The 2022 inductees into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame run the gamut in terms of sport representation, from professional football and golf to squash, rowing, speedskating and more.
The records and accomplishments this year’s group amassed during their time in active competition is impressive to say the least, from international medals to national championship titles and more.
Named for induction in the athlete category are Canadian Football League lineman Dave Kirzinger, highly decorated speed skater Brenda Shields Hennigar, masters squash player Gerry Poulton, track star Gary Reed and professional golfer Jim Rutledge.
Entering the hall in the team category are the Olympic and world championship medal-winning rowing pair of Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee; in the coach category, triathlon’s Lance Watson, and in the builder category, Richard Way, whose co-creation of the long-term athlete development framework saw the strategy become commonplace worldwide.
“The selection process is always difficult as there are so many outstanding people in the Victoria sports community,” said Lois Smith, induction nominations committee chair in a release.
The inductees will be formally installed in the hall of fame during a fundraiser dinner and gala ceremony Oct. 29 at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort.
Their careers showed good examples of how athletes and organizers who cut their competitive teeth in Greater Victoria were able to excel on much large stages.
Kirzinger was the No. 1 pick in the CFL draft following two years of varsity football at UBC, and went on to play nine years in the league and was a captain on the Calgary Stampeders for three seasons.
Shields Hennigar won 11 Canadian single-distance championships – two in short track and nine in long track – a North American championship, collected 33 Canadian and North American championship medals and holds several records.
Poulton, a 50-plus year veteran of his sport, has excelled as a masters player, capturing multiple Canadian championship medals in age groups between 60-plus and 75-plus and medaling at Masters Games in North America and Europe.
Reed is a former 800-metre Canadian record holder, a six-time national champion and a two-time Olympian (2004 and 2008) who raced to silver at the 2007 World Championships and placed fourth at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Rutledge, who began golfing at age 11 and turned pro at 19 in 1978, was active nearly 40 years playing events on the Canadian, Asian and PGA Tour Champions tours. He won over a dozen times, mostly in Canada, but captured the Indian Open in 1995 and New Zealand PGA Championship in 2006.
Jennerich and Obee rowed to World Championships silver in 2011 and 2014 and World Cup gold in 2016, the same year they won silver at the Rio Olympics in their second straight appearance in the Summer Games.
Watson has coached individual athletes and national teams to multiple Olympic, world championship, Commonwealth and Pan-American Games medals, including 2000 Olympic gold medalist Simon Whitfield and Lisa Bentley, who posted 11 Ironman triathlon victories.
The athlete development framework Way helped pioneer inspired a generational and evolutionary change in sport systems, and facilitated its use across 60 sports in more than 100 countries. He is CEO of the Sport for Life Society, which earned the Canadian Medical Association’s national Award for Excellence in Health Promotion.
On top of being celebrated at the induction dinner, displays highlighting the 2022 inductees will be added to the hall of fame section in the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre concourse.
Tickets for the induction dinner and ceremony are on sale online at gvshof.ca.
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