Sept 29,2014(ISN) – VICTORIA— October promises to be a month of accolades for former and current Vikes players and coaches, as the Victoria Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame welcomes their 2014 inductees.
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame 2014 Induction Celebration takes place at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ont. on Oct. 22, where already UVic Sports Hall of Fame inductees Gareth Rees and Kathy Shields will be celebrated.
Gareth Rees earned UVic’s Athlete of the Year award twice while playing rugby for the Vikes. He’s the only man to have represented Canada at four-consecutive Rugby World Cups (1987, 1991, 1995, 1999). After graduating from UVic, Rees continued his education at Oxford University, where he earned his master’s degree.
Kathy Shields’ basketball career spans over three decades, including time spent as the University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball head coach from 1979-2001. With a record of 320 wins and only 50 losses and nine Canada West Coach of the Year titles it’s no surprise UVic’s home court is named (shared with her husband) after the lady that gave so much to the school.
Both Rees and Shields were members of the inaugural UVic Sports Hall of Fame class of 2002.
A few days later and the Victoria Sports Hall of Fame hosts their 21st Annual Induction Ceremony on Oct. 25 at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa in Victoria. Among the 2014 honorees are Vikes Chris Hall, Eli Pasquale, Stephanie Dixon, Lynne Beecroft and Peter Vizsolyi, all being recognized for their contributions to Victoria athletics, both on and off campus.
“What a tremendous month,” commented Clint Hamilton, Director of Vikes Athletics and Recreation. “It is great to see these individuals from our UVic program who have made such an enormous contribution to our sport, region and country being appropriately recognized.”
After spending time as a Vikes varsity men’s basketball player, Chris Hall turned his focus to lacrosse, where he spent 12 years as a head coach in the NLL and was named All Star Game coach five times.
Eli Pasquale’s basketball career at UVic is synonymous with the work champion, having won the CIAU national championship each of the five years he wore a Vikes uniform. He spent 15 seasons with the Canadian national program and competed in two Olympic Games. Pasquale was inducted in the UVic Sports Hall of Fame in 2005
Paralympian Stephanie Dixon is a former Vikes swimmer, who was named female Athlete of the Year in her time with UVic. She went on to win a combined total of 17 medals at the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Paralympics. Amongst that total, Dixon amassed 13 gold, nine silver and two bronze medals making her one of the most successful Paralympic swimmers in Canadian history.
A lifetime spent at the University of Victoria has done Lynne Beecroft well. As a Vikes player, Beecroft won two bronze and a silver at CIAU national field hockey championships. After nine years on the national team, including the 1984 Olympics, Beecroft returned to Victoria as the head coach of women’s field hockey in 1985, where she still coaches today.
Long-time Vikes swim coach Peter Vizsolyi earns his Hall of Fame induction as part of the Sport Committee of the 1994 Commonwealth Games, of which he was the Chair of Swimming and a powerful advocate behind the planning and building of the Saanich Commonwealth Place.
The Victoria Sports Hall of Fame hosts their 21st Annual Induction Ceremony on Oct. 25 at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa. Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame 2014 Induction Celebration takes place at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, ON on Oct. 22.