Around 150 people gathered at the Best Western Wayside Inn Saturday night to congratulate the newest inductees into the Wetaskiwin and District Sports Hall of Fame.
During the 14th annual banquet, Blaine Kjorlien was inducted into the Athlete-Builder Category for his athletic achievements in the sports of wrestling and football and his coaching contributions in those sports at Wetaskiwin Composite High School; Jack Manson in the Athlete category for his outstanding amateur hockey career as a member of the 1947-48 Allan Cup Champion Edmonton Flyers and the 1950 World Champion Edmonton Mercurys; Bill Mojelski as a Builder for his Wetaskiwin community volunteer efforts in coaching, refereeing and executive roles and for documenting some of Wetaskiwin’s sporting history; and the Special Olympics Wetaskiwin Warlords Slow Pitch team, provincial champions in 1998 and Team Alberta at the 1998 Women’s Canada Cup International Softball Championships in the Special Olympics Friendship Division.
“An occasion like tonight is a reason to reflect,” said President Sandy Wright. “Sports plays a vital role of bringing our community together.”
To date, there have been 84 inductees, if all the team members are counted individually 350 people have been inducted into the local sports hall of fame.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to those who had the vision to develop the Wetaskiwin and District Sports Hall of Fame,” said Wright.
“I’m incredibly honoured to be here and be included with these remarkable inductees,” said Kjorlien.
“I’m certainly honoured indeed,” said Manson, “Hockey was my passion…it was a fun career. Not everyone gets to play in a World Championship and win a gold medal.”
Speaking on behalf of Mojelskie who suffered a stroke a year-and-a-half ago that limited his vocabulary wife Gladys said, “We, as a family, appreciate what you’ve done for him and appreciate this honour.”
On behalf of the Warlords, Blain Fuller said, “It’s certainly an honour to be up her to speak on behalf of the team of 1998. Here’s to inclusion in sports in our community. When a person’s given a chance and someone believes in them, it resonates.”