B.C. Sports Hall of Fame welcomes Thompson-Okanagan athletes - InfoNews

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B.C. Sports Hall of Fame welcomes Thompson-Okanagan athletes

Sonja Gaudet at the Paralympics in Vancouver 2010
Image Credit: B.C. Sports Hall of Fame
November 08, 2019 - 8:15 AM

A former Kamloops Blazers, a Paralympic gold medal winner from Vernon and a Coldstream teacher have all been welcomed into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.

Former NHL player Robin Bawa, who helped the Kamloops Blazers get to the Western Hockey League Championships during the 1985-86 season, along with Vernon resident and Paralympic gold medal winner in wheelchair curling Sonja Gaudet, and former University of Victoria basketball player Reni Dolcetti are set to enter the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame for 2020.

The athletes are part of a handful of members announced Oct. 29, who will be formally inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in June 2020.

"Our Class of 2020 is a terrific cross-section of the personalities and teams that make the history, heritage and culture of sport in British Columbia so notable and inspiring for the next generation of young people in B.C.,”  B.C. Sports Hall of Fame chair Tom Mayenknecht said in a media release.

Sonja Gaudet was selected to Team Canada for the 2006 Paralympic Game and has won three Paralympic gold medals in wheelchair curling in Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010, and Sochi 2014. She also helped Canada win its first World Wheelchair Curling Championships in 2009 and continued to win in the 2011 and 2013 championships.

Gaudet is no stranger to Halls of Fame being the first wheelchair athlete inducted into the Curling Canada Hall of Fame in 2013. She was also honoured by Canada Post with a commemorative stamp in 2018.

Reni Dolcetti was part of the 1979-80 University of Victoria Viking’s Men’s Basketball winning the university's first Canadian basketball championship. The team was also the first to win 20 games straight during a regular season.

Robin Bawa played for the Kamloops Junior Oilers during the 1983-84 season as well as the Kamloops Blazers in 1985-86 taking the team to the Western Hockey League Championship.

Bawa was the first NHL player of South Asian descent to play and score a goal taking to the ice for Washington Capitals in 1989. He's also believed to be the first athlete of South Asian descent to play in one of North America’s four major professional sports leagues.

The full list of B.C. Sports Hall of Fame inductees:

Athletes:
Sonja Gaudet – Wheelchair Curling
Alex Stieda – Cycling
Jeff Francis – Baseball
Brent Johnson – Football
Kirk McLean – Ice Hockey

Builders-Coaches:
Harry White – Golf
Bill Mitchell – Wrestling
Valerie Johnson – Trampoline Gymnastics

Team:
1979-80 University of Victoria Viking’s Men’s Basketball
Team Members: Ted Anderson, Bill Chapman (manager), Reni Dolcetti, Jim Duddridge (assistant coach), Kelly Dukeshire, Bruce Hamilton, Chris Hebb, Craig Higgins, Ian Hyde-Lay, Gerald Kazanowski, Gregg Kazanowski, Tom Narbeshuber, Eli Pasquale, Ken Shields (head coach), Billy Turney-Loos, Norm Vickery (assistant coach), Mickey Welder.

Pioneer:
Robin Bawa – Ice Hockey

Media:
Cleve Dheensaw

W.A.C. Bennett Award:
Kathy Newman


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