(James Smith photo)

(James Smith photo)

Delta Sports Hall of Fame welcomes its class of 2019

Past and present inductees will be honoured at a gala banquet in Tsawwassen on Saturday, Oct. 26

Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving is one of seven coaches, athletes and supporters to be named to the Delta Sports Hall of Fame at the organization’s gala banquet later this month.

Started in 2005, the Delta Sports Hall of Fame aims to “celebrate Delta sport achievement, recognize excellence and honour past, present and future role models.” Each year, the hall honours its past and current inductees and sport champions (athletes, coaches and volunteers who had outstanding performances that season) at a gala dinner and celebration.

This year’s event will feature Dr. Jack Taunton, professor emeritus of UBC’s school of kinesiology, giving a keynote address about drug abuse in sport. Taunton was the co-founder of the Allan McGavin sports medicine clinic, a first of its kind in Canada. He was also the chief medical officer at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney, Australia and the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver, and had previously served as the team physician for the Vancouver Grizzlies.

Family, friends and the public are invited to join the Delta Sports Hall of Fame committee and past and present award winners at the gala banquet, happening on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn (1665 56th St.) Tickets are $75 and can be purchased until Oct. 19 by calling Rick or Carlene at 604-943-0469. For more information on the Delta Sports Hall of Fame, visit their website at deltasportshalloffame.ca.

This year’s inductees are:

Builder: Brad Treliving — Hockey

When it comes to building hockey on its highest stage, Delta’s own Brad Treliving is a shining star. Treliving grew up in Tsawwassen and excelled in both minor hockey and football. His own athletic abilities took him threw six years of professional hockey throughout the American, International and East Coast Hockey Leagues.

As Treliving’s playing career was ending, a new career was just beginning, fuelled by his love of hockey. In 1996 he was part of co-founding the Western Professional Hockey League. As competitive as ever, Treliving used the lessons he’d learned on the ice and combined them with his entrepreneurship, persistence, hard work and teamwork to build the WPHL. Treliving and his league’s success led to its merger with the Central Hockey League, making the dream of pro hockey for thousands of players a reality.

In 2003, Treliving’s vision and leadership opened more opportunities in hockey administration when he was concurrently named the assistant general manager of the Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL andgeneral manager of the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League.

In 2014, Treliving was hired as general manager of the Calgary Flames. With the Flames, Treliving has enjoyed the experience of developing players and the team, establishing a winning culture in pursuit of a Stanley Cup championship.

Pioneer: Vernon Hartt — Figure Skating

Vernon Hartt joins this year’s hall of fame for the key role that he played in incepting, developing and coaching the Sungod Skating Club in North Delta.

Hartt developed his love for skating over more than 30 years of competition in singles, dance and pairs figure skating. His own talents took him to Toronto in 1962 to compete in the Canadian championships, where he was crowned champion and second in Mixed Fours and second in Mixed Pairs. Hartt developed as a competitive skater in Penticton, B.C., where he thrived under the guidance of his role model. Delores Troyer.

When he was approached by Carol and Ron Fawcett and offered to be a new club pro, Hartt jumped at the offer. This new endeavor meant moving his family to Delta to begin the new skating club in 1972. In Delta, Hartt organized the club with lessons for young children, youth and adults. Because of his passion and expertise, the Sungod Skating Club grew rapidly and steadily. For over 40 years, the Sungod Skating Club has taught and inspired thousands of young skaters, and Hartt has been a part of that journey for many of them as they enjoy the love of skating and pursue their goals.

Athlete: Margot Northey — Gymnastics

Margo Northey was a very active and athletic child. She played sports and enjoyed aerobics and dance. Northey spent her teenage years involved with a semi-professional musical theatre company, gaining valuable experience in performance, dance and choreography, which would serve her well in the years to come. At 18, she began teaching aerobics classes and decided to hone in on her interest in fitness and health. She studied sciences before becoming a registered massage therapist and owner of Tsawwassen Massage Therapy in 1991.

Though extremely busy with her business and teaching fitness, Northey eventually answered the call of competition and began her journey on what would become an extremely successful athletic career, spanning over 20 years as a champion in aerobic gymnastics. Northey won the Novice division her first time at nationals and never looked back, winning gold or silver in every national aerobic gymnastics competition thereafter. Northey competed in all categories at nationals — individuals, mixed pairs and trios — and earned national gold in each one. A solid contender on the world stage, Northey consistently ranked within the top 10 women internationally.

In 2000, Northey teamed up with her old trios partner, Dakota Hart. Although they resided in different cities, the two decided to join forces as a mixed pair. Commuting between Calgary and Vancouver to train, Northey and Hart went on to win every national event in their categories, earning gold in men’s and women’s individuals and mixed pairs for many years. When her now-husband Alan Hay began coaching them, the duo became a real threat on the world stage, consistently ranking in the top five. They would go on to achieve the best-ever finish for a Canadian mixed pair, winning silver at the World Championships, which Northey considers her greatest athletic achievement.

Northey has helped many fellow aerobic gymnastic athletes along the way, creating choreography and music for international, senior and junior competitors. She remains an active RMT, owner of Tsawwassen Massage Therapy, and still teaches fitness classes several times a week.

Athlete: Tony Chursky — Soccer

Tony Chursky grew up in North Delta and started playing soccer in Grade 2 against the Grade 7s at recess. Because he was so small, they made him play in goal, which started his extraordinary career as a goalkeeper. Chursky can claim four soccer firsts for a Delta player: winning the Sun Soccer Tournament (in 1965 with the Annieville Service), playing in the first-ever provincial High School Soccer Championships in 1971, winning the Pacific Coast Soccer League Championships (in 1971 with Vancouver Croatia), and playing on a Canadian national soccer team (1971).

Chursky attended and played soccer for Simon Fraser University from 1971-76, winning the Canadian national championships in his final year. Considered a legend within SFU’s soccer program, Chursky still holds many of the university’s goalkeeping records. During this time, Chursky was called up to play on the national team. Over 10 years he played 19 international matches and more than a dozen non-international games. He was so impressive in a World Cup qualifier that the Mexican press dubbed him “El Magnifico.”

Chursky played professionally for 11 years with Seattle Sounders (1976-78), California Surf (1979), Chicago Sting (1979), and Toronto Blizzard (1980-82). In his rookie year, Chursky had a league-leading goals against average of 0.91 per game. Chursky coached professionally for four years: — MISL Tacoma Stars 1986-87, Seattle Sounders “A” League 1990-91 — and then at the high school level for 25 years, including coaching Charles Wright Academy to its only Washington State championship in 2002.

In 1987, Chursky became the first soccer player inducted into the SFU Athletic Hall of Fame, and he was inducted into Canada’s Soccer Hall of Fame in 2004. Since retiring from soccer and teaching, Chursky has co-authored a book, Sounders Together, Friends Forever, volunteers at the Bikes for Kids Ministry and “cycles like a mad man three days a week.”

Coach: Len Stroh — Baseball

Len Stroh joins the Delta Sports Hall of Fame’s class of 2019 as a coach, however he could have easily been inducted as a volunteer, builder, pioneer or even a unique category reflective of his impressive resume of leadership in sport in our community.

Stroh has lived in Delta for over 40 years and has been a solid contributor to the sport community for most of that time. His contributions include 18 years as a high school and collegiate basketball official, four years as an organizer and instructor for the North Delta Mini-Basketball League, seven years serving on Delta’s Parks and Recreation Commission, two years serving on the Delta Youth Task Force, 20 years as a member of the North Delta Terry Fox Run committee, six years as a Delta Scottsdale Lions Club member, three years on Delta’s Planning Advisory Commission, 10 years serving on the board of Deltassist Family and Community Services, 12 years with the Delta Sports Hall of Fame (where Stroh was also a founding board member), nine years with the Delta Sports Council (where Stroh was also a founding board member) and acting as a National Olympic Committee Assistant (USA) at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

But it was baseball where Stroh excelled the most. For more than 30 years, Stroh worked in the North Delta Baseball Association as an administrator and coach. He shared his talents with youth from T-ball ages to Midget, and led teams to provincial and Western Canadian championships from 1975 to 2007. The highest regards come from the abundance of players and families that nominated Stroh for this year’s class of inductees. A common theme expressed in these nominations was that he coached more than baseball; he coached integrity, character, teamwork and selflessness. Len Stroh is a model citizen and has blessed our community by his coaching and life.

Team: 1998 Ladner Pioneers — Lacrosse

The 1998 Ladner Pioneers won the President’s Cup in Niagara Falls — the first time in 21 years that a team travelled to the East and won the Senior B National Championships. The Pioneers were a mix of young up-and-comers and older stalwarts of the Ladner lacrosse team that created a winning culture. The 1998 Pioneers were coach by John Burr, Max Scabar and player/coach Ross Frehlick.

The Senior B Pioneers enjoyed a good year in 1997, winning both the regular season and the Lower Mainland league playoffs. As the Pioneers were hosting the President’s Cup (national championship) that year, they opted out of the provincial tournament. The Pioneers finished as bronze medalists in 1997 with an exciting 9-8 overtime win against the Burnaby Lakers.

Looking to improve in 1998, they repeated as league winners and league playoff champions. They then went on to win the provincial championships, setting the stage to return to challenge for the national title. The President’s Cup was held in Niagara Falls, Ont., where the Pioneers triumphed over the four other teams. Bill Mischke was named the tournament’s MVP, while Rob Cooke and Kyle Goundrey were named First Team All-Stars. Brothers Eddie and John Schuss enjoyed their first ever President’s Cup at the end of their long playing careers. To make it a family affair, future lacrosse stars Logan and Carleton Schuss were the Pioneers’ ball boys, learning from and looking up to all the men on the team.

The roster for the 1998 Ladner Pioneers national champions was filled with many well-known lacrosse names: John Burr, Bill Mischke, Ed Schuss, John Schuss, Chris Scabar, Ross Frehlick, Kyle Goundrey, Steve McLeod, Tom Sohier, Jason Northey, Daryl Phillips, Mike Debaughn, Dale Varhaug, Colin Fraser, Tim Winter, Darren Liptrot, Rob Baker, Scott Anderson, Rob Cook, Tim O’Sullivan, Russ Brew, Terry Schell, Ken Morrison, Derek Gardner, Jamie Malanfant, Mark Goundrey, Nathan Wilson, Rod Miller, Tory Rose, Derek Sutherland, Aren Northey, and Cyle Lappin.

Sponsor: Antonio Lorenzo Shoe Service

Antonio Lorenzo Shoe Service Ltd. was a fixture in North Delta for 35 years after opening its doors in 1978. During this time, Lorenzo Romano not only took care of the shoe repairs of the community, including the Delta Police Department and Surrey RCMP, but he sharpened skates, repaired cleats and shoes, and fixed gloves and sports bags for most athletes in North Delta. Romano supported many different sports teams, school groups, community organizations, as well as individual athletes.

Romano started sponsoring teams early in the 1980s. His major financial sponsorships included baseball and softball teams, plus Romano repaired the teams equipment at no cost. As well, Romano and his company were generous in its support through sponsorship, gift certificates or free repairs to hockey teams, soccer teams, swim clubs, tap dancing groups, and elementary and secondary schools in North Delta. Louise White of the North Delta Softball Association said Romano was “absolutely fantastic with anything to do with athletes and teams” and “always available when I needed equipment mended.”

People didn’t just go into Romano’s shop to have their shoes and sports equipment repaired, but many customers spent time chatting and having espresso with Romano. He cared about his customers and developed lasting friendships with many of them. This was evident from the number of pictures of teams and athletes as well as the number of thank you letters and cards on the walls of Antonio Lorenzo Shoe Service. Romano was also known for his generosity to those individuals and families going through difficult times.

When asked why he sponsored, Romano said it was because “it is important to support the neighbourhood and give back to your community.” Romano continues to be involved in the community through the North Delta Lions Club, volunteering at events like North Delta Family Day, the Canada Day celebrations at North Delta’s Chalmers Park, and elementary schools’ and sports associations’ barbecues and sports days.

Read more about past Delta Sports Hall of Fame inductees and sport champions below:

Delta Sports Hall of Fame welcomes its class of 2018

Delta Sports Hall of Fame to honour this year’s Sports Champions (2018)

Delta Sports Hall of Fame welcomes its class of 2017

Delta Sports Hall of Fame introduces its class of 2016

SEE ALSO: Sports hall of fame in Surrey is ‘something that should be done,’ city councillor says


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