Sask. athletic community suffers major blow in loss of David Dice

Andrew
Andrew Schopp
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In a picture posted on his blog, longtime Prince Albert track and field stalwart David Dice poses along side the Wintego Rapids east of Lac La Ronge Provincial Park. On Wednesday, The Herald reported that the retired Carlton Comprehensive High School science teacher died while on a canoe trip in Northern Saskatchewan after he and his wife of 42 years Enid Dice were reported missing on Aug. 20. Photo courtesy of digipac.ca 

The athletic community in Prince Albert and the province as a whole suffered a major blow in the loss of longtime track and field stalwart David Dice.

On Wednesday, The Herald reported that the retired Carlton Comprehensive High School science teacher died while on a canoe trip in Northern Saskatchewan after he and his wife of 42 years Enid Dice were reported missing on Aug. 20. 

“It’s a great loss to Prince Albert and Saskatchewan,” said Bob Reindl, executive director of Saskatchewan Athletics. “Both communities are going to suffer greatly in this loss.” 

Dice’s body was found on Tuesday near an overturned canoe in Kinosaskaw Lake where a rescue plane spotted Enid alive and well after she had survived in the wilderness for eight days.

According to a report by Jeremy Warren of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, David and Enid had just started a trip on the Churchill River when their canoe capsized at the first set of rapids leading to Kinosaskaw Lake. The pair were then separated as David floated downstream.

Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, Dice was a key figure in the city’s track and field community.

Since returning to P.A. from his studies at the University of Saskatchewan in 1970, “the sport of track and field has never been the same,” according to his now retired induction plaque, which once hung from the walls of the Art Hauser Centre.

Dice established the Prince Albert Optimist Track Club in 1981 and served as head coach of Carlton’s track and cross-country teams before becoming an official.

Serving alongside Dice as a member of Saskatchewan Athletics’ board of directors, Reindl noted that Dice played a critical role in getting Prince Albert an all-weather surface track installed at Prime Ministers’ Park, now known as Harry Jerome Track.

While officiating at several large-scale athletic events, Dice was also the chairman for track and field at the 1992 Saskatchewan Summer Games and the 1999 Western Canada Summer Games.

“Helping the city secure bids speaks volumes to the type of person that he is,” Reindl said of Dice’s drive to bring major events to Prince Albert, adding that one of his biggest highlights was officiating at the 2001 Canadian and World track and field championships.

An avid outdoorsman and amateur photographer, Dice maintained a website, digicpac.ca, where he showcased his art and blogged about his travels throughout Canada’s great outdoors.   

The last entry posted on the site was on Aug. 14, where Dice writes about he and Enid’s hiking adventure at Banff National Park earlier this month. 

“Little compares to the beauty of Canada,” wrote Dice. “There is little that can outdo the beauty of the Canadian Rockies.”

Even while pursuing his hobbies and enjoying his retirement, Dice always maintained his dedication to the track and field community, Reindl said.

“He really wanted to give back the sport,” he said. “He was always willing to give up his time for track and field or anything for that matter. If he was in Saskatchewan, he was volunteering his time for the community.”

An official with level five status, which Reindl said takes years to obtain, the loss of Dice will be difficult to recover from.

“It is a loss to the official world, I can’t say enough on that,” Reindl said. “When you lose someone of David’s stature, it’s hard to replace.”

A memorial service for Dice is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 30 at 2 p.m. at Gateway Covenant Church. He was 66 years old.

andrew.schopp@paherald.sk.ca 

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