Royals Bill Sanderson gets WHL Distinguished Service Award

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Victoria, BC – WHL Commissioner Ron Robison announced today, on behalf of the WHL Board of Governors, that Bill Sanderson has been named a recipient of the WHL Distinguished Service Award for the 2015-16 season.

Sanderson was honoured by WHL Commissioner Ron Robison in Victoria tonight in a special ceremony prior to the Victoria Royals’ game against the Everett Silvertips.

Sanderson began his career as an off-ice official in 1975 with the WHL’s Victoria Cougars. Since then, Sanderson has been heavily involved behind the scenes with nearly every major sports team that has called Victoria home and still oversees the Royals’ off-ice officials today.

Between the Cougars and Royals, Sanderson has acted as an off-ice official in the WHL for 24 years from 1975-1994 and again since the Royals returned in 2011. Over his 24 years, Bill has worked nearly 900 home games. In total, Sanderson has overseen more than 2,200 games in Victoria as an off-ice official.

“Bill has been a fixture at hockey games in Victoria since the 1970’s serving as an off-ice official for both the original WHL Victoria Cougars and current Royals franchise,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “Bill has not only made a huge contribution to the Cougars and Royals organizations but to the game of hockey in the Victoria area for the past five decades and is most deserving of this prestigious award.”

“The Victoria Royals organization would like to thank Bill for his tireless efforts over the years,” General Manager Cameron Hope said. “Bill is a golden thread in Victoria’s sports fabric, and this recognition by the WHL is certainly well deserved.”

Today, Bill has brought his family into the fray. His daughter, Shannon, is now Victoria’s assistant official scorekeeper. Like her father, Shannon never misses a game.

The WHL Distinguished Service Award, which was introduced by the WHL in 2004, is presented annually to individuals who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes on behalf of franchises and in doing so have made an extraordinary contribution at the Club or League level over an extended period of time. The WHL will present Distinguished Service Awards annually to an individual from both the Western and Eastern Conferences.

Previous recipients of the WHL Distinguished Service Award:
Bob McGill (Edmonton Oil Kings – Scout); Ralph Zander (Calgary Hitmen – Off-Ice Official); Terry Bonner (Vancouver Giants – Scouting Director); Dr. Mary Smith (Spokane Chiefs – Team Dentist); Dennis Coates (Kamloops Blazers – Volunteer Board Member); Judy Seher (Red Deer Rebels – Billet Coordinator); Balzer, Frank, Tony & John Lanz (Medicine Hat Tigers – Off-Ice Officials); Rose Mary Hartney (Moose Jaw Warriors – Education Advisor); Greg ‘Spike’ Wallace (Kamloops Blazers – Community & Sponsorship Coordinator); Nella Rounsville (Kootenay Ice – Education Advisor); Lorne Frey (Kelowna Rockets – Asst GM/Head Scout); Graham Tuer (Saskatchewan Hockey Association – Volunteer); Jann Boss (Portland Winterhawks – Administration); Ruth “Grams” Pollock (Prince Albert Raiders – Billet Coordinator); Dr. Ian Hill (Regina Pats – Team Doctor); Dr. Alfred Blue (Seattle Thunderbirds – Team Doctor); Doris Rubel (Kamloops Blazers – Billet Coordinator); Colleen MacBean (Swift Current Broncos – Education Advisor); and Bob Ridley (Medicine Hat Tigers – Play-By-Play Announcer).

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