was only nine years old. I saw everything first-hand.”
The good news is his brother Jack is doing well and – just like his three other brothers – is playing hockey competitively. Even though his situation has improved, that hasn’t stopped the Westhaver family from continuing their charitable work…Read more.