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Provincial sports hall of fame to gain 9 champions

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When Hamilton-born Bob Cameron was drafted by the Edmonton Eskimos in 1977 after playing quarterback/punter from 1974-78 for the Acadia Axemen in Wolfville, N.S., he had a plan.

"I wanted to be the next Russ Jackson and quarterback in the CFL," he said Monday upon hearing he will be inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame Nov. 5 at its 32nd annual induction ceremonies, to be held at the Victoria Inn.

But neither the Eskimos, where he played from 1977-79, nor the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, where he played from1980-2002, were interested in his quarterback skills and he was converted to a punter, forcing him to change his plan.

"I would punt to get in the door and be noticed," he said, "and then I'd get to show them my arm."

Joining Cameron in the hall of fame will be Carman goalie Ed Belfour, who last week was named to the National Hockey League's Hall of Fame, curler Kerry Burtnyk, sailor Kelly Hand, lawn bowler Clarice (Lawton) Fitzpatrick (all-round), football/basketball star Glenn McWhinney (veteran), and baseball's Joe Wiwchar (builder).

Teams to be inducted are the 1967 Winnipeg mixed fivepin bowling team (veteran category) and the 1975-76 Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union men's basketball champion, the University of Manitoba Bisons.

"I am very flattered, obviously," Cameron said of his induction. "As a CFL punter, you don't expect get into any hall of fame.

Cameron holds the CFL record for consecutive games played (253). The four-time CFL all-star won three Grey Cups in 1984, '88 and '90 and was named Most Valuable Canadian in the 1988 contest. He was also named to the Blue Bombers 75th anniversary all-time greatest team.

The Eagle, as Belfour was also known, had 43 victories in 74 games (NHL rookie and Blackhawks records) in 1990-91. He won the Calder Trophy for outstanding play by a rookie, the Vezina Trophy for best goaltender and the William M. Jennings Trophy for fewest team goals allowed.

A former Winkler Flyer of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, Belfour backstopped the Hawks to a Stanley Cup in 1991-92. With the Dallas Stars in 1999, he won another Cup and his fourth Jennings Trophy.

A native of Reston, Burtnyk won his first Brier in 1981 and the bronze medal at the world championship. He won the worlds in 1995.

Hand, also of Carman, won five national titles in sailing (Laser class), a world championship in 1999 and Pan Am Games gold that year. As a coach, she went to two Olympic Games -- Sydney in 2000 and in Athens in 2004.

Fitzpatrick won 19 medals at the Canadian championships from 1986 to 2010. As a builder, she is a certified official, head umpire, coach/instructor and administrator.

McWhinney joined the Edmonton Eskimos in 1952 and won a Grey Cup with them in 1954. He played for the Blue Bombers in 1955 and was named their Most Valuable Canadian that year. The next season, he suffered a broken neck, ending his football-playing career. As a guard in basketball, he won two senior league championships with King's Best (1956 and 1960) and Labatt's Blues (1962 as a player/coach).

Baseball was Wiwchar's passion. In more than five decades, he has been a player, coach, administrator, registrar, scheduler, umpire, scout and mentor. He is a founding member of Baseball Manitoba.

The 1975-'76 Bisons won the Golden Boy Tournament (Wesmen Classic) and Great Plains Athletic Conference championship, sporting a record of 31-5 record. That season, they beat the St. Mary's Huskies for the Canadian University Athletic Union (now CIS) title.

In 1967, the Winnipeg fivepin bowling team beat York West by 120 pins to capture the national crown.

Dinner tickets for the hall of fame induction ceremonies go on sale Aug. 1. Further information can be found at www.halloffame.mb.ca.

allan.besson@freepress.mb.ca

2011 Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame inductees

On Nov. 5, 2011, five athletes, one builder, one all-rounder and two teams will be inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame at the 32nd annual induction ceremonies. The 2011 inductees are:

 

-- Ed Belfour Athlete Hockey

-- Kerry Burtnyk Athlete Curling

-- Bob Cameron Athlete Football

-- Clarice (Lawton) Fitzpatrick All-Round Lawn Bowls

-- Kelly Hand Athlete Sailing

-- Glenn McWhinney Veteran Athlete Football/Basketball

-- Joe Wiwchar Builder Baseball

-- 1967 Winnipeg Mixed Bowling Veteran Team Fivepin

-- 1975-76 U of Manitoba Bisons Team Basketball

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 5, 2011 D6

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