Kuran’s Umpiring Career Honoured with Row Ontario Hall of Fame Induction
Wes Kuran was announced as the first member of Row Ontario’s 2021 Hall of Fame class on Monday as he was inducted into the Umpire’s category in the Row Ontario Hall of Fame.
Kuran, one of Ontario’s longest serving umpires, started out his lifelong involvement in rowing at the St. Catharines Rowing Club in 1967. He rowed competitively for the SCRC before returning to his hometown club, the Ottawa Rowing Club, and then spent several years at the Brockville Rowing Club as both a member and coach. His competitive rowing career ended in 1973 after winning several medals at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta for Brockville. He soon transitioned to umpiring, and received his RCA National Umpiring License in 1974, followed by his FISA Umpiring License in 1983. Throughout his umpiring career, Kuran has worked all over the world and became one of the leading voices for umpiring education in Canada.
“I am deeply honoured to receive this recognition and I am thankful for the wonderful support I have received from many in the rowing community as without it I would have not been able to enjoy my wonderful rowing journey. Thank you,” said Kuran on his induction into the Hall of Fame.
As an umpire Kuran was always fair and ruled in the best interest of the athlete while upholding the integrity of the sport. At the international level, Kuran’s accomplishments include being a veteran of 15 International Umpiring Juries, including the 2000 Olympics, the first Paralympic regatta in 2008, Pan American Games, University Student Games, FISA World Championships, and FISA World Cups. He also either managed or was President of the umpire jury for several major events including the FISA World Championships (1999), the FISA Masters Rowing Regatta (2001), and the World Masters Games (2005).
On the domestic front, Kuran has over 38 years of umpiring experience, ranging from local and regional regattas near his home in Ottawa, to Provincial and National Championship events and the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. He’s umpired at all levels of the sport and in almost every province that hosts regattas in Canada, including Ontario, Quebec, BC, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Off the regatta course, Kuran was always well-respected by his fellow umpires for not only his knowledge but his integrity and good humour. He served as both the Chair of the RCA Umpires Committee and the Row Ontario Umpires Committee and oversaw a major review and restructuring of the rules of racing, including the addition of rules with respect to para-rowing, head races, indoor rowing competitions and coastal rowing events. He also served as an RCA Umpire Clinician for many years until 2019 and has served as a mentor to countless umpires in the rowing community throughout his involvement in the sport.
In addition to umpiring, Kuran has held many other positions within the rowing community and was involved in the creation of the Ontario Rowing Association (later changed to Row Ontario) in 1970. He served as President of the ORA from 1973-77 and then moved on to become President of the Canadian Amateur Rowing Association (later changed to Rowing Canada Aviron) from 1977-79. He is also a long-time board member and President of the Ottawa Rowing Club (1996-2006) and continues to serve on the club’s board today. Kuran has organized many regattas at the local, provincial, national and international levels and was a member of the 1999 St. Catharines World Championship bid committee. In 2015, the Ottawa Rowing Club honoured his contribution to the club by establishing the Wes Kuran Scholarship which is presented to a deserving university athlete from the club.
Row Ontario will be announcing the inductions of the 2021 Hall of Fame class throughout the week as part of ‘Hall of Fame Week’. Stay tuned the rest of this week for more announcements on the 2021 Row Ontario Hall of Fame induction class.
Visit Row Ontario Hall of Fame for more information.