Volleyball Canada has awarded a second NB Volleyball Referee with the highly acclaimed honour of the Lifetime Membership Award to Patricia (Pat) Thorne from Nackawic, New Brunswick. Last year, her brother, Randy Wilson, was also honoured with this award.
Pats career began in the mid 70’s and she credit’s fellow NB officials, Jack Campbell, Art Murphy and Alfie Doucet for their mentorship and guidance during her early days. VNB’s President, Randy Wilson, says,
“Since those early beginnings, Pat has been a trailblazer for women in the Canadian Volleyball Community. She was the first female to hold the position of National Officials Chair for Volleyball Canada and she has served three two-year terms. It was here that she truly left her mark, providing a voice for women in refereeing. She has also increased the level of refereeing in New Brunswick and the ranking of referring on the world stage. She did this through sheer determination and hard work. Finally, she has implemented mentorship teams for development and high-performance referees, training and oversight at VC National Championships, which have grown into 1000 plus team events.
Pat’s accomplishments are plentiful and here are a few of her highlights. Pat was voted into the VNB Hall of Fame. She has also officiated International Matches, USport and CCAA Championships, and three Canada Games. Pat has held the position of President and Vice President at VNB and has held the distinction of Head Referee Supervisor at many of the VC National Championships, their flagship event. She is currently on the Volleyball Canada Executive Officials Committee for the second time, a Chairperson for VNB’s Officials Association, and still enjoys officiating VNB’s Club season as well as the NBIAA season.
Today, Pat still carries a tremendous passion and respect for volleyball. Many of her philosophies and policy changes are present in our daily structure and our referee membership has never been stronger. VNB is extremely proud of her. Throughout Canada, she is held in high regard and is well known as an innovator, a tireless worker and continues to improve refereeing across the country.”
Pat has also influenced many referring careers across Canada, and continues to influence here in New Brunswick. She has played a major role in supporting our only International Official, Matt van Raalte, to achieve his certification.
“Pat has been a tremendous influence for me and my path forward to becoming an International volleyball referee. Her guidance and knowledge of the game from being on the stand to understanding all of the elements of the bigger picture of the game from a global perspective, she has been one of the mentors to help me become the official I am today. I always know that Pat is only a phone call away when I am away from home.”
VNB sincerely congratulates Pat on this incredible achievement and would like to thank her for the countless hours she has volunteered for the betterment of our game.
Volleyball New Brunswick