Bulych’s legacy lives on with Riders’ Alumni Association
Terry Bulych left quite an impression as president of the Saskatchewan Roughriders Alumni Association.
Before passing away in April, Bulych served as president for nearly five years, helping to shape the association into what it is today.
“The biggest legacy he left on the organization is the organization itself,” says Rob Bresciani, who has succeeded Bulych as the association’s president.
“We’ve been around for quite some time. Before, it was not very well organized and it was more of a social event. When Terry came on board, he knew that we had to be more organized and really had a vision and a passion to be more involved in the community and the public.”
There’s still a strong social aspect to the association that brings together former players from different generations of Roughrider history. But Bulych, a fullback for the Green and White from 1973 to 1975, viewed the organization as much more than a social club for past players.
“He felt that, as players, we were very much supported by the community, and this was an opportunity for us to give back to the community,” recalls Bresciani, who played five seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Riders and Calgary Stampeders.
“We wanted to give back to football,” the former University of Regina Rams assistant coach adds, “but we also wanted to give back to more than that.”
Working under the vision of Bulych and his executive board, the alumni association made a greater push to expand membership and explore ways in which it could have a greater impact on the community in Saskatchewan.
Now there are about 100 members of the alumni association, which hosts charitable events across the province, expanding beyond football-related causes.
Bresciani served as vice president alongside Bulych, who died at age 66 after battling cancer and pneumonia. Now that Bresciani has taken the reins of the organization, he hopes to continue to manifest his predecessor’s vision.
“We want to continue to grow and reach out to as many former players as we possibly can,” Bresciani says, noting that membership can also serve as a valuable networking opportunity for past players.
The more former members of the team who come on board with the alumni association, Bresciani says, the more impact they can have on the community.
Former Roughriders offensive lineman and current association vice president Belton Johnson says interest in joining the organization is constantly growing and all members are interested in contributing to the community.
“The province has always been amazing to me and those who have played for the team,” Johnson says. “I haven’t come across a bad person yet.
“Everyone always wants to lend a hand, and we at the alumni association are ready to step up and live up to our mandate of helping out in the community.”
For Bresciani, the reason he’s interested in the organization is simple.
“I was lucky enough to play for the Roughriders,” says Bresciani, who played for the team in 1988 and 1989. “Growing up as a boy in Regina, that was my dream. I think everybody who plays football as a kid in Saskatchewan dreams of one day playing in the CFL and, of course, ideally playing for the Riders. That dream motivated me and, along the way, a lot of mentors helped me.
“The alumni association is something that gives back and can inspire, and that’s something I want to be involved with. Being a part of the alumni association has given me the opportunity to give back to the community — and it’s a lot of fun.”