There are sports fans, and then there are super sports fans.
Gord Roblin definitely falls under the last category. You’ll find him stationed on the concourse of almost every game at Prospera Centre, keeping an eye on the game and cheering on his Chilliwack Chiefs.
But in the warm summer months, Roblin’s favourite sport is racing. And his favourite place to watch is the Agassiz Speedway. Years ago, his father would take him to race nights, and Roblin quickly learned to love the roar of the engines as the cars sped around the oval. He fell in love with the track, and the atmosphere, from the screeching tires to the excitement of the fans in the stands.
Even after his father passed away, he kept going with the help of his mom.
While Roblin can’t remember exactly when they started going to the track, he knows hasn’t missed a race night in years.
“It goes way back,” he said. “Back when dad was with us.”
So you could say Roblin, the super sports fan, is also the Speedway’s number one fan. And they would agree. On Sept. 7, Fan Appreciation Night. It’s a night where sports fans of all ages can go onto the track and meet the drivers. A chance to see the cars up close. And this year, it was the perfect opportunity to honour Roblin for his commitment to the Speedway.
Pat McKellar, the Speedway’s volunteer photographer, approached the Agassiz Fire Dept. volunteers to carry Roblin in his electric wheelchair from his spot in the stands, down to the track.
The crowd erupted in applause, many of them on their feet to cheer on Roblin himself.
The firefighters walked around the track with Roblin, as he collected decals, drivers’ cards and other mementos.
Roblin was also presented with a ramed mosaic print of various race cars. McKellar estimates Roblin has been coming to the track for about 14 years. The entire course of events wouldn’t have been possible with the professional and friendly manner of the Agassiz firefighters, he added.
“I can speak first hand that incidents of good work, kindness and thoughtfulness during the course of one’s duties are seldom brought forward (normally negative are!), and thanks are few and far between,” he said. “And I would like this action of generosity be acknowledged.”
The races can’t run without the presence of the fire department and ambulance staff, McKellar added. While he always appreciates their dedication to the track, he said he didn’t want this act of professionalism to go unnoticed.
“I wanted to thank your department and the members who have been attending the track on our race days who have constantly been there in a professional and friendly manner,” he said.
It made an impression on Roblin, too.
Sitting outside his home in Rosedale, Roblin’s winning smile goes the distance as he talks about his special night at the track, and how it all seemed so planned out.
“They got me,” he say, laughing.