News Releases


Don Koharski, Louise Leblanc, Bob Stanton and Ken Porter Sr. Win Awards from Sports Officials Canada


For Immediate Release

OTTAWA, ONTARIO (June 22, 2009) — Sports Officials Canada announced today that NHL referee Don Koharski has won the Ron Foxcroft Award for officiating excellence in professional sport. The Dartmouth, N.S., native officiated his last NHL game this season after a 32-year career.

He was one of four winners announced by the SOC for its annual awards.

Koharski appeared in his first NHL game as a linesman on Oct. 14, 1977, made his NHL referee debut on November 18, 1981 and officiated his last game on April 9.

In all, Koharski appeared in 1,882 regular season games, 262 playoff games, 11 Stanley Cup finals, two All-Star Games, two Canada Cups, and the 2004 World Cup. He is the league's second-most senior official, behind only referee Kerry Fraser. He will stay on with the NHL in a supervisory or instructional position.

Sports Officials Canada and Fox 40 International Inc. sponsor an annual National Officiating Awards Program recognizing a male and a female technical official/judge who have made a significant contribution to officiating at the national and international level. The award, the Fox 40 Kitch MacPherson Award of Excellence is in honour of the late Kitch MacPherson of Hamilton Ontario in recognition of his service as a referee in the sport of basketball.

This year's female recipient is Louise Leblanc of Ile Perrot, QC. Leblanc is one of the top swimming officials in Canada. In addition to her many hours dedicated to the sport at the grassroots level, Leblanc's assignments include the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships in Victoria, the 2007 National Age Group Championships and the 2008 Olympic swimming trials in Montreal.

The male honouree is softball official Robert "Bob" Stanton of Fredericton, NB. A 27-year veteran official and technical administrator, Stanton worked at a multitude of provincial and national Championships, the 1999 Pan American Games and several other international competitions as an umpire. He was Softball Canada's Umpire of the Year in 1998 and in 2008.

Veteran track and field official Ken Porter of Victoria, BC received Allen G. Rae Builder Award for his significant contribution to sports official's development and advancement.

Over his 45-year career Porter officiated at every major national and international event including the 1976 Olympic Games, 1978 Commonwealth Games, 1983 World University Games, 1999 Pan-American Games and the 2001 World Championships. He was the B.C. Athletics Official of the Year in 1978, and was inducted into the B.C. Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.

The awards will be presented on Saturday September 26, 2009 at the Sports Officials Canada Annual Awards Dinner, being held in conjunction with their annual conference at the Delta Meadowvale Resort and Conference Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

Sports Officials Canada is a federally incorporated national organization dedicated to promoting excellence in sports officiating. SOC represents Canadian technical officials as a national voice. For more information about SOC please visit their website at or contact them at info [at]

For information about the Award Winners/Conference please contact:

Denise Pittuck
Executive Director
Sports Officials Canada

Juliana Child
Fox 40 International Inc.
340 Grays Road
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8E 2Z2
Phone: 905-561-4040 x336
Fax: 905-578-5646


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