Inductee Tom Forzani in the News!
When Calgary Stampeders alumnus Tom Forzani stepped onto the links at Medicine Hat Golf and Country Club Friday for the 18th annual United Way CFL Alumni Tournament, the first thing he noticed was how much older everyone looked.
Everyone but him, that is.
"They all look so old. Every time I look in the mirror it looks like I've never changed, though," said Forzani, adding the game truly does take a toll on the body. "They're a reminder, especially the way they walk. It's a tough game, once you get to about 60, those little creaks become thunder."
While the weather played an unwelcome hand —as rain and lightning postponed the event for a few hours — Forzani's brother, former teammate and business partner Joe says it was still a great chance to mingle with old friends and foes while drumming up funds and awareness for the United Way.
"I play in a lot of these tournaments and it surprises me how many dedicated, loyal football fans there are, in small towns in particular," said Joe, who will be inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame next week alongside his brother. "It's nice to touch base with people, everybody always has a million questions, but I think the bottom line is being able to lend my name and past sports experiences to making money for charity and helping out the under-priviliged."
Thirty alumnus from the Stamps, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Edmonton Eskimos were on hand to interact with loyal fans, share memories of the gridiron with old teammates and opponents and raise money for the United Way of South Eastern Alberta.
Former Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Tom Wilkinson added it was nice to see the turnout of alumni, even his former foes, but no rivalries were reinstated on the greens.
"I'm way past competitive ... But it's really good to see a lot of the guys you play with, but the guys you played against as well," said Wilkinson, now 73, who was determined to hit the fairways once the lightning subsided. "I've always sworn I won't play in the rain but today I want to play anyway."
Inductee Graham Kelly in the News!
Graham Kelly has been recognized nationally for his sports writing, and will be honoured provincially next week for his decades covering Canadian football.
Soon, the city could be recognizing his achievements, as Kelly was recommended for induction to the Medicine Hat Sports Wall of Fame.
The recommendation was made at the April 20 meeting of the Urban Environment and Recreation Advisory Board and was brought forward at Tuesday's Public Service's committee meeting. The final decision will be made by City Council at its next meeting.
Garry James, a member of the advisory board, said Kelly was deemed a worthy nominee based on the criteria the wall of fame has in place.
"We discovered that Graham hit 100 per cent of the different items of criteria we had," he said, noting Kelly has been recognized locally, provincially and nationally for his work.
This year, Kelly will be entering his 44th year of covering the CFL for the Medicine Hat News, making him the longest-running columnist in the paper's history. He has published seven books about the history of the league, and has interviewed the biggest names who have ever played the sport.
Kelly, a former city councillor, was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as a reporter in 2002, and enters the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame on June 3 as the recipient of the Bell Memorial Award, awarded to members of the media who have made a significant contribution to athletics in the province.
The last induction for the Medicine Hat Sports Wall of Fame, which is on display at the Family Leisure Centre, was made in 2014. Darryl "Rud" Henderson, a Medicine Hat archer who received 35 medals in local, provincial and national competitions, and former president of the Redhat Archers Club, received the honour.
There are currently 20 names on the wall of fame, ranging from NHL player Trevor Linden to Medicine Hat's Mr. Baseball, Lovell McDonnell.
Team Alberta Wins Gold - Canadian Sledge Hockey Championships
Team Alberta was victorious in the first ever Canadian Sledge Hockey Championships, hosted in the City of Leduc last weekend.
The provincial team went undefeated in all its round robin games, beating Quebec, B.C. and Ontario, against whom they faced off in the fight for gold.
Head coach Steve Arsenault credits his players for handling the pressure well and their high level of performance.
"When we started this journey in October I think it was a shock because we went from not having a high performance program for sledge hockey in this province to demanding one right off the bat. There was a little bit of a change that had to be addressed and they did everything we asked. They played exceptionally well. I couldn't ask for a better result," he said.
"We trained and developed our players as best as we could as a staff. At the end of the day they came to play and I think that showed."
The age range of the players was quite vast ranging from 15 to 34, though Arsenault said it was advantageous to have older players guide the younger ones. There were also two females, Alanna Mah and Geneva Coulter, who held their own in the male-dominated tournament.
"It shows how well they stand up to their counterparts and play just as competitively as men. They can play the full contact and take hits. As long as they're training and understand not to shy away from it they can be unbelievable," said Arsenault. "I'm happy with the way they played and I have no hesitation ever as a coach to have females play on my team."
Apart from coaching, Arsenault plays sledge hockey himself for Team Canada.
Having the experience as a player did help when he was on the bench.
"As soon as that puck drops I have limited control other than bench management. The game's not on my stick. I think my hockey experience and still being an avid player helped. I understand even more now the struggles that coaches have but I also understand the players' perspective, what they're going through, if they're having a bad game how to motivate them," he said.
Now the off-season starts on a happy note and Arsenault hopes it will help the program develop even more.
The players will continue to play with their own clubs, but meet every month for training camp with their provincial teammates.
We, at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, are deeply saddened to hear of those who have been affected by the fires in Northern Alberta. Family is very important to us and we would like to support our Albertan families.
For the month of May, we are offering free admission to displaced residents from the Fort McMurray fires (#YMMfire) with valid I.D. that has a Fort McMurray address so that they may spend quality fun time with their families.
Additionally, 100% of the funds received from admissions on Monday, May 23rd will be donated to the Red Cross to assist those affected by these wildfires.
We encourage all of our Honoured Members, fellow Museum, and Albertans to help in any way they can.
Families and friends are the heart of Alberta. We can help.
Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
North of 32 Street overpass on HWY 2
Red Deer, AB
Open 7 days a week!
Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday, May 23, 2016: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Honoured Member Carol Huynh named Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada
The entirety of all that Carol Huynh has ever accomplished in her life made her an ideal choice for the role of Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the upcoming 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio. That the two-time Olympic medalist in wrestling, and CSI Calgary Next Generation coach, was handpicked for the job astonished Huynh, "I was surprised, bigtime surprised! I heard through the grapevine last fall that it might happen, but when the call came in October I was still surprised. It boggles my mind that they chose me."
If you look closely at Huynh's long career in sport, first as an athlete, then advocate, coach and now mentor, it should come as no surprise that she was chosen to serve as Assistant Chef. But it's not medals and accolades that make Huyhn, a former CSI Calgary athlete, the right person for the job, it's her spirit and knowledge, and the desire to share it with the athletes – all of them. "I'm not there just to support the medalists," she says. "I see myself being there as much for the athletes that didn't quite do as well as they hoped."
Brimming with infectious enthusiasm, Huynh relishes the opportunity to fulfill her role as team spokesperson, leader, mentor and cheerleader. "It's a great opportunity for me to be on Team Canada in a totally different way. I can bring my different experiences to the table. In Beijing I came in as an underdog and left as an Olympic champion, and in London I came in as the favourite and with that extra pressure I had a lower result than I had hoped for."
The same attributes that made her so successful as an athlete now influence the way she coaches. Endless dissection of every move, every thought and comment. When her athletes are less successful than she had hoped, there is thoughtful introspection about what she could have done or said differently that might have made a difference. "I'm still quick to blame myself!" she says.
But perhaps the profound experience of having to fight for the inclusion of her sport in the Olympic Games is at the heart of what she will bring with her to Rio. It came as a total shock to Huynh when, in 2013 the IOC voted wrestling out of the core sports for the Olympic Summer Games beginning in 2020. "For the first time I looked at the sport differently, beyond myself. I saw it from the grassroots level and from an international perspective, where kids all over the world dream of being an Olympian in their sport, or they just love to play a sport. It touches so many people and opens opportunities."
The vote spurred Huynh to fight the sport's ousting and she worked hard within the wrestling community to get the sport reinstated, an effort that was ultimately successful and which led to her election as the chairperson of the International Wrestling Federation's new Athletes' Commission. "I have been a part of, and witness to, a lot of great change in our sport. I feel very glad that all happened because so many things in our sport needed to be changed."
This relentless determination to fight – on the mat, for her athletes, for her sport – has galvanized an Olympic spirit in Huynh that is unwavering. When asked what keeps her so deeply entrenched in both wrestling and the Olympic movement, Huynh laughs, "I ask myself the same question!"
Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto
Congratulations Honoured Member Kelly Anne Erdman On Her Recent Publication!
Article from Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: Paving the Way: Kelly Anne Erdman
The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) congratulates Kelly Anne Erdman on her recent publication, an accomplishment she deems to be, "The greatest achievement of my career." Erdman has been a source of knowledge in Canadian athletes' lives for over two decades. Always up-to-date on cutting-edge research, Erdman has been a Performance Dietitian at the 2012 and 2014 Olympic Games as well as the 2011 Pan Am Games.
Erdman began working at the CSI Calgary in 1994, paving the way in the field of sports nutrition. An Olympian in track cycling, Erdman continues to be aligned with the CSI Calgary, working predominantly with the speed skating team and Hockey Canada as the lead dietitian for both the women's and sledge hockey programs and consulting with the men's team. She also consults with a variety of sports including luge, heptathlon, and nordic skiing.
For her recent publication, Erdman was hand-picked by Dietitians of Canada to be a co-author on the February 2016 position paper titled Nutrition and Athletic Performance: Position of Dietitians of Canada, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Sports Medicine. The publication is an in-depth report on the role of nutrition as a critical piece of high performance sport and shares the authors' expertise by outlining evidence-based current recommendations for athletes' nutrition.
As one of three authors who spent a year and a half re-writing the paper based on current evidence, Erdman's co-authors were American D. Travis Thomas from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Australian Louise M. Burke representing the American College of Sports Medicine. As science and sport are always evolving, this is the third time the paper has been re-written to update the information. Last published in 2011, the joint position paper will go through its next re-write in 2019.
Erdman says that this re-write is more focused on the need for athlete nutrition to be customized. She believes that it is critical for athletes and their support teams to be aware of how an athlete's nutrition needs vary on a daily basis. When asked the one piece of advice that she would give to her fellow Sport Dietitians, Erdman stresses that she believes in tailoring the message, customizing it for each athlete's needs.
Ultimately, it is evident that Erdman loves what she does and is an integral component to the success of Canada's athletes. While the CSI Calgary knows that Erdman is very deserving of this recognition, she humbly emphasizes, "It was a huge honour for me to represent sport dietitians in Canada, and I would not have been given the opportunity to work on this piece of literature had I not been affiliated with a high performance institute such as the CSI Calgary."
Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler