The BC Soccer community has just lost a true friend and tireless supporter of our sport. Les Sinnott, First Vice-President of BC Soccer died Saturday afternoon following a heart attack while driving near Terrace, BC. Les was driving alone and no other vehicle was involved in an ensuing accident. Paramedics found him in medical distress and administered CPR, but Les was pronounced deceased on arrival at Mills Memorial Hospital, Terrace.
Les’s family moved from Liverpool, England to BC in 1965, and he immediately began to play for West Vancouver Soccer Club. Les’s leadership contribution for more than 25 years began with the North Shore Girls Soccer Club, where he coached the “NS Girls Bluebombers” from 1986 to 1999 and was a Class 3 referee. Les was also Equipment Manager and then Club Chair from 1992 to 1997, before becoming Chair of North Shore Youth Soccer, BC’s largest youth district. After moving to the North-West with Telus in 2000, he served as Chair of Terrace Youth Soccer until 2002 and Chair of the 2004 Boys B Provincial Cup in Terrace in 2004.
Les has been a BC Soccer Board leader since 2003, including being Vice-President Youth, Chair of the Governance Committee from 2006, and First Vice-President since 2009. A regular BC Board rep. at Provincial Championships throughout BC, Les was also the tireless “face of BC Soccer” to our members throughout Northern BC, whom he regularly visited for district meetings and events. As a member of the Canadian Soccer Association Governance Committee since 2008, Les contributed to soccer nationally as the CSA developed its important governance initiative which has redefined how soccer in Canada is led for the next decade.
Most of our members knew Les as “our Governance Guru”, leading the Association through governance, bylaw and rule changes, but most importantly, helping our members improve their own governance and solve their administrative concerns. Any member who had a question or problem could call Les certain he would help them. Les’s knowledge was legendary, but his dedication to helping people defined him; he was always quick to respond and generous with his time. “If a true friend is one who helps in time of need, Les was a true friend of many districts and leagues across BC, as he has guided them through challenging issues with his always-sound advice, common sense and great kindness” notes Roger Barnes.
Long-time friends and colleagues Rob Lennox and Don Dancey know first-hand of Les’s contribution and friendship. “You knew everything Les did, would be done well, with his full commitment and wisdom”, notes Rob, who succeeded Les as VP Youth. His long-time friend Don Dancey shared Provincial and National Cup duties with Les every year: “Les was a dear friend of Donna and I. Wherever he was, he engaged everyone and put them at ease. Les was a real team player, respectful of his colleagues, and very devoted to his wife Debbie and their family”.
Les leaves his wife, Debbie, daughters Melanie and Joanne, and their three grandchildren, Jordan, Leslie and Lynnette, all living in North-West BC.
The BC Soccer community extend their condolences to Les’s family, colleagues and friends, and sincerely thank Les for a truly immense lifetime contribution. Soccer in BC would not be what it is without Les; it will not be the same without him.
We will advise members of the family’s plans for the memorial service as soon as these are set. BC Soccer representatives will travel to Terrace for the service and will also hold a reception in Vancouver later this month to remember and honour Les.
For more information, contact Roger Barnes, President email@example.com or 604-803-2956
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