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A Community’s Worth of Encouragement


Earlier this year residents across the Valley turned their televisions to Winter Olympic coverage, watching athletes with local connections make their way onto the podium in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Cassie Sharpe, Kaitlyn Lawes and Chay Genoway all returned to Canada with medals around their necks and the pride from the Valley shining brightly.
After the Olympics Genoway had all his teammates sign a jersey and he – along with his mother Kathy Fisher – donated it to Swan River for all the support he received from area residents during his Olympic experience.
With help from Lynda Parsons, who created the image to accompany the jersey in the frame, the gift was framed and mounted on the wall of the Swan River Centennial Arena lobby for all to enjoy.
The plaque tells the story of Genoway’s connection to the area. It reads, “Hilda and John Genoway (Chay’s grandparents) were well known to the Swan Valley sports community in the 1960s and 1970s. Not only did they follow all the sports teams their sons were involved in, they were also employees at the arena. Hilda was in charge of the concession while John was on the maintenance staff. He rode the first Zamboni at the arena and was on staff when the Centennial Arena opened in 1967.
“Of their two sons, Greg and Robert (Chay’s father), only the youngest, Robert (Bob) played hockey. He played in the SR minor hockey system until he was in Grade 11 and then went on to play in the MJHL for the Dauphin Kings, then on to the U of M Bisons. After graduating with a degree in Recreation Studies he returned to Swan River as Recreation Director in the 1980s.”
Genoway’s career highlights are also listed.
The framed Jersey was officially unveiled on Monday (June 18) while Genoway was in town visiting family.
“I was really overwhelmed with how much support I had from here in the Valley,” he siad. “My mom was telling me how many people she knew of who were watching on TV and cheering me on but, until I got here this week, it was hard to grasp.
“The response I’ve received in my three days here was unimaginable. Everywhere I went, people were quick to congratulate me, want photos and to just chat. I definitely felt blessed in my short visit back to the Valley.”