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Lethbridge sports Hall of Fame announces 2023 inductees

The Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame announced its 2023 class of inductees. They consist of two athletes, two builders, one team and a special award winner. The six new inductees will join the more than 330 who have been inducted in the past. 

“What surprises me every single year is the quality of individuals that we get,” said Paul Kingsmith, chair of the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame. “Every year you think maybe we can’t top that and then you get another class of people who have done amazing things to represent Lethbridge and to build sport in this city.” 

The 2023 induction class includes athletes Ashley Patzer (rugby), Lanny Tron (track and field – discus/shot put), builders Mitch Ball (baseball), Brian Donaldson (wrestling), team 1979 Lethbridge Little League (baseball) and special award Rufus Goodstriker (multisport).  

“I think one of the things I like most about the work that we get to do as a sports hall of fame is that we get to recognize people like Ashley Patzer, who is an olympic medalist, but we also get to recognize people like Brian Donaldson and like Mitch Ball, who do their work in the city and maybe don’t get the recognition day to day for the work that they do. Building organizations over decades,” Kingsmith said.

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Blake Tamayose was on the Lethbridge Little League team in 1979 when it won the Canadian Senior Little League Baseball title and represented Canada at the Senior Little League World Series. He said the induction gives an opportunity for team members to reconnect 44 years later. 

“To phone up somebody and to mention we are being inducted is pretty exciting and at the same time, it’s a great dedication to our parents,” Tamayose said. “I think it is important at this time for this group, we are not young anymore, to get together. There are very few opportunities in life to get together as a group but this is going to be an exciting time for us.”

Two people were also announced as winners of the Kinsmen Sports Persons of the Year, an award that acknowledges individuals for outstanding performance or participation in sports while representing Lethbridge. 

The 2023 female recipient is University of Lethbridge Track and Field weight throw standout Jinaye Shomachuk and the male recipient is former Lethbridge Minor Hockey player and current Ottawa Senator, Ridly Greig. 

The induction ceremony will take place on May 5 at the Enmax Centre and the theme will be Indigenous Contributions in Sport.

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