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Involved on the Prince George Minor Hockey Association Board of Directors for the last 10 years, Glynis Vennberg has been a constant for the northern B.C. community, and for her work, the PGMHA president has been recognized as one of five Fred Heslop Minor Hockey Award winners.

The award recognizes volunteers who have made significant contributions to BC Hockey, their association and community – people who have enhanced programs, gone beyond expectations and made remarkable achievements.

“It’s kind of cool. You don’t expect to get recognized, so it’s a nice surprise,” said Vennberg, who first became involved in hockey when her son, Logan, began playing. She has held several positions from division coordinator to president.

“I wanted to know the hows and the whys as to how decisions were being made, so that spurred me on to get involved and help,” said Vennberg. “I like giving back to my community. I think we’ve made a lot of positive changes in our community with our programming and our skill level”.

“Our enrollment is going up every year so that keeps me wanting to come back and make sure that’s continued,” added Vennberg, who will be back for another term as president next season. “We have an awesome group of people on our board, everyone is happy to pitch in and help out and, honestly, I couldn’t do it without the people that are there”.

“It’s a great productive group of people that are passionate about hockey and sports in Prince George and keeping our youth here in the north.”

Included in the group is her husband, Thor, who is in his second year as equipment manager for PGMHA, as it’s become a family affair.

Female hockey is one area where Vennberg has focused her attention.

“It’s one of those things we’re always trying to grow and promote,” she said. “It’s an ongoing struggle to keep girls in hockey and keep them engaged. It’s one of my passions to try and keep the girls coming back every year.”

The Heslop Award is named after past BC Hockey President and long-time volunteer, Fred Heslop, whose involvement with BC Hockey spanned more than two decades. The Trail, B.C. native served in many capacities on the board and in 2007, BC Hockey, awarded him the highest honour when he was presented with the Diamond Stick Award. Heslop passed away in late 2013, leaving a legacy behind him.

Mario Annicchiarico is a freelance writer based in Victoria who has previously covered the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers, as well as the Western Hockey League.