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Writer who grew up in the qathet region reflects on sporting achievements

Colin Eckstrand draws from personal experience for first book
MAGICAL MOMENTS: Colin Eckstrand is currently working on his first book, which will highlight a number of his peak achievements while growing up in the qathet region.

Former qathet region resident Colin Eckstrand is sharing his proudest moments of growing up in the area. He is currently working on his first book, which covers some of his most magical moments from his early childhood to early adulthood.

Eckstrand’s shared moments showcase his athletic achievements over the years. Some of these moments could be described as unbelievable, although very much true and confirmed. 

One such story is about a five-year-old Eckstrand, who shot a hockey puck through one of three small slots at the bottom of a hockey net for a skills challenge at a fundraiser for James Thomson Elementary School in the 1960s. This was his first time trying out anything hockey related, and he made the shot not just once but six times in a row.

Onlookers were in awe, according to Eckstrand, and this was just the first of many remarkable athletic achievements, and the spark that led his father to enrol him in hockey several years later. 

Eckstrand’s standout performances reach beyond the arena, however. His book has stories showcasing achievements in baseball, volleyball, football and track as well. In grade nine, he beat the previous school record in triple jump, held by an older student, by 10 inches.

The trend of athleticism continued through his high school years and into adulthood. In spite of some personal and family challenges, Eckstrand grew up striving to be joyful as much as possible and to reach for his goals. 

“My biggest lessons I’ve taken from my achievements is to believe in yourself and have perseverance,” said Eckstrand. “Taking joy in other people’s successes will bring greater success to our own lives.” 

Eckstrand hopes his book will inspire others to work through challenges and continue reaching for their highest goals, even when life brings sadness and heartache, as well as entertain and bring a few laughs to his readers. 

The book, which is expected to be at least 14 chapters, has a working title of: My Magical Experiences as a Small Town Boy. Eckstrand recently received the first draft back from his editor and will begin looking for a publisher once the editing phase is complete. 

He began writing a personal memoir in 1991. After recounting numerous, highly remarkable experiences, his daughters encouraged him to share everything in a book. It seemed even more remarkable to them that a boy from such a small, isolated town would have so many huge moments in his life. 

Current qathet region resident Brian Clark recently agreed to write a foreword for Eckstrand’s book. He was a mentor and a coach to Eckstrand beginning in 1972.

Although not a formal coach, Clark had lots of athletic experience and, among other things, helped Eckstrand practice for football skills competitions. He also inspired Eckstrand during his baseball years and helped him improve his fastball.

Clark will also make an appearance in the book in the fourth and fifth chapters.

Eckstrand grew up with a Christain upbringing and now follows the Baha’i Faith, which focuses on the oneness of mankind. He explained how his sports achievements reinforces his belief that

“God helps those who help themselves.” 

Eckstrand spent his youth in Powell River and later moved to Chilliwack at the age of 17, where he spent two years playing junior hockey. He currently lives in Chemainus, but remains in contact with many of his friends and teammates from his years in Powell River.

His future plans include a second book covering his later years and memorable achievements.