Consider Being a Game Changer…Because it Takes a Village!

Message from the Chair
November 1st, 2019

If you’re pleased – and I mean entirely satisfied — with the Class of 2020 that was unveiled Tuesday, October 29th, at ANNOUNCEMENT DAY at the BC Sports Hall of Fame – a day that featured our first look at the latest slate of inductees that will be formally celebrated at our annual Induction Gala June 4th, 2020 at the Vancouver Convention Centre — then there’s nothing to see here. You wouldn’t be missing anything if you moved on immediately to another part of our Inspirations Newsletter. But if you’re less than satisfied and have any concerns – any qualms whatsoever – then please read on.

I say that because the Selection Process of the BC Sports Hall of Fame is something that is very important to us as a Sports Hall. The same can be said of any Hall of Fame. The pathway from nomination to selection to announcement to induction is the single most important journey that we take each and every year.

Our deserving Class of 2020, in my view, is another inspiring, intriguing cross-section of the sports, the individuals, the teams, the associations and the communities that have personified sport history, sport heritage and sport culture in British Columbia.

It features professional athletes such as Jeff Francis of baseball (UBC and Major League Baseball, including the World Series runner-up Colorado Rockies in 2007) Brent Johnson of football (Ohio State and the BC Lions, including their Grey Cup championship teams in 2006 and 2011) and Kirk McLean of hockey (including that unforgettable 1994 Stanley Cup runner-up Vancouver Canucks).

It also includes professional cyclist Alex Stieda, he of the 1984 Tour de France a career spanning coaching, mentorship, television and promotion, and the talented, courageous and inspiring para-curling athlete Sonja Gaudet.

The Class of 2020 recognizes the trailblazing path taken by Robin Bawa, the first south Asian to play in the National Hockey League. The product of Vancouver Island and former Kamloops Blazer is this year’s Pioneer.

The latest round of inductees also honours the lifetime body of work – 39 years and counting – of Kathy Newman of wheelchair sports, our W.A.C. Bennett Award winner in 2020, along with the late, great Harry White of golf, the engaging Valerie Johnson of trampoline sports and the storied Bill Mitchell of wrestling.

It’s rounded out by the beginning of a dynasty – the 1979-’80 University of Victoria Vikings coached by previously-inducted Honoured Member Ken Shields – and the lifetime spent covering amateur, Olympic and professional sport by Cleve Dheensaw of the Times-Colonist in Victoria.

There’s a lot to like about this year’s Class and that’s why we’re expecting a full house again next June when we get to share in the experience that is our Induction Gala.

Yet if you believe that we’ve missed out on any other deserving candidates for the BC Sports Hall of Fame, or you believe there’s more to say about some of our existing nominees, here’s how you can help:

1. Get informed

Find out who is in the BC Sports Hall of Fame ( By definition, you’ll also be finding out who ISN’T in.

2. Research

Check out who has already been nominated and, equally if not more important, who HAS NOT been yet nominated. Email our team at

3. Nominate

Be a game changer. Submit a nomination. Anyone can do it. In fact, our entire selection process depends on the nominators who take the lead and make the best case they can for the teams, athletes, coaches, officials and other builders and leaders who have made B.C. one of the most dynamic hotbeds for sport in Canada.

4. Encourage

If you don’t have the time to nominate a deserving candidate yourself, reach out to your local sport organization, provincial sport organization or multi-sport organization and encourage them to compile a nomination. While you’re at it, ask if the person or team you care about the most has been inducted in that sport’s provincial or national hall of fame. Or find out if the person or team you’re interested in is already honoured in a local or regional sports hall of fame in BC. Encouraging those steps would go a long way to supporting a longer-term play for the movers and shakers of BC sports.

5. Advocate

If you’re not comfortable submitting a nomination yourself or asking an LSO, DSO, PSO or MSO to do so, then email us or call us at the BC Sports Hall of Fame. Advocate the person or team that you’re thinking about and we’ll do our best to connect that idea with a nominator from the general public or one of our partner sport organizations in the BC sport system.

6. Support

If you feel strongly about any of those that have been nominated by others, offer to write a letter of support for that individual or team. Let us know why a certain candidate means something to you and BC sports. We’ll ensure your letter is added to our annual nomination “binders”.

7. Get social and go viral

If you think you can help most by engaging on social media, then please do. Let your network – your friends and followers – know why you believe someone or some team should be in the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

8. Engage!

Perhaps you have the kind of background in sport or a related industry such as the media, marketing or government/community service. If so, let us know that you’d be interested in being considered to be part of our Selection Committee. We’re open to that kind of public engagement and our rules and regulations provide for certain selectors to be drawn from the community.

Our goal is to reflect the tradition of achievement and excellence in BC sport – most notably those who have shaped the history, heritage and culture of sport and active living in this province — as accurately and compellingly as we possibly can. But we need your help to do so.

Consider being a game changer and getting involved in one or more of these ways. We’ll be the best BC Sports Hall of Fame we can be if you do.

Tom Mayenknecht is the Chair of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. A principal at Emblematica Brand Builders in Vancouver and a nationally-recognized sport business commentator and host of The Sport Market on TSN Radio, he is a strong advocate for the KidSport, Right To Play and other children’s charities. He is also a member of the Ringette Canada Hall of Fame as a builder.