April Banquet Recap

Recapping the Banquet

Award Winners

Joanie’s Speech


Recapping the Banquet


On the evening of Friday, April 7th, intramural and Legacy Games alumni, current students, and staff gathered for the UBC Recreation Intramural Volunteer Appreciation Banquet to celebrate another successful year. Over 150 student volunteers and staff were in attendance, joined by several dozen alumni, and also the University’s Vice-President, Students – Louise Cowin, who again kicked off the banquet.

The evening’s festivities featured awards acknowledging the tremendous accomplishments of student volunteers, heartfelt farewell speeches to those rare individuals completing four and five years of volunteer experience with intramurals, and topped with a beloved staff video that re-lived many of the cherished memories of the past year.

The event also included two significant moments for the alumni community: first, an acknowledgement of several current volunteers and their alumni parents; and secondly, the recognition of Joan Webster (nee Pilcher) as this year’s recipient of the Marilyn Pomfret Alumni Award. Dr. Nestor Korchinsky gave a brief speech celebrating both accomplishments.

Amongst those families now entering into their second generation as a part of the University’s intramural community are the Gustavsons (Kris, Steve, and their son, Peter) and the Bells (Tony, Cheryl, and their daughter, Christina). To honour Joan, Nestor shared stories about the tremendous energy and dedication that she brought to the program as a student administrator and later the intramural program’s first associate director from 1983 to 1990.

We want to thank the Alumni that were able to attend this year.    As we have Alumni across the world, and that you are all busy in your lives, we know that it can be tough to make it out to this event.  However, those who are able to make it show our current group of students what this program means to those who have gone on to success in their professional and personal lives, and how this program has impacted those lives.

As in previous years, the evening was not complete without the alumni settling in for a few beverages, catching up, and reminiscing about years past. All who attended the banquet had a tremendous evening, celebrating the current student volunteers, connecting with fellow alumni, and creating new memories.


Award Winners


The first award of the night was the Excellence in Innovation Award, which is a relatively new award that highlights students or groups of students that are pushing the envelope of our program to continue to make it as dymanic as we all remember from our time.

This year’s winner of the Excellence in Innovation award went to the Flag Football Department for their “Football Combine” all-star event that involved community partners such as the BC Lions and Rice Burger.

The next award to be presented was the Marilyn Pomfret Alumni Award.  This year’s winner was Joan (Pilcher) Webster.  Most of you are familiar with Joan and the amazing work she did as a student and professional staff, and the amazing work she continues to do as one of the driving forces of the Intramural Alumni group.  Thank you to Joanie for your tireless energy, passion and compassion to this program.

This year, we also had the chance to recognize a large number of extremely dedicated staff who had been with us for 4 years, and even our 2nd straight 5 year student.  The dedication these staff have shown to this program over such a long period of time cannot be measured, but their impacts will be felt for years to come.


4 & 5 Year Awards

Lauren McLaughlin: 1) Ultimate  2) Marketing 3) Student Engagement 4) Basketball

Kevin Misumi: 1) Ice Hockey 2) Ultimate 3) Flag Football 4) Ice Hockey (Director)

Jeremy Benjamin: 1) Futsal/Soccer (FUSO) 2) Flag Football 3) Flag Football (Director) 4) Officials Development (Director)

Soren Elsay: 1) Ball Hockey 2) Flag Football 3) Futsal/Soccer (FUSO) (Director) 4) Basketball

Carolina Ambrogiano: 1) Basketball 2) Basketball (Director) 3) Program Development 4) Program Development

Campbell Drohan (5 Years): 1) The Point 2) Health Promotions 3) Ultimate 4)  Live Active Outreach (Director) 5) Digital Media

Interesting to note that Lauren, Jeremy, and Soren are all younger siblings of previous Intramural Staff, so it’s great to see what an impact this program is having not just on people, but families.


Next we celebrated the individual achievements of some very important staff

Joan Pilcher Rookie of the Year award – Samantha Cheng – Digital Media Director

Leagues Excellence Award – Joshua Weidner – Soccer/Futsal (SOFU) Director

Event’s Excellence Award – Sierra Casey – Events Crew 5  Director(Lace Up for Kids/Storm the Wall)

Sue Demaine M-Sector Excellence Award – Bronwyn Davies – Media Director

Nestor Korchinksy Award – Carolina Ambrogiano – Program Development

Joanie’s Speech


Good Evening everyone and thank you for having me here tonight.

Well, UBC has been a big part of my life.

40 years ago, I was a student, then a full time staff member, then a Director with the UBC Alumni Association and most, recently, as an “engaged alumnae” for 6 years as a mentor with Kin’, with alumni reconnect with UBC REC and as a past Director of the UBC AA. It has all been an immense joy!!

Another great joy, in my life, has been the privilege of raising our 2 beautiful daughters, Kelsey and Alison: both of whom have, recently, graduated from McGill.

So it is as a parent and an alumni that I speak to you tonight.

Firstly, congratulations to all of you for becoming student leaders with the UBC REC Program. You have joined a long and illustrious list of alumni that looks like the “who’s who” of Canada and beyond.

And, know that you have left your legacy at UBC with your commitment. Well done!!!

This past year, with the REC Program, you have learned a lot about leadership and acquired many skills needed to run the largest recreation program in a Canadian university.

And, so, tonight, I’d like to speak to you about how these leadership skills will serve you in the future: as a professional, as a parent and as a person!

The other morning, I asked my husband, who is a CPA and the CFO of a large BC credit union, (a pretty smart guy) “Honey, what are the top 5 qualities that you look for in a leader?” To which he replied:

  1. To be able to develop people and to ensure that they can work in teams.
  2. That they have a strategic mindset to can understand trends and, then, develop a strategy.
  3. To possess “Execution Savvy” in which to implement that strategy.
  4. Possess resilience as there will be challenges.
  5. Have intrapersonal skills to collaborate across departments.

If this all sounds familiar, it should! For these are the skills that you’ve acquired in your time in the program. Using these skills will advance your careers, allow you to be an exceptional parent and make a huge impact in your communities.

Let me explain:

During your career:

  1. You will be expected to get involved with your professional association to further its goals. With the skills learned in the UBC REC Program, you will be able to organize that international conference, the leadership retreat or those professional development seminars.
  2. Within your company or organization, you can chair the Social committee, the Corporate Wellness activities or Corporate Citizenship events.

As a parent:

  1. You will be able to organize your kids’ many fundraising activities, coach their sports, lead Girl Guides/Boy Scouts, organize international band tours, chair grad committees, and encourage them to seek out their own leadership and volunteer opportunities! Your children’s lives and many others will be enriched with your ability to lead!

As a person:

  1. You will build strong communities. You have the skills to fundraise for new community sport and recreation facilities, organize cultural events, launch neighbourhood programs through your business and community associations, volunteer at Rotary, Chamber of Commerce and lead Boards of companies/charities/hospitals. Perhaps run for public office.

And then, return to your alma mater and reengage in mentorship and alumni opportunities.

And you will be able to “community build” well into your retirement years! You will never be bored, you will always be busy and you will meet extraordinary people along the way.

In short, your leadership experience at UBC REC has given you the opportunities to enrich your life for many years to come.

Continue to seek out opportunities to lead and improve the lives of those around you. Your peers will be amazed with your abilities to lead, to organize, to public speak and to manage a project on time and on budget.

Not everyone will be able to do this. In fact, it is my experience that few can! Please do not take your newly learned skills for granted.

So, in closing, get out there and be “your best self” and never stop being an active leader in society!!

And, we look forward to hearing of all of your own exceptional accomplishments in the years ahead!!

Thank you!!