Werner Heine of 100 Mile House is a recipient of the province’s prestigious British Columbia Community Achievement Award.
Announced on March 30, Heine will be recognized in a formal presentation at Government House in Victoria on April 25 along with this year’s other recipients. Each will receive a certificate and a medallion designed by B.C. artist Robert Davidson.
“I’m quite honoured really, so much so, because quite frankly I don’t know how it came about,” says Heine.
“There are lots of people who do lots of good stuff, and being picked out among a few in the province is a pretty big honour.”
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett nominated Heine and obtained the required letters of support.
His significant volunteer work and contributions to promote, coach, organize, fundraise and improve the capacity for the sport of soccer in the community were behind the nomination, she says.
“Nobody, in my opinion, could have done it the way Werner did, with the many hours and days he has spent putting the whole soccer project together.”
It all came from his vision, his efforts to allow children to play soccer and his ability to organize volunteers to work with them, Barnett explains.
“It takes a lot of time and effort and vision to do the work that he’s done and he continues to do.”
Heine was instrumental in bringing the 2011 U-15 B Cup Provincial Championships for both boys and girls to 100 Mile House, including several years work to develop tournament-grade soccer fields.
He says these fields were crucial to getting the first provincial championships ever held in the community.
“That’s the first thing that had to happen, without [the fields] we wouldn’t have been awarded the 2011 championship. By having the soccer park, it lends itself to holding these kinds of events.”
The event brought so many people into 100 Mile House and area last year it could not accommodate everyone, so some had to stay overnight in Williams Lake.
There is always at least a year’s break between venues, but Heine notes the 2013 championships are already lined up to return to 100 Mile House.
The soccer park is also a great benefit to local players, he says, adding the school fields have no after-hours washrooms and parents with multiple children involved in soccer were kept busy chauffeuring them to various venues and missing much of the games.
Barnett adds Heine recognized the importance of the sport of soccer and its benefit to both the youth and the economic potential of the community.
“Werner’s determination is really and truly what inspired the [soccer fields] to happen.”
100 Mile House & District Soccer Association chair Jennifer Appleby, who sent one of the letters of support for Heine’s nomination, says it’s “fantastic” he received the award.
“He’s absolutely instrumental to our board. He finds advertisers; we’ve got four fields now. He doesn’t quit, and he loves the game.
“He gets out there and he refs and he doesn’t even have kids in the program anymore. We’re so proud of him and we’re glad that we have him.”