Last night, the TBird family gathered together to celebrate our volunteers from this past season. With a room full of coaches, managers, safety persons, officials, and event volunteers, the Board of Directors spent the evening handing out some hardware. Based on nominations from the membership, stories of incredible commitment became the theme of the event.

Two special people, Chris and Nandia Eliopoulos, received the highest honor that exists within the Thunderbird community – a life membership. But that wasn’t the end of their evening as their long standing service to the Thunderbirds was also recognized by the creation of a new award – the Eliopoulos Outstanding Contribution Award that will become a new annual award.

Vancouver Thunderbirds Hockey is blessed with a membership who understands that we cannot function without people being willing to give up their time to ensure our players have a memorable experience on and off the ice. We need about 400 more awards to hand out something to all of our amazing volunteers which makes this year’s award winners truly remarkable. The winners were:

BRAD ADDISON H1-4 COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD: Established several years ago to commemorate the memory of Brad Addison, the Brad Addison Coach of the Year Award is awarded to a Hockey 1, 2, 3 or 4 coach who best exemplifies the qualities that made Brad a great coach – teaching the skills of the game, love of hockey, patience with the players and FUN.

Dave Issar 


WILLIAM STAIGER VOLUNTEER PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD:  Established in 2007/08 in memory of William Staiger, a dedicated Thunderbird Alumnus who returned to help coach.

 Mike Nardi 








presented by Steve Yan-Klassen – Director, Rep

DON CURRIE AWARD:  In honor of Don Currie who continues to dedicate so much time and energy to Minor Sports and has done for so many years.  It is awarded to a long-standing volunteer coach in the Vancouver Thunderbird organization.

Jeff Churchill

presented by Steve Gully – Director, Special Projects

VANCOUVER THUNDERBIRD JUNIOR REFEREE OF THE YEAR AWARD:  This award is presented to a Level 1 official (aged 12-15) that best exemplifies the characteristics of an up-and-coming official. Some of the characteristics include the use of proper on-ice procedures, consistently being on time, shows a desire to improve, has a good working relationship with fellow officials, is hard working and fully engaged on the ice.

Nolan Tenniscoe

presented by Grant Gibson – Associate Director, Initiation and Evan Singer – Officiating Coordinator

VANCOUVER THUNDERBIRD SENIOR REFEREE OF THE YEAR AWARD: This award is presented to a Level 2-or-higher official (aged 16 and above) that exemplifies the characteristics of a successful experienced official. Some characteristics include the use of proper on-ice procedures, is consistently on time, endeavors to improve, works well with fellow officials, is hard working, is fully engaged on the ice, and has excellent rapport with players and team officials. The successful candidate will also give back to the program by helping mentor and develop up and coming officials.

Ryan Skalenda

presented by Baukje Edamura – Associate Director, Recreational and Evan Singer – Officiating Coordinator

MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Awarded to a manager in any division who has made exceptional effort to organize and leads the team to a terrific season of hockey while helping create positive experiences for all team members.

Kalpna Dhanda

presented by Bruce Gregg – Associate Director, Rep

PRESIDENT’S SERVICE AWARD: This award is presented to an individual or individuals that have made significant contributions to the association for the betterment of the entire Vancouver Thunderbirds Hockey community.

Gary Hunter

presented by Chantal Cotton – President

We thank each and every one of our volunteers for being a part of this past season! See you at the rink next season!