The Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame has announced this year’s inductees.
The class of 2019 includes two Olympic gold medalists, a three-time collegiate champion, a world-class marathon runner, a Pan-American bronze medalist and a man who dedicated four decades of his life to coaching and refereeing.
“That passion, that commitment to sports, that’s what we are honoring in 2019 with this entire class,” said Pat Kennedy, the managing director of the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.
Six new members are graduating to the hall of fame in the Class of 2019. The members are four athletes as well as one each in the builder and pioneer categories, respectively.
Oyama’s Tania Jones is being recognized for her achievements as a marathon runner.
“It’s nice to sort of step back and look at all of that work and kind of acknowledge what an accomplishment it really was,” Jones said.
Kelowna’s Robyn Buna also made the grade.
Buna was a standout basketball player at Simon Fraser University who also went on to play with the women’s national team.
Named to the hall posthumously was high jumper Duncan McNaughton.
McNaughton won gold in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, the only gold medal in high jump achieved by a Canadian until 2016.
Roger Lafontaine spent four decades dedicated to developing several Valley sports — not only as a coach and a referee, but also as an administrator
“It’s nice to be recognized for something that you didn’t plan on doing,” Lafontaine said.
Daphne Richard was also named to the hall for her work building the equestrian sport of endurance riding.
“It’s just such an honor, especially to be with the inductees of today and of the past,” Richard said.
But by far the biggest name of the class of 2019 is Kelowna’s queen of ski cross, 2018 Winter Olympic gold-medal winner Kelsey Serwa.
Serwa’s gold-medal performance last year at Pyeongchang is just the icing on the cake when it comes to her freestyle skiing career.
Unfortunately, due to a work commitment, Serwa was unable to attend Tuesday’s announcements.
However Serwa is expected to be front and center when the official hall of fame induction ceremonies go this November.
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