"I still remember the first-ever broadcast I had and still cannot listen back to it (laughing)," states Rob Fai. "It was a college basketball game up at Capilano College and I was horrendous - but - it was my first and I'll never forget it."
Rob's journey into professional sports was definitely not taken through traditional channels. With no formal broadcast education, Rob began his career volunteering back in the late '90s hoping to gain as much experience as possible until he was ready for the right opportunity.
"I didn't get my first paycheque in the broadcast industry for years. I got to be part of some incredible moments by simply volunteering my time and making myself available for whatever came across the desk. I started covering stories on the North Shore about Tug Boats and teen pregnancy, before ever getting a sports story. It was a blessing in disguise as I had no idea what I was doing so in essence it was probably best for me to start with things that I had to really research and identify as news."
Rob worked with Rogers/Shaw Cable for years before catching on with CKST 1040 AM helping Bob Marjanovich with his SportsZone afternoon drive show heard across Vancouver. Labelled as the 'special projects coordinator', Rob suddenly found himself covering the NBA Grizzlies, the Vancouver Canucks and many of the events that came through Vancouver in the late '90s early 2000s.
"Perhaps my favourite event was the Molson Indy which brought Greg Moore, Paul Tracy and countless other icons through Vancouver. I'm standing there talking with Emerson Fittipaldi thinking what am I doing here and how amazing is this?! I cannot thank guys like The Moj, Garry Raible and Greg Douglas enough for helping me crack the proverbial lineup. By the time I finally got to become the lead voice for something I was ready because those guys just kept sending me out there and it was something I will never forget."
Rob worked for 2+ years at News1130 (CityNews1130) and CHQB in Powell River 1280 AM before finally getting his call to pro sports with the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Club. Once with the C's, Rob took on both the Director of Communications role as well as the broadcast duties for the team.
"Championships and roars of the crowd are awesome, but I learned more on the bus in the wee hours of the morning with the teams I travelled with for years. You see so many things that you just can't find on any stat page and I will forever be grateful to the Canadians, the Oakland A's, and Toronto Blue Jays for allowing me access to things I never thought possible. That comes with trust and I was so honoured to have earned that over the years."
Rob was inducted into the Vancouver Canadians Broadcast & Journalism Hall of Fame and received both the Paul Carson Award as the Top Play-by-Play Voice in British Columbia as well as the Baseball B.C. Meritorious Award for his lifetime contributions to both amateur and professional baseball. Rob finished his tenure with the C's having called more than 1,000 baseball games that had four championships, and a pair of all-star game broadcasts.
Rob is currently (2021) the play-by-play voice for the Fraser Valley Bandits of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) seen on CBC, CEBL+ and across most mobile platforms.