With October being Women’s History Month in Canada, Sports Memorabilia continues to celebrate the women builders who have contributed to sport in our province and beyond. Over 20 individual sports hall of fame and honor societies have recognized their best, so not all will get their due here.
Many builders were also athletes and were honored as Athletes / Builders or in a versatile category.
In 2009, coach Jill mathez was the first woman to be inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame (a multisport athlete who was good at everything she played, Mathez is also a member of the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and the fame of softball).
Diane Wood, who spent 16 years as General Manager of Hockey Winnipeg, joined Mathez in 2015. Jean Mayne, who was a builder of minor softball, became the first woman president of Softball Manitoba in 1984. She entered the softball sanctuary with her second group in 2003. Builders of the 1930s, Elizabeth McKenzie Haid and Marie phillips entered the Manitoba Basketball HOF in 1984. Isabel (Duncan) Thomson has been recognized for her volunteer work by the provincial basketball and softball halls.
Iris Callis and Felicity Warner, who formed Manitoba’s first ringette team in Wildwood in 1969, were the first inductees into the Ringette Manitoba HOF in 1990.
Joyce Necklace, who served as president of the Manitoba Golf HOF, was inducted as a builder in 2012. Lorraine MacLeod, former president of the Manitoba Ladies Golf Association, was inducted in 2014.
The Ten Pin Federation HOF inducted builders Cathy Burton, Kathy mitchell and Donna Wass. Lawn bowls does not have a provincial FOH, but Clarice fitzpatrick joined Sports HOF as an Athlete Builder in 2012. Her volunteer work included coaching, officiating and serving as the Manitoba Director of Bowls Canada.
Pixie Bruzell Riding was the only woman to chair the Manitoba Sports Federation (MSF), which eventually evolved into Sport Manitoba. Janet McMahon is Sport Manitoba’s first female President and CEO. Sue Boreskie, who sits on the Board of Directors of the Canada Games Council, has a long volunteer resume. She has served as President of the Canadian Association of Athletes with a Intellectual Disability and as Director of the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada and the Coaches Association of Manitoba.
In 1994, the former Winnipeg Free Press journalist Barbara huck was the first woman named to the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Media Honor Roll. Sports writers Ashley Perst and Judy Owen have since been added. Ina Light, who wrote a column on women’s curling for the Free press, has been inducted into Provincial Halls and Curling Canada as an Athlete Builder. She notably served as Canada’s female representative to the International Curling Federation from 1986 to 1989.
Colleen Horton, who is described as having “been there and done it all” in her Rugby HOF biography, will be inducted as a builder when the 2020 Class is finally honored on October 15, 2022.
Laura Shea, who is a member of the Football Manitoba HOF 2021 Induction Class, has spent more than two decades volunteering for amateur football. Vickie Czarnecki, who died on September 11, was the first woman inducted into the Winnipeg Blue Bomber HOF. She worked for the club in many roles from 1954 to 1991.
Marilyn (Mouse) Fraser, coach, official and first woman president of the Manitoba Runners’ Association, entered her HOF with her first group in 2006. She is also part of the Manitoba Sports HOF class of 2020 whose induction has been delayed due to COVID -19.
The first section – featuring a multisport athlete Ralph lyndonhockey athlete-builder Sheldon kennedy, racquetball Jennifer saunders, and the 1996 and 1997 U of M Bisons women’s basketball teams – will be inducted Nov. 4.
The second group – with Fraservolleyball player Ruth klassen, curler Ed Werenich, Baxter Humby kickboxing / muay-thai, and multi-sports builder Paul Robson will be honored at Sport Manitoba Champions Night on April 21, 2022.
T. Kent Morgan
Sports Memories appears every two weeks in the weekly Canstar Community News. Kent Morgan can be contacted at 204-489-6641 or by email: [email protected]
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