Our love for hockey lies in the hearts of volunteers from coast to coast to coast, looking to share their passion with all Canadians.
Thank you to the hundreds of thousands who give their time to our game, and congratulations to those recognized as national award winners this year.
He played the game growing up in Toronto and proudly coached his sons through their minor hockey journey with the Humber Valley Sharks, but it is in the boardroom where Michael Penman has made his most significant impact on Canada’s game.
A skilled lawyer with Blaney McMurtry, Michael first got involved as counsel with the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) in 1979, beginning a relationship that would last 36 years. He joined the GTHL Executive Committee in 1996, the same year he chaired the GTHL Constitution Committee, and rose to join the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) Board of Directors in 2000. Upon his appointment as chair of the OHF Constitution Committee in 2002, Michael led the process to consolidate the regulations of the OHF into one clear and concise document.
His ability to see the practical but achievable approach in the game led Michael to be a leader with the OHF, and in 2015 he took on the position of first vice-president. That ended his full-time affiliation with the GTHL, and he was made an Honorary Life Member. In his final years of service, Michael led a major governance change, spearheading the move to an independent OHF Board of Directors before his retirement in 2018.
If you have ever been involved in hockey in Salmon Arm, B.C. – player, coach, official, fan – then the name Roy Sakaki holds plenty of meaning. Over the last 50 years, Roy has become the heart of the game in the city, earning the moniker Mr. Hockey among locals.
A graduate of the University of British Columbia and a talented player in his own right, Roy arrived in the Shuswap in the early 1970s and got involved right away behind the bench with the Salmon Arm Minor Hockey Association. Over the next two decades he coached up and down the association, guiding his own kids and thousands of others through the game. He traded his clipboard for a whistle in the early 1990s and started officiating, and 30 years later he continues to mentor young officials to strive for excellence and not just collect a paycheque.
In 2005, after volunteer stints as coach coordinator and referee-in-chief, Roy took over as administrator for the SAMHA. He is the glue that keeps everything running smoothly, a voice of reason on committees and has a natural ability to diffuse conflict with great perspective and a big smile. His love for the game and gentle spirit shines through in ways only people in his community can fully understand.