Alumni Spotlight: Bill Hogan
Catching up with alumnus Bill Hogan, B.Ed.’75, is like listening to a verse of the classic Hank Snow song I’ve Been Everywhere. For the past 30 years, Mr. Hogan, a retired educator and high school administrator, has been a respected swimming official and volunteer at home and around the world. He’s travelled to Athens, Beijing, London, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro, Delhi, Barcelona, Montreal, Shanghai, Dubai and Istanbul, where he refereed at Summer Olympics, Youth Olympics, Commonwealth Games and the International Swimming Federation’s World Championships. He’s currently at his fifth Pan Am Games in Toronto, which run until July 26. Contributor Jeff Green caught up with Mr. Hogan before he left for the games.
JG: Tell me about your role at the games.
BH: My role is the technical delegate for swimming. My main responsibility will be to run the five-day swimming competition, co-ordinate with CBC broadcasting on the swimming events and assign the officials.
JG: What other roles do you have in the sporting community?
BH: I am chair of the Swimming Technical Committee for Swimming Canada and in the Americas I am also chair of their Swimming Technical Committee, which oversees Canada, the U.S., Central America and South America. With the Fédération Internationale de Natation, the world body for swimming, I recently completed my four-year term on their Technical Committee. They still ask me to be their instructor for referee clinics throughout the world, most recently this year in San Juan Puerto Rico, and last month in Singapore. I guess when you answer the phone as a volunteer and are retired, it’s hard not to say “yes.”
JG: What attracted you to the technical side of the sport?
BH: My personal background in sports was playing hockey and basketball, and then eventually coaching these sports at the high school level. With swimming, it is a very technical sport especially when dealing with its rules, its entry qualification times, and its provincial, national and world records. But the most attractive side of the sport is the people you meet, the athletes, coaches and officials; everyone from different backgrounds with interesting stories to tell. Everyone is there for the same reason, the love of the sport. And to me it’s all fun.
JG: What do you enjoy most?
BH: I enjoy teaching swimming official clinics the most, whether it is here in Newfoundland and Labrador, throughout Canada, or as it is mostly now, around the world. I feel it is a privilege to pass on some of what I have learned to those officials in other countries, in such places as Istanbul, Jordan, Grenada, Oman, Tokyo, St. Petersburg, Dubai, Morocco, the Virgin Islands, Panama and the like. Meeting people from a variety of cultures and helping in some small way is a very rewarding part of what I do. And the people are so appreciative of us sharing our experiences to help them develop their own swimming community.