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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

April 13, 2013, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – Canada West Athletics proudly announces Ron Rauch, a recently retired writer for the Victoria Times Colonist as the 2012-13 Fred “Gus” Collins Media Award winner and finalist for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Fred Sgambati Award.

Rauch has been a valuable media contributor for the University of Victoria Vikes and island sports for the past 21 years. Rauch has been a writer for the island’s main print media source, the Victoria Times Colonist, covering all island sports but in particular, the UVic Vikes. After watching and covering several Canadian university national championships, Rauch retired in December 2012.

Rauch capped off his final year covering the Vikes men’s soccer 2011 CIS championship win at Centennial Stadium, as well as the women’s soccer’s 2013 CIS bronze-medal win, also at Centennial Stadium. Rauch was a familiar face at the media table at Ken and Kathy Shields Court in the McKinnon Gymnasium, as he has covered almost every home basketball game for the Vikes over the years. Branching outside of his local duties, Rauch traveled for two CIS basketball national championships, in Halifax, and several Canada West Final Four tournaments to give dedicated coverage for the Vikes basketball teams.

“Ron has been a loyal and valued media supporter of university sport and the Vikes program for a number of years,” said Clint Hamilton, Director of UVic Athletics and Recreation. “He is most deserving of this honour and UVic, along with CIS, have benefitted tremendously from Ron’s dedication to and passion for university sport in Canada.”

Rauch was also a regular reporter for the successful UVic golf programs that have hosted and won several championships throughout the island golf courses. Recently, Ron was on site for the 2012 Canadian university/college national championship and the Vikes Golf Shootout, where several Vikes were among the top-5 spots. Never wanting to miss a beat, Ron helped celebrate and honour the Vikes in his spare time as a regular attendee of the Vikes’ major fundraiser, the Vikes Championship Breakfast, as well as the annual Athletic Awards and Sports Hall of Fame event. In addition, Rauch stayed up to date on the freshest recruits and was always checking in with the Vikes communications office for previews on other sports such as the field hockey, cross-country, track and rowing programs.

Rauch began his sports writing career in 1973 with the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. From there he moved to the Victoria Times Colonist where he was named the assistant sports editor in 1993. At the Times Colonist he established a reputation as a reporter who covered the story in a thorough fashion, making the extra effort to get all the facts or the extra quote that made an article complete.

With Rauch’s recent retirement, Victoria’s island sports community will lose a great supporter and writer for amateur and University sport. Rauch has been a dedicated, detailed and passionate sports writer whose work will be greatly missed but also remembered for years to come.

The annual award is named after the late Fred “Gus” Collins, a long-time contributor to the development, success and promotion of Canada West Athletics, notably his endless effort to produce updated, accurate statistical information to all media in an era long before high-tech gadgets, social media, laptops, email and spreadsheets. The recipient receives an engraved stone trophy and becomes conference nominee for the CIS Fred Sgambati Media Award, which is handed out by the CIS.

Canada West Fred “Gus” Collins Award recipients (CIS Fred Sgambati Award winners in Italics):

2004-05: Ian Hamilton, Regina Leader-Post

2005-06: Howard Tsumura, Vancouver Province

2006-07: Neil Shewchuk, Saskatchewan’s CK750/CJVR

2007-08: Jason Pires, Victoria’s A-Channel

2008-09: Howard Tsumura, the Vancouver Province

2009-10: Esther Madziya, Global Television Saskatoon

2010-11: David Larkins, Brandon Sun

2011-12: Evan Daum, Edmonton Journal / CJSR

2012-13: Ron Rauch, Victoria Times Colonist