The Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame honoured five individuals and two teams as part of its 2019 induction banquet and ceremony at the ENMAX Centre on Friday night.
This year’s crop of inductees was announced in February and features an eclectic mix of athletic backgrounds.
The two individual athletes honoured in the induction ceremony were:
Berry-Furtado is one of the most successful female golfers to hail from the Lethbridge area. Playing out of Henderson Lake Golf Club, Berry-Furtado captured numerous local, high school and junior titles before accepting an NCAA Division 1 scholarship offer to play for the University of Oregon Ducks. While on that team, she was a three-time Academic All-American and a 2000 PAC 10 Conference all-star. After her collegiate career, Berry-Furtado captured eight Henderson Lake Ladies Classic titles and three City Ladies Amateur crowns.
“You put all that time and energy in, years ago,” said Berry-Furtado, “and it’s been a while since I’ve been competitive, but just for everything you’ve done… to be recognized for that is incredible.”
Joining Berry-Furtado is Trevor McAlpine, who was recognized for his national and international success in the sport of judo in the late 1990s and early 2000s. McAlpine won gold at the 2001 Pan American U-20 Judo Championships in Mexico, as well as the United States Open in Las Vegas. In total, he collected 21 international tournament medals and six national senior championship medals over the course of his career as a judoka.
Judo was also the theme sport of the evening.
“Not only being inducted into the hall of fame, but also judo being the theme sport is pretty interesting,” McAlpine said. “It’s exciting for our city.”
Two teams were recognized Friday, including:
Led by skip Diane Foster, the Lethbridge Senior Ladies team also included Shirley McPherson (third), Shirley Kohuch (second) and Chris Wilson (lead). Team Foster captured the 2006 and 2007 Alberta Senior Ladies curling title, before winning the Canadian Senior Ladies title. The win propelled them to the 2008 World Senior Curling Championships in Vierumaki, Finland, where they recorded a dominant 10-2 victory over Scotland to capture the tournament.
Joining Team Foster is the 1981 Lethbridge Little League All-Stars, who came away with the Joe Shea Canadian Little League Championship in the 13-year-old division. The team lost their first game of the tournament, but rattled off four-straight wins to battle into the finals against an undefeated Calgary Continentals squad. In the final contest, Lethbridge came back from from run deficit to win the Canadian title by a score of 6-5.
Two “builders” were recognized for their contribution to growth of sport in the area:
Ard Biesheuvel has devoted over 25 years to the development of volleyball players in southern Alberta; from grassroots elementary school programs to local club, high school and college teams.
“It’s a lot of different emotions,” Biesheuvel said. “But I think gratitude is a big one. I’m just thankful for all the experiences I’ve had over the years.”
Joining Biesheuvel is Bernhard Pohl, who is credited with the growth of the mixed martial arts scene in the area. Pohl has been involved since the late 1990s and has served as a corner man, referee, judge and chief fight inspector on over 250 fight cards over the last 18 years.
Receiving a special award for her contribution to the development and promotion of sport in Lethbridge as an athlete, coach, administrator and supporter, Carol Thibert was also recognized Friday.
As an athlete, she competed in hundreds of local events in swimming, cycling, triathlon and running, and she was a founding member of the Lethbridge Sports Council and the Alberta Sports Development Centre Southwest.
It’s the 34th year that the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame has honoured athletic excellence in the Lethbridge area, and the seven inductees from Friday join an illustrious group that has been growing since 1985.
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