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2009 Inductees
Sabres 1956

INDUCTEE 2009 - BUILDER - Len Roberts


Coach, Manager, Administrator,
Sports Promoter, and Leader

Len Roberts was born in Lacombe in 1920 and became involved in sports at an early age.  Len played hockey and ball and at the age of 16 was playing senior hockey for the Lacombe Athletics.  During World War II while serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Len played for different base hockey and ball teams in Dauphin, Vulcan and Calgary.  After his discharge in 1945 he played hockey in Red Deer and then for the Camrose Maroons.  When he moved to Wetaskiwin in 1946-47, Len played for the Wetaskiwin Colonels and helped them win two championships that season, the Central Alberta Senior Hockey League Championship as well as the Edmonton League.  The next year (1947-48) he played for the Ponoka Stampeders. Len then retired from playing hockey and became involved in coaching.

Len is being recognized for the more than 20 years that he was engaged in the administrative aspect of sports in Wetaskiwin, as a coach, manager, member of several sports committees/executives, and promoter as well as the many other contributions he made to the youth of our city through his efforts.

Many Hours of Volunteer Time Devoted to Coaching

In 1948 Len became manager of the Wetaskiwin Junior “A” Canadiens and stayed with the team until 1950 when the team ceased operations.  During the 1950’s, in the summer Len played for and managed the Wetaskiwin senior ball team for a few seasons.  Winters saw Len helping with minor hockey and coaching his own team.  Often he spent Saturdays at the Wetaskiwin Arena coaching his team as well as teams other than his own when other coaches were unable to leave their jobs.  He also assisted Al Arner with the Juvenile Hockey Club. 

Kinsmen Build First Swimming Pool

In the late 1950’s under his leadership as president, the Kinsmen Club, worked to build Wetaskiwin’s first swimming pool.  During the same years, he also assisted in the administration of the Wetaskiwin Minor Hockey Association.  Len was involved in the building of a new arena in Wetaskiwin.  He helped form the North Central Alberta Intermediate Hockey League and in 1962 was the League’s first Commissioner.  Because he was League Commissioner he could not be involved with the Colonels so he coached the Wetaskiwin Legion Juveniles with Jerry Greene for two seasons.  In the summer’s of 1961 and 1962 Len coached the Kiwanis Little League Baseball team, winning two straight championships.  The next two summers, 1963 and 1964, Len coached the Wetaskiwin Moose Lodge Pony League team again winning two straight championships. 

In 1964, Len returned to the Wetaskiwin Colonels and managed the club for the next seven seasons.  Although the hockey club was built around local players, Len recruited team members that he felt would “fit in” and help the team.  During his tenure as manager the Colonels won two league and two provincial championships.  During that time he also coached the Wetaskiwin Legion Midgets (1964-65) and the Legion Juveniles (1965-66).  Len retired from sport in 1971 and the Colonels honoured him for his contributions to the team at a home game the following season.  In 1989 he was presented the “Community Spirit Award” by the Wetaskiwin Chamber of Commerce.  In 2004, when Wetaskiwin hosted the Alberta Senior Summer Games, Len was selected as a torch bearer. 

As well as his participation in sport, Len further contributed to the community by serving on the Wetaskiwin City Council for fourteen years.  We acknowledge the extensive involvement and contributions of Len Roberts in our sports community and his many hours of volunteer time by inducting him into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame as a Builder. 





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