At the Broken Goat Trail Run in Rossland this summer, pretending to be a real athlete like so many of the talented and fascinating people I had the pleasure of interviewing and writing about over the past 17-plus years.                                -Image: Kirstie Smith

At the Broken Goat Trail Run in Rossland this summer, pretending to be a real athlete like so many of the talented and fascinating people I had the pleasure of interviewing and writing about over the past 17-plus years. -Image: Kirstie Smith

Henderson: A fast but fulfilling 17 years at the Capital News

Sports reporter Warren Henderson reflects on his career at the Capital News

At the risk of sounding cliché, time really does fly.

It was Oct. 4, 2000 when I first set foot inside the Capital News, no doubt looking a little like a deer in the headlights, yet eager and intrigued at the prospects of wading into my first job in the newspaper business.

Not that I was at all new to the industry—I had worked in both radio and television for the previous 18 years—but I knew this change in mediums was going to be both an interesting and challenging adjustment.

Barry Gerding, our managing editor at the time, was taking a chance on hiring an ex-broadcaster with virtually no print experience.

But Barry, being the eternal and supportive optimist (or maybe I was his only choice?) was counting on my background and experience, mostly in sports reporting, to fit the bill.

It wasn’t long before I discovered that reporting for a newspaper afforded me opportunities I hadn’t enjoyed in the electronic media. With pen and pad in hand, I could be curious, even a little intrusive and nosy in evoking the thoughts and feelings of those with fascinating and inspirational stories to tell.

One of the earliest features I wrote was about a local fireman, Eric Simpson, who survived a lengthy and excruciating battle with cancer, then emerged from the disease to become one of the valley’s top Ironman triathletes.

Then there was Delilah Topic, a Kelowna oncologist whose courage and perseverance can’t be measured. Battling the effects of diabetes and a rheumatoid bone condition—while also running on a badly broken foot—she won two medals at the World Masters Games in New Zealand.

They are just two of the multiple examples of people who often helped remind me that my own infinitesimal daily problems and concerns are, for the most part, insignificant, at best.

I’ve also been fortunate to work in an ultra sports-minded community, one that includes one of major junior hockey’s most successful and enduring franchises. The Kelowna Rockets gave me the chance to cover five Memorial Cups during my time at the Capital News, something only a select few sportswriters in the country could ever hope for.

I’ve often been asked what I liked most about this line of work. And again the answer is simple—the people.

The people I have had the privilege of writing about and the many people I’ve had the privilege of working alongside for 17-plus years at the Capital News.

Thanks again to Barry for hiring me and opening the door to a new and intriguing world. Thanks to his successors in the editor’s chair, Kevin Parnell and Kathy Michaels who continued to make the newsroom a fun and stimulating environment to work in, and to the always upbeat Alistair Waters who has been a valued fellow reporter from day one.

But the time has come to bid adieu. Time to move out from behind a desk and pursue a new and contrasting career.

With a shovel and wheelbarrow in hand, my work days in the landscaping business will now be consumed by physical labour. The true farm boy in me has resurfaced and I’m excited to get my fingers back in the dirt, so to speak.

But before that, I extend one last message to the Capital News and Kelowna’s sports community—thanks for the memories.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Henderson: A fast but fulfilling 17 years at the Capital News

Just Posted

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Weekly COVID-19 case-counts continue to drop in the Central Okanagan

The Central Okanagan recorded 110 cases Jan. 3–9, a huge drop from the 349 noted between Dec. 6 and 12

(Vernon Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Vernon Search and Rescue responds after family gets UTV stuck on SilverStar trails

The family activated their SOS beacon around 3 p.m. once they realized they could be facing a night alone in the mountains

A rendering of BC Housing’s proposed 20-storey rental development at 1451 and 1469 Bertram Street in downtown Kelowna. (Contributed)
BC Housing hoping to build 20-storey rental housing tower in downtown Kelowna

The building would create ‘urgently needed’ new affordable rental housing units downtown

Abigail McCluskey is in the Netherlands training to compete in the World Cup next month. She joins 12 Canadian speedskaters for the international competition later this month. (Dave Holland CSI Calgary)
Penticton speed skater in Netherlands for World Cup

Abigail McCluskey will be skating the long track in the international competition

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage addresses the attendees while Tom Olsen, Managing Director of the Canadian Energy Centre, looks on at a press conference at SAIT in Calgary on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Fulmes
‘Morally and ethically wrong:’ Court to hear challenge to Alberta coal policy removal

At least 9 interveners will seek to join a rancher’s request for a judicial review of Alberta’s decision

Dastkar, a new furniture store in Vernon, features handmade, unique furniture carved from wood and inlaid with brass in the Chiniot style. The business located on 43rd Avenue was started in December 2020 but is currently unstaffed due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon’s hidden handmade furniture store

Owners of Shahi Pakwan Indian restaurant opened the South Asian furniture store in December 2020

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read