Champions of Sport History, Heritage and Culture

Message from the Chair
October 1st, 2019

The Honoured Members of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame are each products of their own inspiring stories of achievement in the heat of the moment and oftentimes in the face of adversity. That is especially true of the athletes, coaches and teams that make up the B.C. Sports Hall but that doesn’t mean the routes taken by builders, pioneers or media are always easier.

It takes a certain combination of passion, work ethic and people skills to champion sport history, heritage and culture. It takes the sense that the community — any community — is stronger, healthier and better if it can touch and be touched by the stories of champions and championships.

It takes an innate understanding that sport history creates sport heritage, especially if that history is one of success and accomplishment. The better the story, the greater the storytelling around it. And the more the story gets told, the more that it becomes part of the heritage of a city, a province and a country.

And if there are enough of those stories, history and heritage can actually create a sport culture in that province or country.

That’s why the people who believe in the power of sport history are so important to us. Without them — without supporters like you — we don’t have places like the BC Sports Hall of Fame or the more than 40 local, regional and sport-specific Halls of Fame in British Columbia.

We’re talking about people like the late Eric Whitehead, the sports columnist and sports editor at The Province who was the first curator of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. He literally founded the Hall back in 1966.

We’re talking about political leaders such as W.A.C. Bennett, who worked with Whitehead to help support, fund and launch the Hall.

We’re talking about the sport historians who keep countless stories of sport achievement alive; who help pass them on from generation to generation.

We’re talking about sport leaders, advocates and philanthropists like Peter Bentley, the former Chair and Honoured Member of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame who has given his life to sport and the promotion of sport history.

We’re talking about all of the Trustees who have helped govern the BC Sports Hall and other Halls throughout the province.

From the sports factories of Victoria and Whistler to Kamloops and the Kootenays, they are all essential building blocks in the community -building process of honouring the past and inspiring the future.

Without them, we have no chance of creating a truly meaningful sport culture; one that inspires and empowers more and better athletes, coaches and teams year in, year out.

We thank them and we thank you for believing in the power of sport.

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.