Valley Royals coach Gerry Swan received a lifetime achievement award for his decades with the local track and field club.

Abbotsford sports legend Gerry Swan earns Royals Lifetime Achievement Award

Longtime coach and administrator earns another honour from Abbotsford track club

A legendary figure in Abbotsford sports received another honour last Wednesday afternoon.

Abbotsford Sports Hall of Famer Gerry Swan was given the Valley Royals Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades of contributions to both the Royals track team and the sports scene in general.

Swan has been a coach and administrator of track and field for over 50 years. Starting in the early 1960s, he coached track and field athletes at Abbotsford Senior High School. He also coached for specialized track and field clubs such as the Vancouver Olympic Club and the Richmond Kajaks.

These experiences led Swan to become a provincial, national and international coach. He has coached internationally at the Pan American and Commonwealth Games as well as Olympics and World Championships.

Back in 2004, the city of Abbotsford renamed the Rotary Stadium track as the Jane and Gerry Swan Track, in recognition of their contributions to Abbotsford.

Swan also served as president of BC Athletics for many years, and had a stint as president of the BC High School Boys Basketball Association.

He has been head coach of the Valley Royals track club since its inception in 1980. He has coached hundreds of athletes since then, and he and his late wife, Jane, established the Grand Prix Racing Series in 1983 with the first races happening in 1984 at Centennial Park.

Many hundreds of Abbotsford and Mission school children from Grade 4 to 8 have run in the Grand Prix Racing Series over the years.

For multiple generations, Swan has served as the starter for the Grand Prix races so that children who ran in the early years are now parents cheering on their own children as they run the one-mile (1.6 km) course.

Last Wednesday, at the final of four Grand Prix Race days for 2019, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun presented Swan with the award as hundreds of students, teachers and parents cheered and applauded.

Braun, himself a former president of the Royals, spoke about Swan’s long history of coaching and teaching. The mayor was coached as an athlete by Swan as were his son and his grandson.

Braun spoke to recognize, honour and thank Swan for creating the Grand Prix Racing Series and for his 35 years of service starting the races.

A 12-page thank you card for Swan was signed at the finish line by athletes, families, teachers, the mayor and members of the community.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Abbotsford homeless advocate killed by RCMP in Lytton

Barry Shantz spearheaded getting harm-reduction services in city, changing bylaws around homeless

UFV Music Festival features classical and jazz groups

Event takes place Saturday, Jan. 25 at Abbotsford campus

LETTER: Mayor Braun’s money request for rapid transit is not well thought out

Rail for the Valley spokesperson believes diesel or hydrogen powered regional trains is the answer

Abbotsford-specific pandemic plan was suggested in 2016, but never created

Community risk assessment listed a city pandemic plan as a potential action to reduce risk

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

VIDEO: Silvertips edge Giants 2-1 Thursday in Langley

Vancouver falls just short, dropping hard-fought, one-goal decision to Everett at home

Was Bigfoot just spotted on a Washington State webcam?

Sherman Pass is rougly 70 kilometres south of Grand Forks, B.C.

B.C. employer health tax wins ‘paperweight award’ for red tape

Businesses forced to estimate payroll, pay new tax quarterly

Most Read