Former Hockey Alberta President Terry Ledingham was one of three recipients of the Hockey Canada Order of Merit Award, presented during Hockey Canada’s Spring Congress in Moncton, NB on the weekend. The Order of Merit is presented to individuals who have “served amateur hockey faithfully”.
Ledingham, from Bon Accord, has devoted his life to making a difference in the game of hockey, beginning in 1967. He’s held numerous roles - ranging from equipment manager, vice-president of a hockey league, and president of a minor hockey association to Zone director, vice president and eventually president of Hockey Alberta in 2007. He also served five years on Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors.
The following is a full overview of Ledingham’s hockey involvement. A summary of all award winners recognized by Hockey Canada is available here.
Also receiving Order of Merit Awards were Tom Donovan (Quispamsis, NB) and Judy Bain (Kenora, ON).
2016 Hockey Canada Order of Merit Award (West)
Terry Ledingham always wanted to make a difference in the game. In the beginning, that meant the self-described rink rat sold tickets and programs and did security for the Junior A Crosstown Motor City Maple Leafs. Nearly five decades later that meant sitting on the Board of Directors for the sport’s national governing body. For this lifetime of devotion to - and indeed, making a difference in - the game, Hockey Canada is proud to present its Order of Merit to Terry Ledingham.
Since that first foray to the rink in 1967, Terry has created a lifetime of hockey memories not only for himself but for thousands of kids across Alberta. He’s been an equipment manager and a trainer, a road manager and a registrar, a sports director and a coach, the vice-president of a hockey league and the president of a minor hockey association.
In 1997, Terry took his first position with Hockey Alberta. Three years sitting on the Zone 2 Minor Council were followed by three more as the zone’s director. After two-year terms as Hockey Alberta vice-president of operations and vice-president of development, Terry was elected president. Terry went on to serve five years on Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors.
The success stories started early for Terry. He worked with his home community of Bon Accord, as well as neighbouring Gibbons, to form one minor hockey association, ensuring that the residents of the two small populations would have teams to call their own.
By the time he became a zone chairman for Hockey Alberta in the late 1990s, he was overseeing 39 minor hockey associations with teams spread across nine different leagues, handling registration, travel permits, discipline, clinics and provincial tournaments. In this role, Terry helped form a pilot project, Zone Team, to improve how operations are run in each zone.
When it comes to how the game is played, Terry has always understood that it’s not just fun first; it’s fun and safety first. Over the years he’s sat on committees dedicated to body-checking review, discipline and match penalties, he chaired the Risk and Safety Committee and he presently sits on the Second-Stage Appeal Committee for Hockey Alberta.
As Hockey Alberta’s vice-president of development he worked on a project that examined why body-checking should be taken out of lower levels of hockey. His concern and attention to detail extended beyond those who jump over the boards. As Hockey Alberta president, in 2008 he oversaw the mandate that all coaches, trainers, guest coaches and volunteers wear a helmet when on the ice during practice.
In his role as president, Terry accomplished two of his proudest achievements: opening up the first regional development centre in Grande Prairie and setting up an agreement with Hockey North that allowed their kids to come south and play at a higher level in Alberta.
In recent years Terry has taken great pride in working both with players at Hockey Canada’s national events and with national teams at IIHF events. In 2010, he was the board rep with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, the year the team won its first IIHF Women’s World U18 Championship.