By Ken Kellar
The effort to honour local sports legends continues, but it will be a little while before the next banquet.
Following a call for volunteers to step up to the committee of the Fort Frances Sports Hall of Fame and help guide the organization into the future, committee member Terry Ogden said they’re in a good place, but the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused them to push their timeline back.
“We’ve had people step forward, so we’re in good shape there,” Ogden said.
“But because of COVID we’re going to skip one year, take a year off from the banquet. We’ll be taking nominations later this year through 2021.”
Ogden explained that the banquet usually runs on odd years, but with the continuing uncertainty around pandemic restrictions, the committee has decided to hold off on the next banquet until 2022. The extra year will give the committee time to observe the ongoing pandemic and potentially see some loosening of the physical distancing requirements in time for the next banquet.
Back in May of this year, Ogden had opened up the call for volunteers to join the board, and while he said that they’ve had a good level of interest and new volunteers step up, it’s not quite time to let everyone in on who they are or what roles they will fill.
“We’ll have our next meeting in the fall, late September or early October, and look at restructuring,” he said.
“We’ve had some really good people come forward, so we’re in good hands. After the meeting we’ll have an update and probably name those people.”
The Fort Frances Sports Hall of Fame has had three banquets since its inception, which has seen the induction of 11 athletes, 14 builders and seven teams. 2019 saw the induction of Scott Fawcett, David Mitchell, Ken Christiansen, Bob and Mary-Beth Tkachuk, Bruce McLeod, Barney Maher, the 1953-1954 Fort Frances Jaycees and the 1996 Police National Curling Championship team, comprised of Clint Barton, Steve Maki, Don Robertson and Scott Gobeil.
The Fort Frances Sports Hall of Fame evolved out of the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, which itself contains many locals.