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OVA Hall of Fame: Builders (Frank & Rozika Sulatycki)

Posted on 06/12/2018

One of Frank's first contributions to the sport of volleyball occurred over 50 years ago in Rimouski, Quebec where he replaced rubber volleyballs with leather balls with the hope of encouraging greater participation in the sport. It worked!

While Frank was playing basketball in Europe, he became more aware of the increasing interest and competitiveness of Volleyball. Though they had not yet met at this point, Rozika was a member of the Yugoslavian National team and she was competing throughout Europe against rivals including Japan's 1964 gold medalists.
Rozika and Frank later met at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Rosie - as Frank fondly calls her - was on staff in the Human Performance Laboratory and Frank was doing graduate work. As a member of the Alums volleyball club, Rozika introduced the art of retrieving "impossible to get balls" by using the skill of diving. This was a first for most Canadian observers and Rozika's club team went on to win several national championships. Frank continued playing basketball in the Vancouver league under the coaching leadership of Paul Brownstein.

Frank's reintroduction to volleyball occurred while attending matches between the touring Russian and American national teams and then by participating in the accompanying clinics as his curiosity for the sport grew along with his interest in Rozika.

After moving to London, Ontario, Frank and Rozika formed a senior women's team, with the assistance of Fran Wigston, that competed in the OVA and represented Ontario at Nationals. Later, in Toronto, Rozika became the OVA's assignor of officials for all Toronto schools before being selected to Team Canada at the Pan-Am games in Colombia. In 1974 Rozika was asked to be a member of our National team for the Montreal Olympics. She put our family first, with two young girls, a year-old son and baby on the way, she declined the offer.

Meanwhile, Frank was elected to be a member of the OVA executive under Anton Furlani and helped to employ certified officials for competitions, triggering the advent of structured tournaments in Ontario. During his time on the executive, he had the role of site and competition manager for volleyball at the first ever Ontario winter games and he coached several teams at the same time; the girls Winter Games team, a provincial champions senior B women's team, a junior club team and a school team.

Frank and Rozika took on numerous coaching roles, including positions with the Canada Games, Humber College and Seneca University. Frank and Rozika, who coached together at Seneca College for 20 years, are the first couple to be inducted into the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Hall of Fame. Seneca's "Dynamic Duo" guided the Scouts, as they were known prior to 1999, to an incredible seven straight Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Championships and three CCAA bronze medals (1991, 1994, 1996). During their time at Seneca, they produced five CCAA All- Canadians from 1990-1996.

The Sulatycki's were named OCAA Coach of the Year six times and received the CCAA Coaching Excellence Award for Women's Volleyball in 1992. Together, they were inducted into the OCAA Hall of Fame in 2011. With numerous awards and national medals, the pair retired from coaching in 2008.

Congratulations Frank and Rozika on your induction into the OVA hall of fame.