Jim Flynn’s generous and benevolent nature has been on display in Prince Albert’s sports scene for four different decades. He’s taught countless people how to be better hockey players, softball umpires—but more importantly, he’s taught many how to be a better person.
“I just like helping people,” said Flynn. “As a person, I like to make sure the athletes are looked after, and helping them out.”
“It’s important to be able to help people, mentor and also (teach) lifestyles for the people. You let them learn, keep them active and busy and it keeps them off the street.”
Flynn will be inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame during the 25th annual banquet on April 25 at the Ches Leach Lounge for his meritorious service.
Also being inducted this year are the Carlton Crusaders Senior Girls Volleyball teams in 1993 and 1994 are athletes Denis Pederson (hockey), Herb Goldhawk (judo) and builders Harvey Lavigne (air pistol and air rifle), Jackie Packet (various sports) and Zenon Markowsky (Mintos hockey) and the rest of the Prince Albert Mintos organization.
Flynn’s resume is a long one. He is a well-known softball umpire, having being involved with the Prince Albert Umpires Association since 1990. He’s been the umpire in chief for Softball Saskatchewan’s Zone 8 since 2000. He’s called games at 14 Canadian Championships and at least 10 Western Canadian Championships, as well as teaching others how to umpire at various clinics.
Flynn has been involved in minor hockey since 1995, as well as taking on the roles as an evaluator and board member. In 2007, he was presented with the Fred Schmidt Memorial Award for his dedication to minor hockey. Flynn has been an important figure in the female hockey in recent years. Since 2008, he has coached the Midget AA female hockey team and is on the committee for Prince Albert’s annual female tournament.
If that wasn’t enough, Flynn helped run a curling league at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in the late 1980s, earning an Award of Appreciation from the Solicitor General in 1989. He also worked at the Senior National Curling Championships in Prince Albert as an official back in 2008.
Flynn has been so heavily involved in sports so he could interact, help and meet people.
“I think that’s probably where you get to meet a lot of people, is through sports,” said Flynn. “Not only just locally, but when you do championships and different things, you get to meet lots people from different provinces and other places.”
“It’s nice to see when you’re maybe downtown or in the mall or something walking around, and one of the kids comes up and say hi to you. They appreciate it and you appreciate them as well.”
Here’s a brief history of the rest of the inductees this year.
Carlton Crusaders Senior Girls Volleyball 1993 and 1994—team
The Crusaders won back-to-back provincial titles in 1993 and 1994. The 1993 championship was at the 5A level, the highest level in the Saskatchewan High School Athletics Association. The 1994 victory was at the 4A level.
Jennifer Attig, Lori Bebenek, Staci Hayes (Hoffman), Christine Wright, Meagan Hawkins, Carlee Thorsen and head coach Leslie Foss were on both the 1993 and 1994 teams.
Denis Pederson—athlete, hockey
Pederson proved himself as a player who could both score and scrap, amassing 239 points and 413 penalty minutes in three full seasons with the Raiders. The New Jersey Devils picked him 13th overall in the 1993 NHL Entry, and Pederson went on to play 10 years in the NHL and nine more in Berlin, Germany before retiring in 2011-2012.
Pederson also won gold for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships in 1994-1995, scoring four points in seven games.
Pederson was also inducted to the Raiders Wall of Honour on Jan. 17, during a game against the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Herb Goldhawk—athlete, judo
Goldhawk won his first gold medal at a Prince Albert meet in 1969, the start of a storied career in the sport.
He went on to become a first degree black belt in the sport and a lifetime member of the World Judo Athletes. He also won a pile of gold medals at various meets across Western Canada, and participated at the Canadian Championships.
Lavigne was a key figure in forming the Prince Albert Pistol and Air Rifle Club (PAPRC), as well as serving a major official at provincial and national events. Lavigne has competed and volunteered from day one, since the early 1970s.
He’s also been involved with the Saskatchewan Handgun Association from 1982-2013, including four years as the club’s president. He’s also been the chief range officer for the Canadian National Pistol Championships for 16 years and helped bring the event to Prince Albert in 2002, 2005 and 2007.
Packet has been involved in a variety of Prince Albert sports for three decades. She heads the Business Girls Golf League at Cooke Municipal Golf Course and is a key organizer at the Ladies Northern tournament. She’s also currently a board member of the Prince Albert A&W Bears Female Midget AAA Hockey Team for the past four years.
Packet has been heavily involved in basketball and volleyball as both an instructor and official, and curling as an official and participant.
The Prince Albert Mintos have been a better organization since Markowsky joined the board in 1999. Markowsky campaigned for the ability to recruit players from other parts of the province. Since then, Mintos have been the best recruiter of Sask-talent in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League and have become an ideal destination for elite players at the Midget AAA level.
Prince Albert Mintos—organization
The Prince Albert Mintos have won three Telus Cups in their history, one last year in Moose Jaw and back-to-back in 2006 and 2007. They’ve set a number of records, including not recording a loss in all 21 games they’ve played at the Telus Cup. They beat les Grenadiers de Châteauguay 4-3 in triple overtime in the finals, which was the longest game in Telus Cup history. Forward Dakota Boutin finally ended the game on a 2-on-1 after receiving a pass from P.A. born Lance Yaremchuk.
On Twitter: @jeff_dandrea
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