The inaugural class for the Chilliwack Sports Hall of Fame will be finalized within the next week or two, with the selection committee sifting through a stack of nomination forms. The Chilliwack sporting community came up big, nominating several worthy candidates.
After much discussing and debating, the CSHOF’s first class will be revealed in late August.
“The response from the community was fantastic and I am blown away by the quality of the nominees,” said CSHOF spokesperson Judy Fitzsimmons. “It has been an eye-opening experience to go through the nomination forms, seeing names I know and names I didn’t know. I’ve learned a lot about the people who helped make Chilliwack such a great sports town.”
The inaugural class will be inducted into the CSHOF prior to a Chilliwack Chiefs game in October. The display that will contain memorabilia and a video screen is being built and the new CSHOF website will be launched shortly.
In the meantime, the CSHOF is still looking for sponsorship help.
“This is an ambitious project that carries some heavy startup costs,” Fitzsimmons said. “We’ve had a few generous and community-minded businesses come on board, but in order to make the CSHOF the best that it can be, we need more.”
The CSHOF will be located in a high-traffic area on the Prospera Centre concourse, on the side overlooking the secondary rink. Over the course of one year, thousands of people will see the display.
“The Chiefs averaged 2,184 fans per game over 33 regular season and playoff home games last year, and people visit the arena for concerts and other events,” Fitzsimmons said. “The CSHOF will be a focal point in the arena and draw a lot of eyeballs.”
Fitzsimmons hopes potential sponsors will embrace a community project that aims to celebrate Chilliwack’s sporting past. With fast-changing demographics and an influx of new-to-Chilliwack residents, Fitzsimmons feels the CSHOF will also serve an educational purpose.
“For new people who’ve just moved to Chilliwack, knowing about our history might help them to integrate and put down roots,” she said. “And for the long-time residents, remembering our history may rekindle their sense of pride. Many of them will be able to say they played with or against someone who is in the CSHOF, and that’s a pretty cool thing.”
Anyone wanting sponsorship info can contact Fitzsimmons by email at HealthFitz@shaw.ca.