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Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame 2020 inductions cancelled due to coronavirus

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COVID-19 cancels Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame inductions – May 25, 2020

The Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame has recently announced the cancellation of this year’s induction ceremony.

You can add it to the long list of events in the Okangan this year that will not go forward because of the novel coronavirus.

“2020, unfortunately in the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame just won’t exist,” said Pat Kennedy, managing director of the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame or COSHOF.

According to Kennedy, the reason for the cancellation is the uncertain future of large public gatherings in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame 2019 – Nov 21, 2019

“Everybody knows that COVID-19  has been affecting people’s lives very dramatically in one way or another,” Kennedy told Global News on Monday.

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The COSHOF didn’t want to name a ‘Class of 2020’ now and then not be able to properly celebrate their athletic achievements in November with their annual induction ceremony.

So the selection committee has made the decision not to name any members to the hall at all this year.

READ MORE: Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame inducts its class of 2019

“It was a really touching moment to be there with a room full of people,” said COSHOF alumni Malindi Elmore, remembering her induction ceremony.

As one of Canada’s most prolific long-distance runners, Elmore was called to the hall in 2017.

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Meet this year’s Central Okanagan Sports HOF inductees – Nov 17, 2016

For Elmore being able to enjoy her hall of fame honour with family and friends is what being inducted was all about.

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“Those little moments are really important and I think what makes these events meaningful,” Elmore said.

Okanagan football icon Jay Christensen agreed. Christensen was inducted to the hall a decade ago but he still remembers the event well.

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“To share it with my kids and my family was very, very important,” Christensen said.

Christensen, a 10-year CFL veteran and a Grey Cup winner, said being called to hall without the ability to attend an induction ceremony would still be a huge honour.

But it just wouldn’t be the same.

READ MORE: Kelowna to host B.C. Sports Hall of Fame’s annual summit in 2020

“You are robbed of the experience, you are robbed of the reliving your contributions, up on the big screen and feeling people react to it,” Christensen admitted.

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And because recognizing athletes for excellence in sport is what the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame does, if they can’t do it with the same standard of excellence Kennedy said, they won’t do it at all.

However, local athletes and fans needn’t worry the hiatus is only expected to last this year.

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