July 12th, 2024

Derbyshire reflects on 40 years with ASAA

By Lethbridge Herald on June 13, 2024.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Alberta Schools Athletic Association (ASAA), colleagues and friends acknowledged the work put in over the last 40 years by Marg Derbyshire earlier this week at a wine and cheese event in Lethbridge.

Derbyshire worked in the capacity as South Zone Secretary for both ASAA and South Zone Junior High Athletic Association.

“It has been like just a great family relationship more than anything,” said Derbyshire, in an interview later in the week.

Derbyshire got to know people after a while and met new ones at the two ASAA annual meetings.

“Everyone has that common atmosphere, that whole commonality of … school sport and student athletes and everybody is there in their best interest for those athletes,” said Derbyshire.

Derbyshire has seen the quality of provincials presentations expand.

“They (ASAA) certainly have definitely expanded in the quality of the presentation of the provincial competitions,” said Derbyshire.

“At first it was they included clothing attire that you could buy, like t-shirts and that kind of thing, and that was then provided by one company throughout all the competitions to have some consistency in that.”

The social media has improved with the livestreaming.

“A lot of grandparents can watch their relatives then compete without having to travel to (that) competition,” said Derbyshire.

Derbyshire stayed with the ASAA after retiring from teaching in 2000 after years of teaching at Bass High School, Stella Maris School and McCoy High School .

“It’s just something that I just really enjoyed doing and it gave me a purpose in retirement,” she said.

The key for Derbyshire to keep going every year was seeing the kids at the track and field facility she manages in Medicine Hat in April, May and June.

“They’re just so friendly and so enthusiastic and they just are so grateful to be able to come to the track and practice, and so why wouldn’t you want to be there and help them,” she said.

What also kept her coming back is the athletic directors she worked with.

“Everybody is just so happy that you’re doing the job and they’re so willing to step up and do their part and they’re grateful to have that whole opportunity,” said Derbyshire.

Derbyshire remembers the zone hosting the first 3A boys basketball tournament at McCoy in 1978.

“I remember being on the committee that planned that and I think I lost 20 pounds over that whole deal,” said Derbyshire.

“It’s a lot of work and no time to eat.”

Other good  memories include provincial golf tournaments at Connaught Golf Club, volunteering at the Crescent Heights High School volleyball tournaments and being the coach of the McCoy cheerleading team that went to first-ever provincials in Edmonton and the first volleyball tournament Bonnyville.

Shawn LeBleu took over from Derbyshire last August.

She still organizes the track and field meets in the zone.

Derbyshire has earned almost every sport-related volunteer award in Alberta.

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