By Woodard, Dale on February 21, 2020.
In her time on the Lethbridge sports scene, Mary Dyck has done a little bit of building.
She will now set up permanent shop in the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame as a result.
The LSHOF announced its 2020 inductees at an announcement Thursday at Nicholas Sheran Arena.
For her ongoing objective for inclusivity in sports, Dyck will go on this year’s wall in the builder’s category for soccer, volleyball and wheelchair basketball.
“It’s an elite group, but it’s also a group that really cares about their community and cares about giving opportunities for people and cares about taking the opportunity to develop athletes. I’m really excited to be a part of the Hall of Fame,” said Dyck.
Joining Dyck as this year’s inductees are fellow builders Eunice David (figure skating), Cliff Nelson (multi-sport) and Howard Rasmussen (volleyball) as well as Jolene Watson-Schweitzer (soccer) in the athlete category and the 1983 Schwartz Angels Canadian slo-pitch champions in the team category,
“I think as a builder you see an opportunity that is there and there’s a chance for people to become active, but nobody’s taking the lead on it, so you jump right in and say ‘OK I’m going to try this and I’ll start it,'” said Dyck. “Builders sometimes move on to something else, but if you can leave that infrastructure there for people that have a huge passion to continue to play, then I think you have done your job.”
A university volleyball player, Dyck transferred to the University of Lethbridge in 1980, but sat out a year because of transfer regulations. She assumed a spot on the sidelines as an assistant coach, which began her passion for coaching that has carried her through nearly 40 years of coaching, organizing and mentoring.
After her time with the Pronghorns volleyball team, she became the first coach of the U of L women’s soccer program in 1986 and led the team for the next four seasons.
“For soccer the highlight would be developing the University of Lethbridge women’s soccer program,” said Dyck. “It was actually quite difficult because I went from being a player and having worked hard for having an opportunity for women to play to getting the coaching position in a matter of weeks.”
After winning a volleyball conference championship in 1991 and placing seventh at nationals with Trinity Western University, Dyck returned to southern Alberta and has spent the past three decades coaching soccer and volleyball at the high school, club and provincial team levels, guiding hundreds of young athletes.
As an advocate for inclusivity in sports, she revived the Lethbridge Wheelchair Basketball Association in 2013 and has managed the competitive Lethbridge Steamers wheelchair basketball team.
She also planned and facilitated a women’s soccer symposium at the Women’s World Cup in Edmonton in 2015.
Since 2015, she has managed Canada’s men’s and women’s deaf volleyball national teams, continuing her long tradition of making sure everyone can be involved in sports
“Now I have another soccer program which is for kids with disabilities that I run in the summer,” said Dyck. “So it’s kind of gone the full spectrum with soccer.
“That’s kind of the way I am. I see some thing and I think I could try that and do that and use my skill set for it. Then it kind of creates its own microcosm and continues. That’s what it’s been like in 40 years of being around here.”
This year’s inductees will join the ranks of more than 320 past inductees at the 2020 induction ceremony May 1 at the Canadian Western Bank Lounge in the Enmax Centre.
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