Sports

Castlegar sports pioneer honoured

Mal Stelck began with Castlegar’s Selkirk College in 1971. - Submitted
Mal Stelck began with Castlegar’s Selkirk College in 1971.
— image credit: Submitted

A man well-known across the Canadian collegiate sporting spectrum and especially in the Castlegar area has earned a place in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Hall of Fame.

Mal Stelck, with a lengthy and illustrious record of administrative achievement at Selkirk College gets the recognition he richly deserves.

The 2014-15 season marks the 40th anniversary of the CCAA, a great time to initiate a hall of fame to pay tribute to those who have made outstanding contributions to Canadian collegiate athletics, either by virtue of their performance on an athletic team, or by meritorious efforts on behalf of the CCAA.

In a May 12 press release the CCAA relates that Stelck “..arrived at Selkirk College in Castlegar, B.C. in 1971 with a mandate to build its physical education and athletic programs, and coach the men’s hockey team. He would hold the post for a little over a year before he attended a 1972 meeting that would form the CCAA.

“Attending as a provincial representative for B.C.’s Totem Athletic Conference (now PACWEST), he would later serve as president of the provincial organization (1975-78), as well as president of the 4-West (1978-79), a precursor to the CCAA which included B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. As a result he had a clear grasp of the capabilities and aspirations of the western provinces, and became a significant contributor to the CCAA. He served one term as a provincial representative (1977-78), two as first vice-president (1979-82), three as president (1982-86), as well as past president (1986-89).

“It was a great privilege getting to know all the parts of this great country and working with others to reach mutually established goals,” says Stelck. “I got to work with some of the nicest people that one could hope to meet.”

Fond memories of the CCAA remain for Stelck who says, “Watching the CCAA national championships and attending the special events that surrounded them was very rewarding.”

“Through it all Stelck remained at Selkirk College, the CCAA communique describes. “He was instrumental in getting its sports and athletic facilities built, became director of student services and college relations, principal of the Castlegar campus, and then vice-president of education. He capped off his working career as vice-president, education and COO at BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology). Meanwhile the Mal Stelck Leadership Award is handed out to Selkirk students every year in honour of his remarkable achievements, and the Mal Stelck Award In Honour of Fair Play is awarded at each CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship.”

“Making a contribution, however small, to the evolution of the CCAA has been an honour and a privilege,” says Stelck. “We oldtimers cherish the memories and offer our very best wishes to those now working to further the organization’s goals.”

In conclusion, Stelck, who currently resides in Duncan, BC, told the Castlegar News: “During my 25 years at Selkirk, I was fortunate to have a number of great leadership opportunities. Being able to play a role in developing a national college sports organization was one of the memorable ones. Serving as the president of the CCAA for three terms was an honor and privilege.”

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