Sports Heroes start with local Smokies

The B.C. Sports Hero Award recipients for Greater Trail will be featured in the Trail Times over the next week.

The B.C. Sports Hero Award recipients for Greater Trail will be featured in the Trail Times over the next week leading up to the Feb. 22 award ceremony.

The storied history of the Trail Smoke Eaters pervades the Silver City and two of the 10 recipients have been integral components of the team and the community for many years.

Tom Gawryletz has been involved with minor hockey for over 15 years, coaching peewee teams to two provincial championships and was the inaugural coach of the Beaver Valley Nitehawks 30 years ago.

He has been involved with the Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club both as a player and as a member of the board and now gives countless hours to the operation of the Smoke Eaters as President and Governor to the league.

He has been on the board for the Smokies for over 12 years and can always be seen at the rink either as a spectator for minor hockey or selling souvenirs for the Smokies.

And while Gawryletz, acknowledges the award is an honour, he is not one for the spot light.

“I think probably all 10 people will tell you the same thing, we all volunteer for a reason and it’s obviously not to get your name in the paper,” said Gawryletz.

But that is precisely why his peers recognized his contribution over the years and nominated those 10 people for the award.

It is the hardwork and dedication that exemplifies its basic tenets, that recognize coaches, officials, mentors and administrators who have dedicated themselves to grow and develop amateur sport at the community level.

Gawryletz was very pleased to see the number of people recognized although there are many individuals and groups that deserve it, he said.

But more important is Teck’s role in the community sports hero legacy, which as a local company is a huge supporter of the Trail Smoke Eaters and the whole community, added Gawrylitz.

Barry Zanier, is also recognized for the Premier’s Sport Awards.

For the last 27 years, Zanier has been a leader in the continuation and improvement of sport programs in the communities of Trail and Rossland.

Now a teacher at McLean Elementary, Zanier has previously taught at many schools in the community and has always been actively involved with the schools’ sports teams as a coach.

Since the late 1990’s, he has coached hockey in various capacities – from house league to rep and now as an assistant coach with the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL.

Zanier  is currently in the process of developing a hockey program for Rossland Secondary School and he coaches McLean Elementary’s cross country and track and field teams.

Zanier is a proud advocate of the sport skill and development resources in the Premier’s Sport Awards Program and regularly uses the lesson plans and crests to help keep sports an exciting and rewarding experience for his students.