Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame

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After 35 years without a specific place to honour and celebrate the great sporting legends of Lethbridge & District, the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame (LSHOF) will finally have a permanent home. SIn mid-April, sports enthusiasts and historians will be able to enjoy their favourite local athletes,       builders and teams showcased in the transitional hallways on both levels between the ATB and Cor Van Raay YMCA Centre in west Lethbridge LSHOF was established in 1985, the City’s Centennial Year and since 1988, when my good friend Alvin Tietz was inducted into the LSHOF as a soccer athlete. He was later inducted as a coach in 1997  and as a team member in 2016. I’ve been privileged to attend nearly all the LSHOF induction ceremonies. In 2006, then LSHOF Chair, Mike Spencer, invited me to join their  Board and I spent the next 10 years meeting great people while learning much about local sports and the many interesting personalities involved.

The original 1985 inductee display panels were heavy and awkward to move around, so in 2008, new and improved display panels were purchased making it easy for one person set up. However, trying to find a permanent home for LSHOF persisted. In early 2019, City Council finally paved the way for an integrated public art and LSHOF permanent display project to be installed at the ATB Centre. The project, designed by  U  of L alumnus Collin Zipp, will feature inductee and sporting history of Lethbridge through memorabilia, artifacts, video displays, and maybe even virtual reality (VR) technology. I would love to experience racing down the track with 2018 inductee, skeleton athlete Carla Pavan.

Although I have not been on the LSHOF Board since 2016, I’m still on their permanent display committee, chaired by Rob Kossuth. We all believe  it  was  worth the wait to end up in such a great facility.  The possibilities seems endless in developing this space  for sports memorabilia and artifacts, LSHOF will soon have a searchable and more interactive website, so please visit and explore www.lethbridgesportshalloffame.ca

More than 280 individuals and 45 teams grace the LSHOF inductee list. Honouring Lethbridge Kinsmen Sports Persons of the Year was added in 1995. I’m proud to say my daughter, Nicole Petersen, was the first recipient of this honour. In my estimation, more than 800 honourees have walked across the podium at LSHOF’s induction ceremonies.

Dave McMurray, current LSHOF Chair, tell me that this year’s class include the 1983 Schwartz Angels Slo-Pitch  team.  Jolene  (Schweitzer)  Watson is the sole athlete and Eunice David, Mary Dyck, Howard Rasmussen and Cliff Nelson are the builders. The banquet/ceremony will take place Friday May 1 in the CWB Lounge at ENMAX Centre. 
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