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Umpire, coach business supporter, dad: Randy Wowk is Sports Hall of Fame inductee

Family, sports, community and business are foundations for latest inductee

LAC LA BICHE – Randy Wowk, a lifelong resident of Lac La Biche, has been an ardent supporter of local hockey, baseball, and the Lac La Biche community. He has been on the benches, in the stands, at the fundraisers, and in the striped official’s jerseys for decades of community sports. 

In recognition of his contributions, Wowk is one of the most recent community members to be inducted into the Lac La Biche County Sports Hall of Fame.  

Wowk and Lac La Biche Boxing Club founder Ken Scullion are the latest inductees into the local hall of fame.

“It’s very humbling,” Wowk told Lakeland This Week about his feelings on being awarded the recognition— which he sees as a shared award. “It goes out to everybody who helped to support and work with me,” he said. 

There were almost 700 signatures of residents supporting Wowk’s nomination, according to Staci Lattimer, the manager of Recreation and Culture with Lac La Biche County, the municipal department that oversees the local Hall of Fame.  

“Randy Wowk has devoted decades of service to several minor sports as a coach, official, board member, mentor, sponsor, fundraiser, and more,” said Lattimer, reading from just some of the nomination comments. In addition, Wowk also helped establish the first badminton league in the 1980s and the first community lacrosse team in Lac La Biche in the mid 2000s. 

Wowk and his brother Gerald own and operate Lac La Biche Transport, a family-run business started by their dad Steve 70 years ago. The family business often merges with community events, “providing significant in-kind support to local community groups, events and community projects happening in and around Lac La Biche,” said Lattimer.  

Wowk is also well-known for his hands-on support, offering advice and encouragement to young athletes, for example, as he referees their games.  

“Whether on the ice or the sport field, he always has a big smile and encouraging words for youth in sport,” Lattimer said, drawing from her own recent experience as a local hockey mom. “While refereeing a U13 hockey game, he encouraged my son to rush the puck more, which resulted in him getting a hat-trick that game as a defensive player, and that was a huge confidence booster for him.” 

Her story is one of dozens shared in the nomination papers. 

While flattered by his induction, Wowk said, “it’s more of a privilege than an honour,” and attributed his accomplishments to the support of his family, friends, and the community. 

“Without the support of my family and especially [my wife] Odile, I would never have been able to get away with half the crap I did,” he said with a grin, explaining that the best team he’s been part of in all his years of sports is the one he married into. “We’ve been a pretty good team juggling children and everything else.” 

Wowk says his years in community sports have also created a big family of friends. 

“I also have a good core of friends through sports that whenever we needed volunteers or help, it was only a phone call away, and most people jumped on board without even thinking.” 


Being a dad to four kids, Wowk knows that sports are important for youth. It is a belief he has carried throughout his life, and one he has helped to expand for other families. Wowk and a network of family and friends are responsible over the years for introducing or re-igniting several sports in the community including minor soccer and T-ball. 

But he’ll get behind any sport — if kids are having fun.  

“I think I’ve coached every sport there is in Lac La Biche,” he said, grinning again. “I’m fortunate that Odile allows me to do this, because with four children playing different sports, it was at times a household endeavour to keep everybody moving.” 


The rewards of having a busy and active family is something Wowk learned from his own upbringing. 

"My parents started our company 70 years ago and they always believed that sports were a way to keep kids busy and have something to do," he said, recalling how his parents “were always full supporters of community events and charities, and I think I’ve raised my family the same way.” 

He’s proud to see his own kids and other younger family members take on active roles in local sports and encourages more people to share their time supporting youth sports. Making the time to help your own kids and other youth is invaluable, he said.  

"You only get one shot to spoil your kids ... t has been a pleasure to do that for my kids and their friends, and I’ve been fortunate to be able to carry on and keep doing that.” 

Wowk also thanked his kids for putting his name forward and kickstarting the nomination process with a campaign to get him selected as a 2023 inductee into the Lac La Biche County Sports Hall of Fame. 

“I know my children love me, but the work they did to try and get this done is impressive,” he said, reiterating that the support of his family and the family business are crucial to the work he has done. 

“My biggest saying to anybody is to get involved with kids because they keep you young and they keep you young at heart - and that's important.” 

Wowk joins Lac La Biche Boxing Club founder Ken Scullion as the newest inductees into the Sports Hall of Fame.  

A special portion of the Friday night portage College Scholarship Fundraising Dinner will recognize the two local sporting supporters. 

Wowk and Scullion will join 10 other community-linked sports honourees inducted since the program began in 2017. Other Sports Hall of Fame members include bowler and minor sports builder Bonnie McDonald, world-champion curler Barry Chwedoruk and retired NHL player Rene Bourque.  

Images and biographies of the Hall of Fame members can be found in the upper foyer area of the Bold Center in Lac La Biche. 

Mario Cabradilla

About the Author: Mario Cabradilla

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