Sporting halls catching up with inductions
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/10/2022 (229 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Manitoba Rugby Hall of Fame is the latest hall-of-fame organization to play catchup with its inductions. On Oct. 15 at The Gates on Roblin, rugby finally was able to honour its 2020 induction class of three at a ceremony. The planned dinner was cancelled in 2020 and again in 2021, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The threesome were Clint Evens, who was inducted posthumously as a pioneer, and builders Scott Harland and Colleen Horton. Evans was one of the founders of the Assassins club and served as its first president in 1968 and later as team captain. A top player, Harland coached at least one team a year between 1987 and 2008. He also refereed to the international level. Horton’s resume lists contributions as a player, coach, manager, administrator and volunteer. She coached for more than 25 years from high school to the provincial level.
At the dinner, the Rugby HOF also honoured its 2022 induction class of pioneer Bob Rialland and players Erik Luinenburg and Harry Robertson. Rialland was another key organizer of the Assassins and was the first team captain in 1968. In 2017, when the club celebrated its 50th anniversary, it published a history titled 50 Years of Exccllence. In a future column, Memories of Sport will delve into the history in detail.
You have to enjoy how Luinenburg was described in the first sentence of his induction biography. It read: “Erik was a consummate back row player who lived by the saying ‘rugby is a hooligans game played by gentleman.’” The hooligan-gentleman played for several different teams including the Manitoba provincial squad and helped the Saracens and Wanderers win provincial titles.
Robertson got his start at River Heights Junior High before joining the successful St. John’s High School team that never lost a game on North American soil. A scrum half, he also played for the Manitoba U20 provincial team and the Saracens.
The Manitoba Rugby HOF, which was established in 2010, has now honoured a total of 66 members.
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The Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame will hold its 2022 induction ceremony at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3 at the Victoria Inn. The induction class of five individuals and one team is smaller than usual. The move from its traditional, early-November Saturday dinner with a larger class was first made in 2021. COVID led to some of the inductees being honoured at a Thursday ceremony in the fall and the balance in the spring of 2022 at Sport Manitoba’s Night of Champions.
This year’s group includes Andrea Ferguson, the Hall’s first inductee from ringette. Ferguson helped Manitoba win gold in the 2002 national championships. She was the leading scorer at the 2013 wordd championship when Canada won silver. Also being honoured as athletes are volleyball player Michelle Sawatzky-Koop, basketball’s Patrick Jebbison and Halldor Bjarnason, the first inductee from cerebral palsy sport.
Sawatzky-Koop, who played for the U of M Bisons, was named national player of the year in 1991 and 1992 and played for Canada in the 1996 Summer Olympics. While with the Brandon University Bobcats between 1984 and 1989, Jebbison helped the team win three national titles and earned a national player of the year trophy. Bjarnason won gold and sliver medals in tricycling at both the World CP Games and the Paralympics.
Hockey player agent Don Baizley will be inducted posthumously as a builder. Known as an ambassador of hockey throughout the world, Baizley had been recognized by The Hockey News as one of the most influential people in the sport. The 1990 Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be inducted in the team category. The story of the Bombers’ season will be featured in a November column.
T. Kent Morgan
Memories of Sport
Memories of Sport appears every second week in the Canstar Community News weeklies. Kent Morgan can be contacted at 204-489-6641 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org