VICTORIA – When you have a career as outstanding as former University of Victoria Vikettes field hockey goalkeeper Deb Whitten had, the recognition and accolades last long after that career has ended.
Whitten added one more honour to her already impressive list when it was announced on May 9 that she will be inducted into the Victoria Sports Hall of Fame.
“I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to play with Deb at the start of my playing career,” said Vikes assistant coach Krista Thompson. “Every day, at training and during games, she demonstrated what it would take to compete at the next level.”
“Not only was she an outstanding goalkeeper, but more importantly, she was an outstanding role model and person.”
Alongside Whitten, the 2018 Victoria Sports Hall of Fame Athlete class includes: Rich Harden who spent nine years playing Major League Baseball, Dave Calder who rowed his way to an Olympic silver medal and Alison Murdoch, a four-time Canadian senior women’s golf champion.
Inducted into the UVic Sports Hall of Fame in 2007, Whitten back-stopped the Vikettes to some of the best years in the program’s storied history.
In total, Whitten won two CIAU (U SPORTS) National Championships and four Canada West titles. During the Vikettes 1989 undefeated championship season, Whitten gave up just three goals throughout the entire campaign.
A player always ready to rise to the occasion, Whitten allowed just seven goals against in the 16 games she played in at university national championships.
When her time at UVic was complete, Whitten then went on to an illustrious international career.
“Deb was not only on the best goalies to ever play for UVic, but she became one of the best goalies in the world by the end of her playing days,” said Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft. “I am so proud of her for this latest accomplishment.”
Whitten competed at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, helping Canada to a seventh-place finish and also represented Canada at two World Cups and two Pan American Games, capturing silver in 1991 and bronze at the 1995 Pan Am Games.
Whitten then returned to UVic and was an assistant coach for the 1995 UVic National Championship winning team.
The 2018 Victoria Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place Oct. 27 at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort.