For the Bulletin
The year was 1947, when 14 year old Les Lilley, from Kimberley, B.C. decided to follow his dream to become the best Hockey player in Canada , Young Les left his home town to go to one of Canada’s most well-known Hockey Institutes , “Notre Dame” in Wilcox Saskatchewan. Les eventually was signed by the Montreal Junior Canadiens ,then went on to a highly successful Pro career in the U.S ( 12 seasons) , before returning home to Kimberley, B.C.( 50 goals for the Dynamiters) to finish up an exemplary career)
Ironically Les’s Granddaughter Jordan Lilley is following her sports dreams as well, leaving Kimberley this summer for Penticton, B.C. where she has begun training for a Beach Volleyball career. Ms. Lilley has been working with the highly respected Beach Coach Tammy Thomas, who herself is a successful Professional Beach Volleyball Player. Jordan participated in a busy Amateur and Professional Beach Season culminating with a strong showing at the 2015 Western Canadian Beach Nationals in Parksville, B.C., where Jordan and her partner (Fiona Lizotte) finished 5th against 12 of the best teams from Western Canada.
So Jordan certainly has “the Athletic Genes” from her Grandpa (I was friends with Les and also knew Jordan’s Great Grandfather Ab Lilley, the magical Gardener up at Cominco Gardens). Suddenly I feel “old” ha!
With the end of the Beach Season Jordan has continued working toward her goal of earning a spot on Team Beach B.C. next summer, having the opportunity to train with the best players and Coaches in the Province.
Jordan is looking forward to an eventful High School year at Princess Margaret in Penticton where she will be teaming up with her best mate Sydney McKinlay, Coach John Buckley and Associate Coach Mark McKinlay are originally from Kimberley) The Mc Kinalay family have been Jordan’s billet this summer, part of a wonderful “support team” which has given her the chance to compete in top notch Volleyball (both indoor and outdoor).
In no particular order they are Jordan’s Mom, Sherri LaFreniere and Mike Dolighan, Jordan’s Dad, Marc Lilley and Wanda VanFessem.
Kimberley B.C. has had some excellent women Volleyball players throughout the years. Sue Ann Nicholson and Sandra Newton were terrific players when I was up at Selkirk many moons ago. More recently,” Freddie” Campbell at the University of Mary in North Dakota, Brianne Rauch at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, Rhiannon Paterson at Capilano University, and the Jenkins sisters. Stephanie and Alisa were Athletic Scholarship players at Seneca College in Toronto and the University of Calgary (respectively). Who was better?? Well that is hard to say. I saw Steph and Alisa play a few tournaments in the East Kootenays. Both had completely different “games”, power and finesse. Their Mom Barb lives here locally, and their Dad Johnny Jenkins has passed away. The girls Grandmother Millie Austin is now 92 or 93 and still doing famously, living in her family home up at Townsite. A word to describe Millie would be “thoroughly modern”. I find Mildred Austin a very inspiring person. Her July fest parties were not to be missed.! (The lady can mix a mean Margarita, while dancing to Jimmy Buffett).
All the best to Les Lilley’s Granddaughter Ms. Jordan Lilley on her Volleyball Journey in Canada and beyond.