The 2010 Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set to go in Thunder Bay later this month, but Fort Frances Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft already is looking ahead to next year’s event.
Wiedenhoeft is a member of the Hall of Fame’s selection committee—and he’s encouraging those with new nominees to put those names forward as soon as possible.
There are five categories in which people can be nominated: amateur athlete, professional athlete, amateur builder, professional builder, and team.
Nomination forms, complete with a full list of eligibility requirements, are available in PDF format at www.nwosportshalloffame.com under the “Get Involved” header.
The deadline for nominations in Jan. 31, 2011.
Fort Frances has seen a number of residents inducted into the hall, located in Thunder Bay, including Dave Allison, Mike Allison, Art Berglund, Keith Christiansen, Johnny Coward, Ed Kryzanowski, and R.H. “Bob” Peters, as well as the 1952 Allan Cup champions, the Fort Frances Canadians.
“We’ve had athletes in the past inducted into the [NWO] Sports Hall of Fame from Fort Frances,” Coun. Wiedenhoeft noted.
He added the selection committee receives numerous nominations each year, and is tasked with picking five inductions.
Even if a nomination is not chosen one year, the name doesn’t need to be thrown back into the ring each and every year as nominees are held over for at least six years—and can be held in the pot for another six years at the discretion of the committee.
“We get 20 to 30 to 50 [nominations] every year,” Coun. Wiedenhoeft said. “[But] the nominations are not eliminated for at least six years, so when you’re nominated, you stay on for six years.
“We have upwards of 100 nominees that we look at every year, and we select those five awards from those 100 nominations every year, so it’s quite a lengthy process,” he explained.
“But we try to come up with some deserving people.
“I think we have this year and we have in the past, as well.”
This year, the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame will induct curler Al Hackner, hockey player Greg Johnson, BMX cyclist Jay Miron, and freestyle skier Dave Walker in the athlete category, and University of Denver hockey coach George Gwozdecky into the builder category.
Coun. Wiedenhoeft encouraged local sports fans to make a stop at the hall, which is located at 219 May St. S., the next time they visit Thunder Bay.
“It’s a nice little sports hall of fame,” he enthused.
“It’s all about the history of sports in Northwestern Ontario, and it’s a great place to visit.”