Hansen, Jeff – 2017
Hansen, Jeff – 2017
Sports Writer, St. Albert Gazette
2017 Bell Memorial Award
Jeff Hansen began covering sports for the St. Albert Gazette in 1991. For more than 25 years, he patrolled the sidelines at many sporting events with his pen, notebook, and voice recorder to conduct interviews before and after the game. He raised the profile of many athletes – from school teams to Olympians, both amateur and professional – by writing about the wins and losses and the determination that it took the team or individual to get there. Through his work, Jeff provided acknowledgment and instilled confidence in those he had written about, especially with the young and developing athletes.
Jeff covered many sports including baseball, basketball, curling, football, rugby, soccer, volleyball, as well as the Paralympics and the Special Olympics. He attended weekly games, playoffs, provincials, nationals, and World Championships. Known for his “encyclopaedic knowledge of St. Albert athletics,” Jeff “was a consummate professional during his career.” Jeff always included action photographs, as well as head shots of the athletes or coaches mentioned in his articles.
Jeff’s approach to Paralympic sports was revolutionary at the time. One of the athletes Jeff covered for more than twenty years, was three-time Paralympic gold medallist and Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Honoured Member Jennifer Krempien.
“He really captured it as a sport, and focused on the blood, sweat, and tears shed on the court rather than the disabilities involved.”
Many of those interviewed and written about by Jeff felt that he had become a part of their extended team and shared in their journey every step of the way. They regarded Jeff as a "friend first, and a reporter second."
Many of the athletes told Jeff that their parents clipped his stories to put up on the fridge.
“That’s the ultimate compliment, really. When your story gets put on the fridge, that’s huge.”
Before joining the St. Albert Gazette, Jeff worked for the Wetaskiwin Times Advertiser, the Wainwright Star Chronicle, and the Golden Star. Prior to his writing career, his voice was carried over the airwaves as a DJ/Reporter at radio stations in Weyburn, Saskatchewan and Powell River, British Columbia.
Jeff Hansen was awarded the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association's Sports Writing Award in 2011 and the Bellerose Bulldogs Football Club's Recognition Award in 2012. Jeff was a many time recipient of the Canadian Community Newspaper Award which is awarded for the best sports coverage for circulation of 12,500 and over.