Saskatchewan Sports Stories: Diane Jones Konihowski

The summer of 2020 has featured numerous postponements and cancellations across the sporting world — none bigger than the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics which were pushed back a year.

At the same time, the nexus of sports and politics has intersected at a level that has rarely been seen before.

Forty years ago, however, Saskatoon’s Diane Jones Konihowski experienced both political fallout and the loss of a chance to compete at the Olympics at the same time when she became the centre of controversy after speaking out following Canada’s decision to join the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympic Games.

Jones Konihowski was one of the faces of amateur sport in Canada and had the endorsements, commercials and name recognition that came with it. That public goodwill evaporated seemingly overnight following her criticisms of the boycott at the height of the Cold War which led to hate mail and death threats directed at her, along with her family and friends.

“I was the only one speaking out against it, everyone else got sucked in,” Jones Konihowski said recently from her home in Calgary.

Diane Jones Konihowski speaking at her 1980 SSHF induction ceremony.

For Jones Konihowski, it would have been her third Games competing as a pentathlete, but it also constituted her last — and best — shot at an Olympic medal.

“I was alone in speaking out as far as I remember. It was easy for me to speak out because I was out of the country and I wasn’t being brainwashed. I could think very, very clearly and look at the scenario and think ‘this is very wrong on so many levels.’ I was able to articulate that. It took many years before people would come to me and say, ‘you know you were right,’” Jones Konihowski said. “To this day — and it was 40 years ago — people still come up to me and say that was so wrong at that time. Nobody had the guts. I can’t remember anyone else chastising the Canadian Olympic Association for their decision.

“It’s interesting this year that we were the first in the world to say that we’re not going (to the Tokyo Olympics) because of COVID. We led the world in saying it’s not safe to go. Then Australia fell in and Great Britain came and then the Games were postponed.”

Jones Konihowski was raised in Saskatoon and attended Aden Bowman Collegiate and the University of Saskatchewan where she excelled in track and field and also as a volleyball player with the Huskies. An exceptional all-around athlete, she was also a promising gymnast in her youth and was coached by Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Sebestyen before she out-grew the sport. 

“Looking back I really lucked out with some amazing Phys. Ed. teachers and sport coaches. They just motivated me to love what I was doing,” Jones Konihowksi said. “Two of my coaches were Olympic coaches. Bob Adams was my first coach in track and field and he was obviously an Olympic decathlete and he was one of the Olympic coaches in 1964. Chuck Sebestyen, one of my gymnastic coaches, was also (an Olympic) gymnastics coach in 1964.

“I just lucked-out meeting all of these people in my life. They were there for me to really nurture and push me to be a better athlete.”

Having excelled at multiple sports and being naturally competitive, it only made sense that Jones Konihowski would excel at the pentathlon which featured five events: shot put, high jump, long jump, the 200-metre run and the 100m hurdles.

She was 21 years old when she made her Olympic debut in Berlin where she finished in a very respectable 10th place.

“It was fabulous. There’s nothing like the Olympic Games. I don’t care what anyone else says,” Jones Konihowski said.

The joy of her first Olympics turned tragic when 11 members of the Israeli delegation were kidnapped from the Olympic Village, held hostage and ultimately killed by terrorists.

Jones Konihowski had just completed competition on September 5 when the pre-dawn attack occurred and was headed into the city with fellow Canadian track athlete Joyce Sadowick to meet up with another Canadian to do some sightseeing. When they woke up in the early hours there was already an eerie silence in the Athletes Village that tipped them off that something was wrong. As soon as they left the Village they were swarmed by reporters looking for information on the breaking story.

Diane Jones Konihowski competing in the high jump while at the University of Saskatchewan. photo courtesy the University of Saskatchewan.

“For me, I was touched by it because the day before I was training in hurdles with Esther Roth, who was a hurdler from Israel, and after training we went to lunch and she said ‘why don’t you come over and have lunch with us.’ So I had lunch with a bunch of wrestlers and basically, all of those guys were dead the next day,” Jones Konihowski said.

Despite being an Olympic pentathlete, Jones Konihowski was also still playing volleyball at the U of S, but a serious ankle injury at the end of the volleyball season required surgery and hurt her chances at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand where she finished sixth.

Fully healthy, she won the pentathlon gold medal at the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico City and expectations were high coming home for the 1976 Montreal Olympics. 

She had an endorsement deal with Canadian apparel company Penmans and appeared in commercials with Montreal Expos star Gary Carter, Olympic skier Nancy Greene, and hockey broadcaster Howie Meeker.

“Montreal was a huge learning experience. Because I was a media darling, they loved me all through the 70s — I was tall, long legs, long blonde hair and I was successful — I got a lot of media attention,” Jones Konihowski said.

Jones Konihowski was training in Santa Barbra, California in the lead-up to the ’76 Games, but was back in Canada every other weekend promoting the Games. She did a cross-country tour as the “coin girl” with André Ouellet, the Postmaster General at the time. Even when she arrived in Montreal, she was already kicking herself for disrupting her training schedule so significantly.

“The frustrating thing for me in ’76 was I could have got a medal. All the way through the competition I’m just thinking ‘damnit, if I was really at my peak I really could have got a medal,’” said Jones Konihowski who finished sixth in the pentathlon and also seventh in the long jump.

“I came out of Montreal really ticked off because I blew it. I realistically could have got an Olympic medal, but you learn. At the end of the day, it’s not about the hardware. I’ve always said that. We only learn from those times when you fail, you underperform and put in a disappointing performance. It’s the only time you learn. You don’t learn from your successes.” 

She competed under her maiden name as Diane Jones in ’72 and ’76 but married fellow SSHF member and former Huskies track athlete John Konihowski in 1977 while he was a member of the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos. While making Edmonton their home, the 1978 Commonwealth Games would be in the Alberta capital and once again Jones Konihowski would be one of the faces of the event. She was the Queen’s Baton Final Runner – the Commonwealth Games equivalent to being the torchbearer at the opening ceremonies. However, nothing was going to distract Jones Konihowski from her goal. She won the pentathlon in a games record score. A year later she repeated as Pan American Games champion in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

“Going into ’78 – Edmonton, hometown, really important to do well – I just said a lot of no’s. I didn’t get caught up in that and I did very well. Not only did I win the gold medal in Edmonton, but more importantly it was with a score that put me No. 1 in the world,” she said. “That told me that I’m on track to get on the podium in Moscow, two years later. I was very, very focused.  

“(The Pan American Games) was a really good performance — Canadian record, Pan American Games record, the whole bit — so I thought OK good, we’re right on track here.”

Diane Jones Konihowski

Still, she wanted to ensure she was free of distractions. Years earlier she had invited Karen Page, a pentathlete from New Zealand, to come up to Saskatoon to train with her coach at the U of S, Lyle Sanderson (who is also an SSHF inductee). After spending Christmas of 1979 at home, Diane, John, and Sanderson and his family all moved down to Auckland, New Zealand to train with Page and get laser-focused on Moscow with no distractions.  

The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December of 1979 to start the Soviet-Afghan War and in January of 1980, U.S. President Jimmy Carter threatened to boycott the Moscow Olympics is the Soviets didn’t pull out of Afghanistan by February 20, 1980. Later that month, Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark also threatened a boycott. Not coincidentally, the Lake Placid Winter Olympics would take place in February of 1980 with the Soviets competing in the U.S. Those Games concluded four days after Carter’s ultimatum.  

On April 22, 1980 – a date Jones Konihowski can recall with ease – with the U.S. State Secretary due in Ottawa the next day, the new Pierre Trudeau government formally backed the boycott. 

In New Zealand, Jones Konihowski found out that her Olympic medal dream was dashed when a reporter at an Edmonton radio station called her. She didn’t hold back in criticizing the decision. 

“I was very disappointed when I got the call on April 23,” Jones Konihowski said. “Of course I had not watched any media from back home, I had not read a thing. So I was clear-headed and not brainwashed. 

“I was saying it was wrong on a number of levels. One, it’s no surprise to world leaders that Russia has invaded Afghanistan, come on, give me a break here. We’re still sending wheat to Russia; we’re still trading with them. President Carter could have made a much stronger statement to Russia by denying them to come to his Games in February, but he waited until the end of their Games to announce a summer boycott. That’s wrong. On all levels, it’s wrong.” 

The boycott ended up being widespread, but at different levels of involvement. China, Japan and West Germany were also among the countries that didn’t send any athletes. Some western nations sent smaller squads and some individual athletes opted not to compete. Some nations — France, Spain, and Italy notably — attended but competed under the Olympic flag and did not attend the opening ceremonies.

“My greatest disappointment is really that the Canadian Olympic Association at that time went with the government’s decision,” Jones Konihowski said. “I can see the government following Carter. That’s OK. But the Canadian Olympic Association I felt let down the athletes and coaches by following suit and declaring that they were going to stay home as well. Meanwhile Iron Lady (Margaret) Thatcher said no and the British Olympic Association said ‘we’re going.’ So they went. If you can say no to Iron Lady Thatcher, why can’t we say no to Pierre Trudeau?”  

Back home, Jones Konihowski’s comments were not well received. To put it mildly.

“My mom was phoning me ‘Oh my God, everyone is calling you a Communist. Can you shut up.’ All of that kind of stuff,” she said. “The two girls in our apartment in Edmonton were getting horrible phone calls. So we basically told them to not answer the phone. 

“Even Karen in New Zealand was getting bomb threats, her parents were going nuts. 

“It was a really, really crazy time. Canadians mostly love to complain, but they never act on it. It was a really contentious time.” 

Jones Konihowski also quickly got a call from her sponsor in Toronto. 

“They said ‘Unless you retract what you’re saying, I can’t support you any longer,’” she recalled. “I said ‘You know Jamie, that’s fine. Put your money with another athlete, but I really believe strongly in this. This is wrong. This has nothing to do with Russia invading Afghanistan. Do you think Russia is going to pull out?’” 

They returned to Canada in May and the mood of her detractors hadn’t calmed any.

“John didn’t let me read any of the hate mail. And there was a lot of it,” Jones Konihowski recalled. “The Edmonton Eskimos, their lines were ringing off the hook, ‘how can you hire the husband of a Communist?’ John got it on the football field as well. He was called a ‘Commie’, which is interesting. (Edmonton head coach) Hugh Campbell stood up for me. The Edmonton Eskimos organization supported me, which was good, and John, which was awesome.

“I got a few positive letters, but in the media, I was lambasted by many of my friends. It was a really difficult time. I still felt so strongly that it was so wrong. It made no sense that we would be punished for something that is so political.” 

Four-time Canadian Olympian Abby Hoffman — Canada’s flag-bearer in Montreal — was a member of the executive council of the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), track and field’s governing body, and reached out to Jones Konihowski. 

“She phoned me and said: ‘I have an invitation for you from the Russian organizing committee to come to the Games,’” Jones Konihowski said. “I didn’t ask her, but I assume that the invitation would have been extended to other athletes and not just me. I said ‘oh Abby, I have to think about this. You wouldn’t believe the death threats we’re getting.’ 

“I turned it down. I really thought that I wouldn’t get out of this country alive. I kind of feared for my family a little bit. My mom and dad didn’t deserve that. John and the Edmonton Eskimos certainly didn’t deserve that.” 

Jones Konihowski instead competed in the Liberty Bell Classic, a track and field event in Philadelphia for athletes who boycotted the Games. She won the pentathlon with ease, but it was cold comfort with the real Games kicking off in Moscow days later.

Soviet athletes swept the medals in the pentathlon with Nadiya Tkachenko — fresh off an 18-month ban after testing positive for steroids — setting a world record in the process.

Two weeks later at the first post-Olympic competition in Germany, Jones Konihowski beat all three Moscow medalists.

1980 Summer Olympics pentathlon champion Nadezhda Tkachenko competing in the shot put portion of the pentathlon at Moscow’s Lenin Stadium. RIA Novosti archive, image #399455 / Yuriy Somov / CC-BY-SA 3.0

“Tkachenko was a druggy and you knew that they weren’t going to test positive at their Games. There was no way,” Jones Konihowski said. “Without (American Jane Frederick) and I there, there was no competition really in the pentathlon and the three Russians won it. I don’t even know what they scored, but it was brutal. Then two weeks later in Germany, I blew them out of the water. They were off their drugs, clearly, and they were just sucking eggs two weeks after the Olympic Games. I’m sorry, that doesn’t sit well with me.” 

Tkachenko had finished one place ahead of Jones Konihowski in Berlin and again in Montreal as they continued to improve. Both times Frederick was behind them and in Montreal finished fifth-sixth-seventh. Jones Konihowski hoped that four years on, she, Tkachenko and Frederick would all move up the standings together to share the medals. 

“So my dream was that our third and final Olympics… you’d go from 9-10-11 to 5-6-7 to 1-2-3. That was sort of my dream that that was how it would come out,” she said. “It would have been a beautiful story.” 

There would be no storybook ending to Jones Konihowski’s great career as she retired in 1983.

“It was maybe six or seven years later that I started wondering what would have happened if I had gone,” Jones Konihowski said.

 Twenty years after her criticism of the Canadian Olympic Association, she returned to the Games as Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics.  

Jones Konihowski has been named to the 2020 class for Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. She was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1978, was the CEO of KidSport Canada and was a director of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Diane Jones Konihowski was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.

AGM Reminder: June 7, 2018

On behalf of Rankin Jaworski, President of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, we would like to remind everyone of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame which will be held at the following date and time:

Date: Thursday, June 7, 2018

Time: 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Location: Boardroom – 2205 Victoria Avenue, Regina

The agenda will include Annual Reports, presentation of Financial Statements, and reports on the election of Board Directors.  All members of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in good standing are welcome to attend and vote at the AGM.

You are welcome to view our Financial Statements and Annual Report in advance of the meeting.

2017 Financial Statements

2017 Annual Report

 

NEW Edition of For The Record: February/March 2018

For The Record

MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT RANKIN JAWORSKI

Spring is always an exciting time for the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) as we prepare to announce a new class of inductees for the current year. I am proud to say that the Board has ratified the Inductee Selection Committee’s recommendation for our Class of 2018 and we will soon be announcing the names to the public. I have been fortunate to be part of a number of nomination cycles for the SSHF and am continually reminded of the astounding quality and breadth of elite athletes, coaches, builders and teams that fill Saskatchewan’s history. While I can’t spoil the announcement of this year’s class I’m proud to say it will once again add to the multitude of inspiring stories and achievements enshrined within the hall.

This year’s class announcement also serves as a reminder that there are still a vast array of stories that deserve to be added to the SSHF. From the incredible accomplishments of Hayley Wickenheiser and her 23 years as a member of Canada’s National Women’s hockey team, to the acclaimed career of Wendel Clark or the ongoing history being made by the incredible recovery and head spinning tricks of Mark McMorris. Regardless of the sport, Saskatchewan still has an abundance of incredible stories waiting to join the ranks of those already within the SSHF.

While there are a great deal of names the board and staff can think of who deserve to be recognized within the Hall, we rely on our supporters within the general public to formally nominate those deserving individuals and teams. The process begins by completing the nomination form found on our website. Once submitted, this document will serve as the basis for consideration into the esteemed group that makes up the 512 inductees of the SSHF. As we prepare to announce the Class of 2018 this April now is a great time to begin considering if there is a deserving person you wish to nominate for future classes of inductees ahead of this year’s October 31st deadline. If you have any questions regarding the nomination, selection or induction process please don’t hesitate to contact the staff at [email protected], they are more than happy to answer any questions.

Website: www.sasksportshalloffame.com
Facebook: SaskSportsHF
Instagram: @SaskSportsHF
Twitter: @SaskSportsHF
Review us on TripAdvisor

All the best,

Rankin Jaworski

To find out more on our latest happenings at the SSHF, download the full version of the newest For The Record, right here:

For the Record February/March 2018

2017 Induction: Thank you!

Induction 2017 was a great success thanks to our sponsors, the Class of 2017, our volunteers and the many parade inductees who joined us for the celebrations. Events got underway with numerous family members, friends and media joining us Saturday afternoon at the SSHF for the Inductee Open House. This was an opportunity to grab a few autographs, check out the individual exhibits within Dedication to Sport: The 2017 Inductees of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, and visit with those about to enter the Hall of Fame.

Our formal induction celebrations were hosted at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina, SK as we recognized the contributions and achievements of the Class of 2017 comprising: Stuart Cram (gymnastics), Lori Ebbesen (triathlon), Terry Livingstone (speed skating), Lucas Makowsky (speed skating), Guyle Fielder (hockey), Joan Phipps (equestrian) and David “Tiger” Williams (hockey). To each of the inductees we extend a heartfelt thank you for the privilege of working with you over the past few months. We certainly look forward to having you as part of the Hall of Fame family.

Special thanks are also extended to our Master of Ceremonies, Blake Lough from Global Regina, who also had the task of moderating a hotstove panel featuring four members of our new Induction Class. This was an opportunity for everyone in attendance to get to know our new inductees a little better, and it turned out to be a highlight of the evening! Thank you as well to all of our sponsors who helped to ensure that the induction events were a great success.

Access Communications
Pro AV
Fire Cube Video
Signature Print-It
Molson Coors
Hotel Saskatchewan
Barker’s Trophies Awards & Gifts
Designer Photographic Technologies
Images on Ice
sharpshooter photography
Barb’s Badges
Conexus Arts Centre
T.G. Marketing

Finally, thank you to everyone who helped to make the 2017 Induction Weekend a success. We look forward to another fantastic year ahead.

 

*Event photographs coming soon!

 

For The Record: February/March 2017

For The Record

With the close of 2016, and our 50th anniversary celebrations behind us, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) is embarking on another exciting year.

We were delighted to learn that the SSHF has been named a finalist for a Saskatchewan Tourism of Excellence Award in the category of “Business of the Year” (under 20 full-time employees). We are thrilled to receive that nomination and look forward to attending the Gala awards in April.

In 2016 we did not have an induction as the anniversary kept us very busy.  However, in 2017 we will once again have an induction ceremony to welcome new inductees into the Hall.  The media announcement to introduce this year’s class will be held at the SSHF on Thursday, April 27th.

Throughout the summer, our traveling exhibit will again be visiting a number of locations throughout the province.  The exhibit was so well received last summer and it truly gives rural Saskatchewan a taste of what the SSHF has to offer.

We are also excited about some sporting events that Saskatchewan will be hosting in 2017 and 2018. The 2017 Skate Canada International, 2018 Memorial Cup and the Brier will each be located in Regina.  These events bring awareness as well as drives sports fans to the city.  We will certainly be showcasing these sports during those events and will be looking to draw fans to the Hall where we can promote the history and success of Saskatchewan athletes.

The SSHF staff continues to run education programs and the displays are changed frequently so each time a person visits, they see something new. We have been adding technology to our repertoire and our social media channels keep expanding with more followers. Thanks to all the staff, we appreciate that they are continually thinking of new ways to show us off!

Our Board still dreams of a new location where we can find space to break many items out of storage, and no doubt, one day we will find it. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank you for your support.  We strive to have our inductees remain connected to the SSHF, and to have the general public share in the history and sporting successes of this great province.

Website: www.sasksportshalloffame.com
Facebook: SaskSportsHF
Instagram: SaskSportsHF
Twitter: @SaskSportsHF
Review us on TripAdvisor

Best wishes,

Linda Burnham, President

To find out more on our latest happenings at the SSHF, download the full version of the newest For The Record, right here:

For the Record February/March 2017

Cultural Access Passes Welcome Here!

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Use your CAP card to visit the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame for free!

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame is extremely proud to announce that we now accept Cultural Access Passes! Stop by the SSHF to see the accomplishments that individual athletes and teams have made in the province. The Hall of Fame was established to honour outstanding Saskatchewan athletes, championship teams and sport builders as well as to preserve the history of Saskatchewan sport. To see more tourist attractions in Saskatchewan, visit the CAP directory!

There are more than 1,300 of Canada’s best museums, art galleries, discovery centres, historic sites and nature parks that you can visit for free with your Cultural Access Pass. More attractions join the program all the time. Be sure to visit the Cultural Access Pass website regularly for the most up-to-date listings.

For more information on the CAP and its destinations, please click below:

Cultural Access Pass

 

 

 

Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame – Annual Report – 2015

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Each year, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame strives to preserve and promote the history of sport in Saskatchewan, and 2015 was no exception. The Government of Canada named 2015 “The Year of Sport in Canada” and encouraged all Canadians to celebrate the role that sport plays in their identity.

Our 2015 Annual Report will highlight some key redevelopment, awareness and self help strategies. It will also recap the addition of new staff members, partnerships, exhibits and events that have helped position the SSHF for a very exciting and successful 50th year in 2016.

Special thank you to all members of the Hall of Fame, your support over the past year has been overwhelming. We look forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary with you.

You can download a copy of the 2015 Annual Report here:

Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame Annual Report 2015

 

SSHF Announces New Sponsor

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Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame Receives Sponsorship from
Information Services Corporation (ISC).

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) is very pleased to announce its newest All Star sponsor, ISC – an organization that passionately supports initiatives that preserve and promote the rich heritage of Saskatchewan. As the safe keeper of historical documents like land grants, titles, maps and photos, ISC recognizes the importance of preserving Saskatchewan history.

“Heritage is how we came to be, who we are today and what we will become in the future,” said Jeff Stusek, ISC President and CEO. “It’s our business to preserve and celebrate heritage, and it’s also our responsibility. That’s why the partnership with the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame is such a good fit for ISC.”

ISC’s sponsorship is already making an impact at the SSHF. With the help of their generosity, six video monitors have been installed at the SSHF. These monitors allow the SSHF to create multi-media presentations, providing for expanded exhibit capabilities of the collection, which physical space doesn’t allow for. Current feature exhibits all benefit from this new presentation format, which has also greatly enhanced the interactive visitor experience.

“On behalf of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, I would like to thank Information Services Corporation for entering into a partnership with the SSHF,” said Scott Waters, SSHF Board President. “A partnership between ISC and the SSHF will further the preservation and celebration of sport and sport heritage in Saskatchewan.”

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1966 to honour outstanding Saskatchewan athletes, championship teams and sport builders. Currently, 223 athletes, 124 teams and 158 builders are inducted into the Hall of Fame.

For sponsorship information please contact:
Sheila Kelly, Executive Director (306) 780-9233     [email protected]

What’s On at the SSHF – Up Coming Special Events

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Inductee Open House – Celebrate with the Class of 2015

Join us on Saturday as we celebrate excellence in sport and showcase our newest inductees during a public open house.

 Members of our Class of 2015 will be present for the duration of the event including:

  • Cliff Koroll – Hockey
  • Jason Parker – Speed Skating
  • Sharon Tkachuk – Athletics
  • Richard “Dick” White – Multi Sport
  • 1985 Moose Jaw Generals AA Senior Men’s Hockey Team – Hardy Cup Champions
  • 2009 Eugene Hritzuk Senior Men’s Curling Team – 2009 World Senior Men’s Curling Champions

Get some autographs, challenge someone to a game on the sport simulator, and generally have a lot of fun! Refreshments will be served.

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Barnstorming Baseball on the Prairies Commemoration Tour
* Wednesday, June 17, Saskatoon *
* Thursday, June 18, Regina *

Renowned historian, founding member of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Missouri, and author of nine baseball books, Phil S Dixon is coming to Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame and the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame are pleased to host Mr. Dixon for public audiences in both Saskatoon and Regina.

Mr. Dixon will deliver a short presentation highlighting stories from the years of the baseball barnstorming tours.  He has spent two years traveling throughout the United States and now into Canada, delivering speeches in centres along the path of one of the most famous barnstorming teams – the Kansas City Monarchs.

His passion and enthusiasm for this historic team shines through in Phil’s illustrated appearance. Using baseball poetry and transcribing stories from interviews with hundreds of athletes, Phil will take his audience back in time to the small town sports fields of Saskatchewan where locals would spend an afternoon being entertained by the likes of Satchel Paige or Bullet Rogan.

Presentations will be held on Wednesday, June 17, at 3:00 pm at the Saskatoon Public Library, Cliff Wright Branch auditorium and Thursday, June 18, at 3:00 pm at the Regina Public Library, Central Branch theatre.

Admission is free but donations to the Halls of Fame are always welcome. Light refreshments will be available.

Support for this program is made possible through funding from Saskatchewan Lotteries.

Additional Information can be found here

 

Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame – Annual Report – 2014

SSHF-2012-logo-color-LargeEach year, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame strives to preserve and promote the history of sport in Saskatchewan. In doing so, we hope to tell the stories of the people in this province, along with their achievements in the world of sport.

2014 was quite the year for the Hall of Fame, thanks to many incredible stories, courtesy of some truly remarkable people. With events, exhibits and improvements made in every area of the Hall, 2014 really was one for the books.

With our 2014 Annual Report, we take a look back at the year that was and a look forward at the year that will be in 2015. We invite you all to take a look with us, as we showcase our year in review within this report.

Thanks to all the fans and friends of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame who have continued to support us and make our mission to showcase the stories of Saskatchewan’s sporting finest a successful one.

You can download a copy of the 2014 Annual Report, right here:

Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame Annual Report 2014

For The Record – April 2015

For The Record

Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2015

On Thursday, April 16th, President, Trent Fraser, and Induction Celebrations Chair, Linda Burnham, announced the seven inductees who will become the newest members to be enshrined as part of the Class of 2015. The inductees will be officially inducted at the 49th Annual Induction Ceremony to be held at the Conexus Arts Centre on Saturday, June 13th, 2015.

During the announcement, Linda noted that: “2015 has been declared The Year of Sport in Canada by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. The declaration from the Governor General celebrates the role that sport plays in our Canadian identity and its vital connection to the cultural fabric of our nation. Here, at the Saskatchewan Sport Hall of Fame, we certainly echo that sentiment which is truly embodied in our Class of 2015. We look forward to enshrining them during our Induction Celebrations in June. Their accomplishments will also be featured in our Dedication to Sport exhibit as we share with the people of Saskatchewan the great sport history of our province.”

The Class of 2015 includes:

IN THE ATHLETE CATEGORY:

Cliff Koroll – Hockey
Milos Kostic – Triathlon
Jason Parker – Speed Skating

IN THE BUILDER CATEGORY:

Sharon Tkachuk – Athletics
Richard “Dick” White – Multi Sport

IN THE TEAM CATEGORY:

1985 Moose Jaw Generals AA Senior Men’s Hockey Team – Hardy Cup Champions
2009 Eugene Hritzuk Senior Men’s Curling Team – 2009 World Senior Men’s Curling Champions

Tickets to the 49th Annual Induction Dinner & Ceremony are $100/person and are available directly from the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame via 306-780-9232, [email protected], or online at www.sasksportshalloffame.com.

In addition to the announcement of our latest class, there is plenty more going on here at the Hall. We invite you to come and see everything that is new and exciting within our walls, including our latest exhibit Chalk, Wheat and Diamonds: Saskatchewan ‘Ball.

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You can also find out more on our latest happenings by downloading the newest version of For The Record, right here:

For the Record April 2015

Employment Opportunity – Weekend & Casual Staff

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The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame is looking for Gallery Hosts/Interpreters.

This opportunity includes the following responsibilities:

Opening & Closing procedures for the Hall of Fame exhibit galleries on weekdays for after hour special event bookings and on weekends for regular operating hours including, but not limited to:
• Assisting with the delivery of SSHF guest services
• Supervising the multi-sport simulator
• Assisting with the delivery of SSHF programming, including setup and cleanup, as required
• Housekeeping – dusting shelves, vacuuming floors, cleaning glass fixtures, etc.

Perfect for part-time summer employment, the position will include regular and/or casual hours available starting Saturday, May 16, 2015.

We are looking for team members who have:
• Interest in, and knowledge of, Saskatchewan sport
• Ability to work independently and as part of a team
• Strong communication skills
• Strong inter-personal skills
• Reached 16 years of age or older

The new members of our team will work with us at the Hall of Fame, located at 2205 Victoria Avenue, right here in Regina. The position comes with salary of $11/hr. Not to mention all the great experience you will get, working with one of Saskatchewan’s most history institutions!

If this sounds like you, please submit a resume, along with cover letter to the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame – Attn: Executive Director by May 1, 2015.

Submissions may be submitted via email to [email protected]

For additional information:
Sheila Kelly, Executive Director
306-780-9232

Easter Week Activities at Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Easter Holidays are almost here. Need something to do with the kids? How about a visit to the SSHF?

Check out our latest exhibit: For Those About to Rock: Women’s Curling in Saskatchewan
Try interactive curling in our wheelchair curling display!
Do a scavenger hunt!

Check out our new Sport Simulator and play like our inductees!
Six different sports available.

We can offer age appropriate activities that promote learning and fun, like a trivia challenge, “I Spy” or pick an inductee!
Use our 3 in gallery iPads to search for your favorite sport or find an inductee.

Easter hours are as follows:
April 7 – April 10
10:30am – 4:30pm

Regular admission charges apply
Adults: $5.00
Seniors: $3.00
Students/Children: $2.00
Children under 5: Free
Family: $10.00

Or purchase a Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame 2015 Membership for unlimited visits!
Individual: $35.00
Family: $50.00

Induction 2013

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This past weekend marked perhaps the most important day on our calendar as we officially inducted our Class of 2013, which included 8 individuals as well as one championship team. A variety of sports were recognized including athletics, hockey, triathlon, lawn bowls, sports medicine and wheelchair rugby as part of this incredible class.

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There is a massive amount of coverage coming through each of the channels we have at our disposal, but we thought we would kick things off by giving all of you a small overview of what happened on both Friday and Saturday of last week. Included in this first post are just a few of the photos that were taken over the weekend as well as some of the information on each inductee.

Keith Roney : 2013 inductee

Keith Roney : 2013 inductee

Gwen (Wall) Ridout : 2013 inductee

Gwen (Wall) Ridout : 2013 inductee

Family of Garth Boesch: 2013 inductee

Family of Garth Boesch: 2013 inductee

Members of the 1998 University of Saskatchewan Huskies Football Team: 2013 inductees

Members of the 1998 University of Saskatchewan Huskies Football Team: 2013 inductees

Evelyn (Gorin) Nesdole: 2013 inductee

Evelyn (Gorin) Nesdole: 2013 inductee

Donald Gallo: 2013 inductee

Donald Gallo: 2013 inductee

Chuck Armstrong: 2013 inductee

Chuck Armstrong: 2013 inductee

Allan Semeniuk: 2013 inductee

Allan Semeniuk: 2013 inductee

Vern Pachal: 2013 inductee

Vern Pachal: 2013 inductee

Over the course of the next few weeks we will be bringing you everything from additional photos, short videos produced for each inductee. Below are the names of each inductee and a brief look at the many accomplishments that they have between them.

We would also like to take this opportunity to invite each and every one of you to come into the Hall and view the newest look of our third gallery, Dedication to Sport: Our Newest Inductees, which is currently displaying a plethora of information and a dedicated exhibit for each member of the Class of 2013.

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Induction Weekend Is Only Five Weeks Away

We are five weeks out and preparations are well under way for the 47th Annual Induction Ceremonies.  Open up the latest edition of For The Record to get all of the details on the Class of 2013, event information, our host hotel the Hotel Saskatchewan Radisson Plaza, and the many other sponsors committed to this event.

Tickets can be ordered individually or as tables of 8.  All tickets are $50 each.  Please identify if you are coming to celebrate a particular inductee when you order your tickets.  This will allow us to coordinate our seating plan more effectively.

Please remember that the format of the induction celebrations has changed.  The President’s Reception hosted from 5 – 6 p.m. is your opportunity to visit and eat!  The Centre of the Arts has a delicious menu planned and we encourage everyone to arrive promptly at 5 p.m. in order to adequately enjoy the spread prior to the Induction Ceremony that begins at 6:15 p.m.  We are once again pleased to include a Parade of Past Inductees to start the induction festivities off whereby we celebrate the achievements of those past inductees in attendance.  Following our June 15 induction we will have 488 inductees installed in the Hall of Fame.  It is a very impressive group and one that is collectively worth celebrating every chance we get.  Click on the Ticket Order Form tab below to reserve your seat to help celebrate not only the Class of 2013, but also all of those representing Saskatchewan’s sport heritage.

For The Record May 2013

 

Hall Of Fame Induction Ticket Order Form