2020 saw the 45th anniversary of the 1975 Canada Winter Games, which saw Team BC Men’s and Women’s Volleyball team both win the Gold Medal, while going undefeated the entire tournament. On Saturday (February 1st), the teams entered the Volleyball BC Hall of Fame joining three other well deserving inductees this past Saturday (February 1st) at the Hilton Metrotown in Burnaby, BC.
First to be inducted was Ken Witzke in the Athlete category. Ken was a standout for UBC. He was on the first ever UBC team to win a Western Canadian University Championship in 1963 and BC Open Championship in 1965. Ken played for Team BC, who went on a historic undefeated run to win the first ever Canada Winter Games Gold Medal Championship. He was also a member of the 1971 Canadian Pan Am Team and the 1972 Canadian Senior National Team that competed in France at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The next two inductees went into the Hall of Fame as Builders. Joe Moreira has been instrumental in the development and operation of the Kootenay Volleyball club and served as a Volleyball BC regional representative for the Kootenay’s region. Joe was recognized for this work, as he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service in 2013 and the Volleyball BC Presidents Award and recognition as a lifetime member.
Ray Lepp immigrated to Canada from Estonia, he recognized the profile of volleyball in Canada not where it could be, so he worked tirelessly to increase the interest in the sport. He was known as a dedicated athlete, official, coach and administrator of volleyball and was the founding member of Volleyball BC in 1965 and continued as a Board Member until 1978. His efforts helped to develop and prepare athletes, coaches and officials for provincial, national and international competitions such as the Pan Am Games, 1967 Canada Games and the 1976 Olympic Games. Ray passed in 2005 but his legacy lives on as the Ray Lepp Scholarship Award was created. He chose to donate funds through his will to provide a permanent endowment that would support in perpetuity a scholarship that encourages and recognizes volleyball and personal excellence in British Columbia for athletes entering post-secondary education.