: Orest Springenatic Bursary




In Memory of Whalley’s Mr. Spring



Mr. Spring, as he was affectionately known by his ball players, began coaching in Whalley Little League in the early sixties. Over a 30 year period the name Springenatic and Whalley Little League became synonymous.  Orest would often spend countless time and money, wherever he felt the kids would benefit. Orest was the owner/operator of the Round Up Café, where he worked the nightshift so he could teach the kids during the day.  Whether it would be at the batting cages in his backyard, or a field practice at the ballpark, his impact on the Little League program was such that he was often called Mr. Whalley Little League.  The Leagues consistency in its success is a direct result of Orest Springenatic’s philosophy.  Under Orest’s leadership, the league grew from approx 20 teams to 60.  Orest not only contributed as a coach, but an executive member, planner and community liaison.  Orest worked with the City Park and Recreation Board to plan for and build better facilities. Without Mr. Springs leadership determination and competitiveness, Whalley Little League would not enjoy the successful record that it earned in the District, Provincial, Canadian or World Series Tournaments.  Not only did Orest devote his time and energy to all the kids and his own team, but he also taught the other coaches in Whalley.  Orest’s behaviour on and off the field was always exemplary.  If there was one thing Orest insisted upon, it was himself knowing the rules of the game, inside and out, better than the Umpires or opposing coaches.  His motto was “He never lost a game because of the Umpires” If you didn’t outplay or out hit the opposition then you didn’t deserve to win.  Over 45 years of coaching experience enabled him to share his knowledge, expertise and sportsmanship with the ball players, fellow managers and coaches alike. He received many citations for his achievements:


1978   “Coach of the Year” awarded by the B.C. Baseball Association

1988   “Olympic Medal of Coaching”, recognition for a lifetime of coaching, presented by Bill Reid MLA, and Benno Friesen, MP

1991   Recognized by the Municipality of Surrey for his contribution to the community, by officially naming the Major Diamond at Whalley Ball Park, the “Orest Springenatic Field”

1992   “Citizen of the Year” honourable medal presented by the Municipality of Surrey in conjunction with Canada’s 125th birthday.  This medal is of such an honour, it is placed after the Queen Elizabeth’s II’s Jubilee Medal

1992   Awarded for his outstanding contribution to his community by the Rotary International the 75th Anniversary “Paul Harris Fellow” award.  This was the first time a non-member was ever to receive such an award.  

1996   Inducted into the “B.C. Baseball Hall of Fame”


To ensure his contributions to Whalley Little League continue, the League in consultation with his family established the Orest Springenatic Scholarship/Bursary, awarded each year to dedicated Whalley Little Leaguers to further advance their post secondary education. 


Download eligibility requirements and application form for the Orest Springenatic Scholarship and Bursary.

Cut off for applications is December 31 of the current Grad Year.


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