Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association executive administrator Kathy Irving was honoured earlier this spring by the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association, who presented her with the President’s Award, described as a "humanitarian honour determined by the officers of the society."
"It’s awarded to an individual or team or association that is seen as a leader in humanitarian aid or has a great dedication to the game of hockey," VIAHA president Jim Humphrey said.
The award recognizes Irving’s many contributions to the CVMHA and the hockey community over the last few years, particularly her efforts to assist hockey families who have suffered tragedies.
Among the beneficiaries of Irving’s generous hard work was the Kroffat family, whose 11-year-old son Caleb, a minor hockey player, died suddenly last November.
"She was one of the key people in bringing support to that family," Humphrey said.
Irving has also played a key role in running the annual Ryan Clark Memorial Tournament. Named for a former CVMHA goalie, the tournament raises money for a fund to assist other families.
"I’ve known Kathy Irving for more than 25 years," Humphrey said. "From a personal point of view, she’s a person who always has the game’s best interests at heart. She’s a team player."
Other nominees for the President’s Award included a pee wee team from Victoria that raised $15,000 for cancer research after their coach was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
"It’s heartwarming to see that people involved in the sport go above and beyond the game, trying to make things better for others," Humphrey said.