- 1979 Ivan Velan Award Recipient
(From Racquetball Canada Archives. Source 1981 Canadian Championships Program)
Another seemingly permanent fixture in the Canadian game. Wes Hadikin has spent the past decade in the top ten, mostly in the top three. He has “retired” twice (in 1970 and 1974) citing “a definite lack of competition and thus a lack of incentive to play anymore.”
He started playing paddleball in 1966 at the University of Winnipeg. A country boy with very little pocket money and “unschooled in the ways of a university,” he played endlessly in the court below his living quarters at the university. In 1971 Hadikin moved to Edmonton for graduate work at the University of Alberta and worked on his racquetball game seriously. He won the Canadian championship the next year. Between 1973 and 1975 he was runner-up to Wayne Bowes in the National Closed and in 1977 he beat Don Thomas and Rich Wagner (the American pros) before being eliminated by Craig McCoy in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Nationals. He has also won the Manitoba Open seven times.
Hadikin plays squash very well and also enjoys golf. He works for the Manitoba government as a director of planning in two departments. “I’ve never regarded myself as a professional player,” he says, “just an amateur good enough to play with pros. I’ve always worked eight hours a day and played only in my spare time.” Hadikin also works with juniors in his spare time, Sherman Greenfeld and Dwayne Kohuch (the last two Canadian junior champs) having been influenced by him to some degree. He won the Ivan Velan award in 1979 for his technical advice at the Canada Winter Games.