A new calendar brings new reasons to celebrate sports in Burnaby.
The Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame will induct nine new members into its hall with a banquet in February at the Firefighters Hall at Metrotown.
Leading the parade of four athletes are a pair of soccer players – Bruce Gant and Joseph Scigliano. Gant went from starring for Simon Fraser University to a five-year career in the old North American Soccer League, playing four seasons with the Portland Timbers.
A product of Cliff Avenue minor soccer, Scigliano would rise on the international pitch, playing for Canada’s under-20 CONCACAF champions in 1996.
Entering the Hall of Fame for softball is third baseman Patti McGuire, who starred with the 1978 Doc’s Blues, runnerups at the Worlds.
McGuire played the hot corner and wielded a hot bat as a member of 11 Canadian championships, delivering a career batting average of .325.
Lacrosse’s Dan Stroup played an instrumental role in a string of championships, including a Mann Cup in 2001 with the Coquitlam Adanacs and four National Lacrosse League titles in Toronto and Colorado. His career as a box lacrosse sniper, which included seven seasons with the Burnaby senior Lakers, earned him entry in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame last year.
In the builders’ category, the new additions are Simon Fraser University soccer and golf manager/coach John Buchanan, taekwondo’s Song Chul Kim, softball’s Duff Slavin and hockey’s George Wong.
Buchanan joined a new university in 1966 and has been an indispensable contributor ever since, coaching both soccer and golf. He founded the school’s soccer program and steered it to seven straight regional NAIA titles, and had assistant coaching stints with the Whitecaps in the 1970s and the Canadian Olympic team in 1976. Chul Kim has officiated at competitions across the globe, including the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, and serves as vice chair of the World Taekwondo Federation’s referee committee.
Slavin was instrumental in establishing softball programs at the local, provincial and national levels, and like McGuire, was voted into the B.C. Softball Hall of Fame. He worked diligently on the executive for Softball BC for years and served in an administrative role with Softball Canada prior to his death in 1992.
Wong began his involvement with Burnaby Minor Hockey in 1965 and served various positions, including president, as well as president of B.C. Amateur Hockey before passing away in 2008.
In the coaching category, Derek Evely is being honoured for his years of work in track and field. A Burnaby Central alum, Evely started his coaching career helping legendary Central coach Ken Taylor, then served 12 years at the national level before overseeing a United Kingdom national performance centre until 2012.
His athletes went on to achieve 13 international medals and 71 national medals.
Tickets for the Feb. 23 gala at Metrotown can be purchased by calling Rosemary at 604-436-1672, or emailing email@example.com.