Feb
05
2018
Volume
6-2

Three Generations of Vigilance - A local family's impact on sport in our region

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Gold and sugar are two of the main exports of Guyana. However, in 1969 a young man in his 20s, by the name of Compton Vigilance, left this South American country, then known as British Guyana, to move to Canada.

Ten years later, he relocated to Fort McMurray, Alberta along with his wife Carrolle and sons Colin and Dwayne.

Ever since then, there have been countless golden moments.

Through his dedication to coaching, officiating and volunteering within our community, this sweet man has unlocked the age of enthusiasm in countless athletes, young and old.

Be it basketball, soccer, volleyball or a multitude of other sports, Compton is a familiar face in local sport.

“The main thing I get out of volunteering is seeing the young kids or old kids, by that I mean senior kids in high school, improving,” said Compton, who along with his wife, were members of the All Saints Anglican Church, active in the soup kitchen and visiting patients at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre.

“When you have a kid coming onto your soccer team that cannot kick the ball with their left foot at the start of the season and then you go to provincials at the end of the season and he scores the winning goal with a left foot kick to the corner… that gives you the joy to say you have accomplished something with that kid.”

With three decades of coaching at Fort McMurray Composite High School, Compton, who worked at Syncrude Canada, has a Miner Pride award named in his honour.

He also has local soccer pitch named in his honour at Syncrude Athletic Park.

Compton, 70, has guided countless youth to major Winter and Summer Games events. He is like a father to many.

Typical of his dedication, at the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games hosted in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, he was at the basketball courts and soccer pitch as a marshal, ticket-taker, usher, scorekeeper and the list goes on.

Compton relocated to Edmonton in 2016 due to the fact that their Abasand Heights residence was lost to the fire in early May.

Our city champion now officiates basketball and soccer in the City of Champions.

His son Dwayne (pictured right), 45, is in his sixth year as head coach of the Keyano Huskies women’s basketball team competing in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).

Compton had coached the Huskies for several years in the Alberta Conference Athletic League prior to their entrance into the ACAC in 2010-2011. He would be an assistant coach for Dwayne for five years.

“I think I have been lucky to be surrounded by people who love sports like my dad,” said Dwayne, who played post-secondary basketball in Alberta and British Columbia. “It is easy for me to stay in love for sports with so many good role models around me. I am so lucky.”

“My passion comes from my dad. We grew up playing basketball, playing soccer, playing any type of sport to get out of the house. My dad has also taught us that it is about the process.”

Dwayne, who coached professional women’s basketball in Australia before returning to Fort McMurray, continued: “It’s not always about winning. Sometimes when you lose, that is when you win the most as that is where you learn the most. He taught us to have passion for the game and to respect the game and people.”

Of his belief in community involvement, Compton, says: “We are not on this earth by ourselves. We are on this earth for each other and to help out no matter who you are…rich, poor, black and white. We have to depend on each other to make sure we are not alone in this world.”

Three generations of the Vigilance family are set to light the cauldron finishing the ATCO Torch Relay at the 2018 Wood Buffalo Alberta Winter Games Opening Ceremonies with Compton, Dwayne and granddaughter Jayla, six.

“It is a great honour,” says Dwayne. “We have been involved in sports for such a long time as players, coaches and volunteers. It is especially nice for my dad and all of the effort he has put in for several decades. We are all very excited and very humbled.”

CURTIS J PHILLIPS

Curtis J. Phillips has been a sports journalist in print/electronic mediums since 1976. A strong advocate of volunteerism, he is a founding father of numerous local events and organizations including the Challenge Cup and Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. Phillips is also recognized internationally as a sports historian.

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