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Photos: Burnaby inducts 2023 sports hall of fame class

Sportscaster Don Taylor was part of the latest celebrated class. He is the Hall's first-ever broadcast/media personality inductee.

The Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame has inducted its 2023, which included a historic first for the local organization.

Sportscaster Don Taylor, in the builder category, became the first-ever broadcast and media personality to earn a place at the Hall.

He was among a total of five new members, including football legend Lui Passaglia, former Vancouver Canuck Mike Santorelli, Olympic curling coach Fuji Miki and the Cliff Avenue United Synergy soccer team that won the 2008 U14 Canadian club championships.

The 21st annual ceremony took place March 15 at the Riverway Golf Course (9001 Bill Fox Way).

Taylor was also inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in October 2023. He anchored Sports Page from 1985 to 2000, hosted Sportsnet Connected from 2001 to 2014 and currently serves as a co-host on CHEK-TV's Donnie and Dhali – The Team.

Passaglia's career included 408 games across 25 seasons in the CFL, winning the Grey Cup in 1985, 1994 and 2000 with the BC Lions, as well as three high school football provincials championships in four years for Notre Dame (1968, 1970, 1971).

Santorelli played 406 regular season games in the NHL, including 49 with his hometown Vancouver Canucks. He was originally drafted in 2004 by the Nashville Predators, retiring in 2017 after one year in Switzerland.

Miki, a South Burnaby resident of 50 years, coached the Japanese women's national curling team at four Winter Olympics, including the Vancouver 2010 games. He also won the B.C. men's championship as Glen Pierce's lead in 1979.

The 2008 U14 Cliff Avenue United Synergy, out of North Burnaby, "ran roughshod" over all other teams that season, finishing unbeaten 32-0 in the regular season.

They won the Coastal Cup "A" Championships and the Provincial Cup Championship and captured the Canadian championship in P.E.I. that year, too.

Players went on to varsity post-secondary teams, including:

  • Samantha Drescher, UBC
  • Tamara Roughead, UBC
  • Simran Parmar, UBC
  • Shayla Chorney, UBC
  • Isabella Di Trocchio, Trinity Western
  • Lindsey Pulice, Trinity Western
  • Goaltender Kayla Klim, University of the Fraser Valley and played professionally in Sweden

- with files from Lauren Vanderdeen, Burnaby NOW