A longtime resident of the Cowichan Valley who has championed sports all over Vancouver Island for even longer, Alex Robertson will be enshrined in the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame as part of the induction class of 2019.
Robertson, who served as sports director at CHEK TV from 1974 to 2003, was announced earlier this month as the 2019 recipient of the Hall of Fame’s Sid Thomas Media Award.
“Although he interviewed such luminaries as Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky and a young Tiger Woods, his focus was always the local sports scene,” his bio on the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame website begins. “He produced over 14,000 stories, almost all featuring local athletes, coaches and teams. He was the top TV host on the Island and covered sports that did not normally receive notice.”
Robertson feels that statement fits “to a T” what he did over those three decades.
“For all those years, it was primarily local sports, teams, athletes,” he said. “I’m very impressed with the way the hall put that together.”
There was a push about 10 years ago, after he retired from TV to get Robertson inducted, he recalled, but it was deemed to be too early. He’s thrilled that the time has finally come to get it done.
“I’m very excited,” he said. “I was on the original committee that started it. I wondered for a while if I’d have to accept it posthumously.”
Robertson has lived in the Cowichan Valley since 1990, raising his kids here. His son Sean, who plays professional hockey in France, recently had his bachelor party in Denver, Colorado, hosted by lifelong friend and Colorado Avalanche defenceman Tyson Barrie, while Robertson himself is about to celebrate his 70th birthday. Two years cancer-free, Robertson recently renewed his real estate licence.
Although he has been retired for more than a decade, Robertson says he is still stopped on the street by fans, although Sean points out that “all of [his] fans are old.”
Joining Robertson in the Class of 2019 will be athletes Ryan Cochrane (swimming), Mike Piechnick (fastball) and Rob Short (field hockey), official Susan Morriss (figure skating), coach Wynn Gmitroski (athletics), team Stacie Louttit and John McRoberts (sailing), and in the builders category, the Victoria Motorcycle Club. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Westin Bear Mountain.