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2022 Inductees to the Sports Wall of Fame
November 15, 2022
Since 2008, the North Cowichan/Duncan Sports Wall of Fame has been honouring the rich history of sports, coaches, athletes, teams, administrators and builders from the community.
This year, seven new inductees are being added to the Sports Wall of Fame:
- Ken Williams – soccer
- Stuart Channel Little League baseball team – baseball
- Roy Price – baseball
- Dano Thorne ~ Kwa'liiquinum – soccer
- Stan McKinlay – softball
- Garrett Elliott ~ Sawbutztun – fastball
- Sheron Chrysler – athletics
A celebration gala is being held on November 19. Inductees receive a special award, a paver with their name on the Walk of Fame, and a digital biography on the Wall of Fame display.
“We’re excited about this new feature that honours our sports leaders,” said North Cowichan Mayor Rob Douglas. “With over 55 inductees, visitors will see many familiar names, teams and organizations featured in the walk of fame and wall of fame.”
“The walk of fame project was initiated by the North Cowichan/Duncan Sports Wall of Fame committee as another way to showcase our community’s sports leaders,” said committee chair Councillor Tek Manhas. “We look forward to expanding on this list at our November 19 induction ceremonies.”
The Wall of Fame is showcased in the lobby of the Cowichan Aquatic Centre. Inductees’ names are also showcased on a new Walk of Fame located outside the front entrance of the building.
The Sports Wall of Fame has been recognizing excellence in sports since 2008. More than 55 local athletes, coaches, teams, and sports supporters have been recognized through the annual event.
Ken (Lefty) was an avid soccer player growing up, training daily with his Uncle Edgar in S’amunu traditional village. For about 15 years, he played with the Cowichan Native Sons and Duncan Rangers.
On June 6, 1951 Ken was part of the starting lineup for the Victoria All-Stars soccer team as it played against Fulham, an English First Division team. With their 1-0 win, the Victoria All-Stars became the first Canadian team to ever defeat a professional English team. It was truly a history making game. In 2001, this team was inducted into the Victoria Sports Hall of Fame.
While today we don’t think twice about Indigenous athletes being on sports teams, that was not always the case in the years Ken competed. He was a role model for not just Indigenous youth, but all youth in the Cowichan Valley. Ken proudly represented our community and became a legend by playing at the top level in the Victoria soccer league.
ln the summer of 1987, this team gathered the hearts and imaginations of every sports fan in the valley. The team, made up of 11- and 12-year-old boys from Chemainus, Ladysmith and Crofton, was undoubtedly the best Little League team ever from our area. Their top players could pitch play any position and hit with power.
After winning the BC championship in dominating fashion, they came in second in the Canadian Little finals. This was the ‘little team that did.’ It was amazing how one of the smallest baseball associations in the province won the BC championships.
A number of these players continued in Chemainus baseball and were on the team that won both Junior and Senior Babe Ruth Championships. Four of the boys from the team went to the 16-year-old World Series in Fresno, California in 1991, coming in second to the US.
Team members include: Ryan Maloney, Randy Barker, Kary Price, Tim MacKay, Bruce McMurtie, Doug Cain, Keith Valley, Chris Dice, Adam Dorey, Ken Lamberton, Brent Yarrow, Kirk Bonsall, Manager Mel Dorey and Coach Mike Maloney.
Roy was a well-known umpire on Vancouver Island and throughout the Lower Mainland in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. He umpired at a high level at a time when the island, and many other regions of BC, were still affiliated with Little League baseball. This included umpiring at the highest level in Canadian Little League, the Canadian championships final game.
Roy was admired for inspiring young umpires as he coached them on the field and was very much a player’s umpire as he always encouraged the players. He was known for his trademark strike call – extending his right arm pointing outward and followed by an upward first pump.
For decades, he was a fixture with the Chemainus and District Baseball Association, umpiring thousands of games. For a time, this tradition was carried on by his son Kary.
Dano’s family has a strong and long connection to soccer within the First Nations and Indigenous community. A former elite athlete, now coach and administrator, and Cowichan Tribes member, Dano is dedicated to the development of youth sports within the aboriginal community.
Dano was inducted into the BC Soccer Hall of Fame in 2021. He has also won five BC Coaching Awards, three National Coach Awards and in 1999 the first ever Indigenous National Coach of the Year. While Dano was the head coach of the women’s NIFA Indigenous Team Canada, in 2015 and 2017 they were the world gold medal champions. In 2022, Dano, along with the 2015 team, was inducted into the North American Indigenous Athletic Hall of Fame.
As an athlete, Dano played for Indigenous Team Canada Indoor Soccer, Pacific Coast Soccer League, Premier League Men’s Soccer, Duncan United Indigenous Men Provincial Champions and held numerous MVP honors.
Dano brings a holistic approach to the sport and remembers the cultural teachings passed on from his family and elders. He is recognized for his humility, integrity and respect of diversity in working for all people of Indigenous ancestry and beyond.
It would be hard to say the words "girls’ softball" in our community without the name Stan McKinlay coming to mind.
For over 26 years, Stan has unselfishly given his time, knowledge and love for the game to hundreds of girls in our community. Because of this commitment, grassroots house players to A level ball players have had an opportunity to play and learn the game of softball as well as develop lifelong skills.
Stan believes that sport skills are life skills - it's not just about the game of softball, it's about empowering girls to take what they’ve learned on the field with them as they move through life.
He has taken teams to compete at the BC Championships over a dozen times and has gone on to coach some of those teams in five Canadian Championships. Stan has also been honoured with the SportsBC Community Sport Hero Award (2017), Softball BC Coach of the Year (2017) and the 2018 BC Summer Games’ ProMotion Plus Award, celebrating supporting women and girls in sport.
Garrett was known as a “utility” player due to his versatility in playing both infield and outfield. Recognizing his passion for the sport and great work ethic, he was named rookie of the year with the Williams Lake Turbo in 1986.
In the 80s, he played locally for the Victoria Junior A’s, as well as internationally for the Suburbs softball club in New Zealand, winning the South Island Championships. In 1989, Garrett joined Tower Fence Fastball Club, alongside Wall of Fame pitcher Earl Morris, winning gold medals at the Senior B Provincial Championships and Western Canadian Championships.
Garrett played for Senior A Victoria Payless adding four provincial and two national gold medals to his sporting career. A proud member of Cowichan Tribes, he also suited up with the BC Arrows for seven years, the “Dream Team” out of Invermere, BC, and assisted with three National Indian Athletic Associations and two Canadian Native Fastball Championship Titles.
Garrett was known for his outstanding ability, leadership and sportsmanship on and off the field.
Sheron has been active in the running community for many decades, first as an accomplished athlete and now continues to run, coach, and volunteer in the running community.
Sheron was one of the founding members of the Ceevacs Running Club in 1980. She continues to sit on the executive and is a club coach. Her impressive resume includes being a coach for the CVAC Jaguars in the 1990s before beginning her private coaching business "LacesUp.” Over the years, she has volunteered countless hours at various races and running clinics. She is also the recipient of the Kiwanis Sports Service Award and the Albin and Georgina Falt Memorial Coaches Recognition Award.
Sheron coaches and supports athletes at all levels. She has coached many athletes to personal best times and has had marathoners qualify for the New York and Boston Marathon standards. Many of these athletes have made it to the podium in track, cross country and road race distances.
It’s not uncommon to see Sheron cheering on these athletes, whether they are the first or last to cross the finish line. The running community in the Cowichan Valley would not be what it is today, or has been in the last few decades, if not for Sheron and her passion for the sport.