Brecka was born in Slovakia. He came to Canada at age five
with his parents and one brother. They settled in the
Lethbridge area where his father farmed. He attended school
in the Lethbridge area and went on to the University of
Alberta where he received his Bachelor of Education and
Bachelor of Science degrees. Upon graduation he took up
residence in Innisfail where he began his teaching career.
while he was in Innisfail that he developed a passion for
officiating and involvement with sporting activities within
the community. From 1958 to 1961, he coached Junior High
girl’s basketball for two years; refereed High School
basketball; organized a Referee Organization and set up
schedules for referees.
to 1966, he continued his teaching career in Delburne,
Alberta. During his time there he coached the Junior High
boy’s basketball team for five years as well as coaching the
High School boy’s basketball team during the 1965-66 season.
At the same time he helped to coach the High School football
team. He also became chairman of the CWASSA Basketball
The Joys of
Officiating - Fastball, Basketball,
Slow Pitch, Football, Hockey
the Brecka's moved to Wetaskiwin. It is here from 1966 to
1993 that Vlad made his greatest impact on sports in general
and certainly on his ability to officiate. From 1969 to 1974
he coached High School basketball. In 1967, he was
introduced by Jack Abram to the joys of umpiring fastball.
He went from umpiring house league fastball to umpiring
major men’s fastball (Car Capitals) and eventually to
umpiring slow pitch. He also refereed basketball from 1974
to 1990 for the North Central High School League. This
included zone playoffs and championship games. He also had
the opportunity to referee basketball games for Camrose
Concordia College. Vlad was not just a ‘two” sport official
for he refereed High School football from 1970 to 1983.
70’s and the 80’s he was on the executive for Wetaskiwin
Minor Fastball, his role was to coordinate referee schedules
for House League games of which he was a part. Not to be
idle during the winter months he also served on the
executive of the Wetaskiwin Minor Hockey Association where
he again coordinated the schedule for referees. He would
only referee when
someone did not “show up”. During the
summer months Vlad was part of the Parent Council group for
the Olympia Swim Club which was coached by Tom Hewko.
Commissioner of the Central Alberta
to his involvement with the previously mentioned sports, he
was the Commissioner of the Central Alberta Football League
from 1987 to 1992.
some real highlights in his officiating capacity. In 1984,
he umpired the Western Canadian Master Slowpitch
Championship for men in Whitehorse, Yukon. In 1986, he
umpired the Canadian National Men’s Slowpitch Championship
these years Vlad held many training sessions for fastball
umpires encompassing the following areas; Ponoka, Camrose,
Falun, Millet and Wetaskiwin.
during the Olympic Torch Run through the City of Wetaskiwin,
Vlad was one of the recipients of an Olympic Medallion
presented by the Torch Run committee for
his outstanding contribution to sports as an officiator.
finished his career in officiating with the belief that “he
was always right! - usually?”