The City of Port Moody honoured Rich Chambers and Perry Solkowski at a special ceremony March 6 as the winners of the 2016 Sports Awards, for their efforts to encourage and support young people involved in sports. Chambers is a high-performance basketball coach who has been inducted into the Basketball BC Hall of Fame, and Solkowski is a sports broadcaster and public speaker who helps kids experience sports through his work with the non-profit organization KidSport.
Left to right:Councillor Meghan Lahti, Chair, Parks and Recreation Commission; Rich Chambers; Perry Solkowski; Mayor, Mike Clay.
The Sports Awards are part of the Civic Awards program, which recognizes deserving people, organizations and businesses for service to the community in five categories: accessibility, arts, environment, heritage, and sports. Winners are selected by Port Moody’s civic committees, after a public nomination process. Each year, the Sports Awards are presented to individuals or groups who have been nominated as athletes, builders, or teams. Chambers and Solkowski were nominated in the category of builder, a person who is a positive role model and encourages young people to get involved in sports and live healthy, active lifestyles.
“Congratulations to Rich Chambers and Perry Solkowski,” said Mayor Mike Clay. “On behalf of Council and Port Moody’s residents, I thank them both for sharing their talent and enthusiasm with kids who are gaining important life skills through organized sports. We are lucky to have so many amazing members of our community who lift up and inspire our young people.”
2016 Sports Awards recipient bios:
Rich Chambers’ name is synonymous with basketball in British Columbia. For the last 40 years, he has been helping young basketball players build their skills and confidence, both on and off the court. Chambers has coached high school boys’ teams to two Provincial Triple-A championships, and the 2016 U15 provincial girls’ team to second place at the national championships. Chambers also has several years of university coaching experience, serving as head coach of the UBC men’s basketball team, assistant coach with the SFU men’s team and the UBC women’s team, and head coach of the University of Victoria women’s team. Since 2002, Chambers has been involved with Team Canada, and for the last six years, he has served as head coach for the junior national team. Chambers has won numerous coaching awards, including BC High School Coach of the Year (in 1985 and 2003), and he is a 2013 inductee into the Basketball BC Hall of Fame. He is currently a head coach for the Centre for Performance with Basketball BC. Locally, Chambers coached at Moody Junior Secondary from 1972 to 1974, and is currently co-running (with Tony Scott and Don Van Os) the True North Basketball Club, which provides development opportunities for Tri-City players aged 9-17. A long-time resident of Port Moody, Chambers lived on Murray Street for almost 25 years before moving to St. George Street 30 years ago.
Perry Solkowski is an award-winning sports broadcaster and public speaker whose focus on amateur sport has had a significant impact on thousands of kids throughout the Tri-Cities and the Lower Mainland. More than 15 years ago, Solkowski started “Perry’s Prospects,” his unique look at children involved in sports. This popular television segment told heartwarming stories about children giving their all, making friends, and learning valuable life skills alongside their sports skills. Solkowski has watched some of his prospects turn into Olympians as part of his broadcasting duties during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Games in London. Solkowski has been a KidSport ambassador for the past 17 years. Through his work with KidSport, Solkowski has hosted more than 400 underprivileged children at two separate super-camps, giving children a day to remember at BC Place and the Richmond Olympic Oval. Solkowski shares KidSport’s vision that all kids should have the chance to play organized sports. Closer to home, Solkowski coached his daughter’s Port Moody soccer team for five years, and then moved on to coach a boys’ team for two years. He also spent three years coaching Tri-City girls’ basketball through the Steve Nash Youth Basketball Program.
Visit www.portmoody.ca/civicawards to learn more about the Civic Awards program, as well as past and present Civic Awards winners.