Hockey Manitoba identifies ten (10) recipients annually for the Regional Volunteer Recognition Awards from each of its ten (10) regions as nominated by representatives from those regions. The purpose of these awards is to recognize outstanding commitment and significant contributions to the game of hockey in Manitoba.
2019-20 Regional Volunteer Recognition Award Winners
Kris Klemick – Brandon Region
Kris Klemick has been a dedicated volunteer for 20 years since his eldest son Brandon started playing hockey. His coaching career didn’t end with Brandon as he went on to coach, or help coach, his three other boys, Jesse, Tanner and Konnor. Having had two of his four sons follow in his goaltending footsteps, he remains willing to assist any of today’s young goalies needing some extra help or encouragement.
Kris has been successful in recruiting volunteers, coaches and Board members that continue to help minor hockey in Brandon. Kris joined the Hockey Board as Under-11 (Atom) Director in 2017. He is currently the Vice President of ‘A’ Hockey and Tournaments and is also a committee member for the Brandon Tournament of Champions, which with Kris’s help, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019.
When he’s not at the rink or at the ballpark coaching his son Konnor, Kris is busy saving lives as a firefighter for the City of Winnipeg, as a member of their Tech-Rescue team.
Kris also has two daughters and is a proud grandpa to two grandsons.
Mike Neill – Central Plains Region
Mike Neill has dedicated countless hours to the Central Plains Board, Central Plains Development Committee and Hockey Manitoba Development Council. Mike has an extensive coaching history throughout the minor hockey system within Central Plains, from U7 through to the Regional U18 AAA levels, that spans over 15 years.
Mike is a dedicated coach who is known for his tremendous preparation, total inclusion of all players on a team and ability to provide excellent skill development within the team environment.
Mike has coached within both female and male programs and has been a Hockey Manitoba Coach Mentor since 2009, developing and delivering specialty coach clinics throughout the province each year. Mike has been actively involved with Hockey Manitoba programs such as Female Prospects, Rising Stars, Rising Stars Plus, Directors’ Cup prospects, POE Skills Combine and with the Program of Excellence as a classroom and on-ice skills coach.
He has also been an instructor within Portage Minor Hockey Breakfast Programs, Skill Development Programs and Power Skating. He has several years in training with the National Coaches Mentorship Program and has participated at Hockey Canada’s National U17 Development camp for the last two years as a Skills Coach and Player Evaluator.
Mike is happily married to his wife Paula, and he has three children Jay, Max, and Tayte and is also a proud grandfather.
Tracy Ouellet – Eastman Region
Tracy Ouellet has been a volunteer within the Eastman Region, and more specifically La Broquerie Minor Hockey, for the past 12 years. Tracy has held positions such as Vice-President, Registrar, Treasurer and Female Rep. She has coordinated major events such as annual raffles, golf tournaments, Hockey Day activities and co-managed canteen operations within her association. While her work is primarily in her community of La Broquerie, her footprints are left all over the region.
Tracy lives and breathes grassroots female hockey and she started managing and coordinating female hockey teams in 2008. Together with her fellow board members, she has actively worked to recruit female hockey players into the program by hosting multi-community teams at a low cost to the players as well as hosting many female hockey events including many Provincial tournaments. La Broquerie was the first MHA to host an all-female team in a co-ed league and they won their first banner as an all-female team in a co-ed league during the 2018 – 2019 season.
Tracy is involved with Eastman Female Council and has been a strong advocate for female hockey with a wealth of knowledge to enhance the program so that more girls will want to play. Tracy and her fellow board members also push to have strong female representation in officiating. This past year La Broquerie had many games throughout the Female Peewee A Provincial tournament officiated by a team of local all female officials.
Dave Underwood – Interlake Region
Dave began his career in officiating hockey in 1977 with Kitchener-Waterloo Minor Hockey. In 1982 he moved to Winnipeg where he became involved with Hockey Manitoba and Winnipeg Minor Hockey.
Dave became Referee-in-Chief of Fort Garry-Fort Rouge Hockey Association in 1984 and SEMHL in 1988, before becoming Referee-in-Chief of Winnipeg Minor in 1996. In 2000 he was selected to be Assistant Referee-in-Chief for Hockey Manitoba, in charge of grassroots official development.
Dave was a Level IV official and a master course conductor for Hockey Manitoba. After almost 30 years of officiating, he retired in 2005. He joined the board of Stonewall Minor Hockey where he held the position of registrar for two years. After a short stint as a long-haul truck driver he rejoined the Stonewall Minor Board as ice convenor in 2009, a position he still holds today.
In 2015, Dave became involved at the regional level with Interlake Minor Hockey first as a U9 convenor then as league scheduler. Dave has spent countless hours working on Interlake Minor programs hoping to leave the region a little better than when he started. Today, he is in his second year as Director of Interlake Minor Hockey.
When not working on hockey, Dave enjoys spending time with his wife of 36 years, Beverly, and their 16 grandchildren.
Ron Larocque – Norman Region
Ron Larocque is a dedicated Hockey Manitoba volunteer who has been Norman’s Minor Hockey Director since 2009. Ron was the Vice-Director for 11 years prior to that and has been involved with The Pas Minor Hockey for many years in various positions, most recently serving as the ice scheduler.
Ron has worked with many remote and isolated communities in Northern Manitoba to help them coordinate and start minor hockey programs and he continues to work with these communities to this day. Ron was involved in starting up the Norman U18 League in 2003 for the Region and his family donated the trophy that is presented to the League Playoff Champions. Ron also continues to look after any vacant Norman Board Positions as required.
Ron has been happily married to his wife Leona for 46 years and has two daughters Ronlee, Raelyn and one son, Kelvin plus 4 grandsons. Ron’s kids have grown up and left the minor hockey system, but Ron continues to volunteer his time in promoting and supporting hockey in the Norman region.
Wendy McDonald – Parkland Region
Wendy McDonald moved to Gilbert Plains in 2015 with her two daughters, just in time for hockey season, and both girls became Grand Plains Hawks. For two seasons (2017 – 2018, and 2018 – 2019) she was the assistant coach for the Grand Plains U15 Ice Dogs, and served as Manager for the Parkland Rangers Female U15 AAA team while assisting on the bench as well.
In 2019 – 2020, Wendy became an assistant coach for the Grand Plains Atom Ice Dogs. She joined the Grand Plains Minor Hockey Board in 2017 and has held the position of secretary ever since. As a representative for Grand Plains Minor Hockey, she attends meetings for the Rural Manitoba Female Hockey League, Parkland Minor Hockey Association, and Parkland Hockey League and has volunteered at the last two Hockey Manitoba Provincials hosted by Grand Plains.
Wendy is always helping out at tournaments and can usually be found announcing for the Grand Plains U13 Hawks, U7 Hawks, U9Hawks, Ice Dog U15, Ice Dog U18, and Roblin Raiders High School hockey games in Gilbert Plains and Grandview.
Wendy has also participated several times in the World Women’s Hockey Day events held in Dauphin, playing in the Mother/Daughter game.
Shane Froebe – Pembina Valley Region
Shane Froebe has officiated in the Pembina Valley for 19 years, winning numerous Official of the Year awards in the process, and has served on the P.V.M.H.A. board as Referee-in-Chief/Director of Officiating for 5 of those years.
Shane has also served as the Director of Supplemental Discipline for PVMHA for 5 years and played a role as a local Referee-in-Chief, President, and coach for Winkler Minor Hockey.
Shane’s foresight has played the largest role in his volunteer success in Pembina Valley. Shane created the PVMHA Officials Development Committee, which has grown to six different individuals running various programs such as power skating camps, mid-season refresher clinics, mentorship programs, etc. for officials across the Pembina Valley.
Shane also established the PVMHA Discipline Committee, an external committee that handles all supplementary discipline decisions for the region. Shane’s foresight in creating these evergreen committees, and his recruitment of some of the region’s brightest high-performance officials, ensure his legacy and impact in the region will live on for years and decades to come.
Ryan Kyle – Westman South Region
Ryan Kyle has been involved in many facets of hockey since he was young. Ryan played minor hockey in Virden and Miniota until he was 14 years old when his family moved to Neepawa where he continued playing hockey until he was 17. Ryan remained active in recreational hockey until 1999 when he became on official under the mentorship of Neepawa’s Keith Jordan.
Ryan pursued officiating while also being involved with the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives as well as in minor hockey with his son. Ryan was a billet, bus driver, assistant coach and trainer for Neepawa from 2004 until returning to Virden in 2012.
Ryan continued officiating as well as driving the bus for the MJHL’s Virden Oil Caps. In 2017 he was approached about becoming Referee-in-Chief in Virden for the 2018 season and accepted the opportunity to give back to the community. Ryan has been a tireless mentor to many youth hockey players and has also served as one of the most prolific recruiters in our area. He has allowed himself to be a “go-to” guy when there is a sudden need for an official due to a sickness or change of plans.
Ryan continues to pursue knowledge, challenge himself and others with becoming the best referee possible and is a shining example of what determination and effort can produce. In spite of all the challenges he has faced, Virden Minor Hockey‘s referee obligations are simply in good hands with Ryan at the helm.
Bob Capstick – Winnipeg Region
Bob Capstick has volunteered for Hockey Winnipeg for over 40 consecutive years.
Over the years he has held numerous positions at the community club level, area association level, and with Hockey Winnipeg. He continues to be involved to this day because of his belief in the value that sports programs provide to young people.
Moving to Winnipeg from Southern Ontario with his wife Harolyn and two children in 1978, Bob first got involved in coaching in 1979 when the first of his sons started playing minor hockey (Richmond Kings 9 B team).
Bob’s love of the game was soon apparent, and he was soon “drafted”. Over the years he has coached and managed teams ranging from Under-7 (5 and 6 year-olds just learning to skate) up to Juvenile players in their final year of minor hockey. At the same time, Bob held positions on different organizations governing hockey in the city.
Bob is a professional engineer, who spent many long hours at his career until his retirement 10 years ago.
Bob and Harolyn have been happily married for 50 years and have four children (Beth, John, Daryl & David) are now proud grandparents to seven grandchildren.
Dan Johnson – Yellowhead Region
Dan Johnson has dedicated a countless number of hours to coaching within the Minnedosa Minor and Minnedosa High School hockey programs, spanning back to the early 1990’s to the administration within the Yellowhead Region. Dan was barely 20 years old when he begun coaching an Under-18 team in Minnedosa and is committed, organized and thorough individual.
Dan became the Regional Vice Director for the Yellowhead Region in 2011 and this was just the beginning of many more years of volunteering. Over the next few years he learned the intricate details of managing a hockey region which paved the road for Dan to become the Director for the Yellowhead Region in 2014.
Dan was always available to help a parent, player, executive or local Minor Hockey Association. He would give everyone as much time as they required to understand the details of a new motion or to help a new family who was wondering where to register. Dan lived by the motto, “it’s all about the kids playing hockey”.
This past spring Dan became the new Chair of Minor Hockey – Rural with Hockey Manitoba. Dan has dedicated many years of guidance to the Yellowhead region and he will continue to lend his expertise in his new role.