May 15, 2013, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – A woman of vision for sport in Canada over almost 50 years, on June 14 Canada West volleyball convenor Sandy Silver will receive an honour that she never imagined possible… a spot in Volleyball Canada’s Hall of Fame.
One of three inductees being inducted at a ceremony in Mississauga, Ont., Silver is flattered by the honour for her leading involvement that covers the nation and dates back to the late 1960s.
Silver, who began playing club volleyball in Ontario at age 17, has been the convenor for Canada West volleyball since 1992 and lives in Vancouver where UBC awards an annual women’s volleyball endowment in her name. The endowment is awarded to someone who stands out as a strong athlete on the court, a strong student in the classroom, and who gives back to the sport via volunteering and fair play.
In 2012, she was a finalist for the “In Her Footsteps” award that celebrates B.C. women in sport, the result of a lifetime of hard work, dedication and generosity as a player, official, coach, administrator, volunteer and ambassador for the sport.
Following her days as a player in Ontario junior / senior club scene in the late 1960, Silver went on to coach at the Ontario college level, university level at York and UBC, and the women’s Senior National Team during the 1970s and 1980s. She earned her officiating certification, officiating at a high level, and Sandy also helped advance athletics for physically disabled athletes, including serving as Director for the 1976 Olympiad for the Disabled and the World Blind Marathon in 1982.
Outspoken on gender equity, Silver was a major contributor in female sports reaching the level of funding, social advancement and acclaim that it has today, working to promote and develop women’s sport nationally and internationally.
“There have been many times over the years that my work in sport, whether it be as a volunteer or as a professional, where I have spoken up against what I perceive to be unjust. It hasn’t always been received positively,” said Silver. “On the contrary, this honour speaks volumes to me. That although my work was sometimes not been welcome, it was the right thing to do.”
Recognized for her leadership throughout Ontario, Silver is a member of the York University Hall of Fame in volleyball and badminton, while at UBC in 2000 she received the Kay Brearley Service Award as a person whose service to the women’s athletic program is judged to be exceptional.
Upon reflection of CIAU coaching days, she stated, “My athletes at both York and UBC influenced me to do the best job that I could. I had an obligation to make their experience a positive one in more ways than the competitive one.”
Noted accomplishments since her move from Ontario to British Columbia in 1979 including coaching the UBC women’s volleyball to a CIAU national bronze medal in 1983, two years as assistant coach for the Canadian national women’s volleyball team (1980-82) and involvement on numerous boards and committees at a number of levels.
“When I started playing at a high calibre, it was within the club level in Ontario. My Junior team coach, Paul Brownstein, instilled in all of us, that if we were having a positive experience, it was our obligation to give back along the way,” and added, “Only through volunteering in the sport of volleyball, whether it be officiating, coaching or administrating could I fulfill this responsibility.”
Although her coaching career came to a halt in 1984 due to a major battle with cancer, Sandy Silver has always been and continues to be a leader in sport for women, with a passion for volleyball and a love of all people who empower themselves to succeed.