Coquitlam’s sports hall welcomes new inductees
COQUITLAM, BC – The Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame reflects the community we live in, and to do that it invites you to make your contribution.
They’ve shone on the brightest sports stages in Canada and the world, now the newest inductees into the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame will have a place of their own among the community’s fellow stars.
Olympians Christian Farstad, Kate Richardson and Tara Self and B.C. Lions linebacker Glen Jackson were voted into the Hall, located in the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre, as the class of 2016.
They are joined by builders Chris Bennett and Ernie Punch McLean, who raised the bar in their fields as coaches and program developers in soccer and hockey, respectively.
Farstad was a member of the Canadian national bobsleigh team, both 2- and 4-man, from 1990 to 1997, competing in the 1991 World championships. At that competition, His two-man team placed 4th, Canada’s best result at the time. Two years later, Farstad’s 4-man bobsleigh scored silver at the world championships in Austria. He competed at the 1992 Albertville Olympics and 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, then upon his retirement moved onto the administrative side of the sport and served as a founding member of the Federal, Territorial and Provincial Task Force for High Performance and president of Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, among other volunteer positions.
Jackson was a dominating force as a member of the B.C. Lions from 1976 until 1987. A Vancouver native, Jackson starred at Simon Fraser University then ambled over to Empire Stadium to begin a 12-year career as an unyielding force as a Lions’ linebacker, with his famous Fu Manchu moustache one of the last sights opposing players glimpsed before being knocked to the turf. Jackson played 192 games and appeared in two Grey Cup finals, including BC’s dramatic win in 1985, while being selected to six Western all-star teams. Stats weren’t kept for defensive players until late in his career, but the longtime Coquitlam resident piled up his share of sacks, tackles and fumble recoveries.
An artistic gymnast, Richardson competed for Canada at the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics, resulting in a 15th all-around (in Sydney) and 7th place showing in floor exercise (in Athens). At Athens she became the first Canadian woman to qualify for an event final. The diminutive dynamo was a member of the Canadian team from 1996 to 2004, placing 16th all-around at the 2001 world championships. Her international star beamed in 2002, when the Coquitlam native won the 2002 Commonwealth Games all-around title, taking gold on balance beam. She was a multiple NCAA individual event champion as a member of the UCLA Bruins’ women’s artistic gymnastics team.
Self’s passage into the world of track and field came naturally, as the Coquitlam native is the daughter of Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame member Percy Perry (deceased) and Wilma Perry. In a span of 10 years, Self competed for Canada in every major sprinting championship, including at the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. At the 1999 world championships she was a key member of Canada’s 6th place finish in the 4×100 relay, finished 4th at the World University Games in the women’s 100 metre, and was Canadian junior and Canada Games champion, while placing top-three 10 times at the senior national championships. She continues to share her passion for track and field by coaching athletes at the Coquitlam Cheetahs Track and Field Club at Town Centre.
As a builder, Bennett spearheaded the growth of soccer in Canada at nearly every level. An accomplished player who was among one of the first Vancouver Whitecaps, Bennett made a smooth transition to the coaching side and skippered the national under-20 men’s team to the CONCACAF title in 1996, which saw Canada shock Mexico in Mexico City. That team would advance out of the group stage at the FIFA world championships the next year before falling to Spain in the playoffs. Bennett took on the Vancouver women’s Whitecaps coaching duties in 2004 and directed them to a North American title. He has also played an instrumental role in his adopted hometown of Coquitlam, working with various club teams and programs over the years.
In hockey circles, the name Ernie ‘Punch’ McLean is legendary. A prospector, business owner and talent scout – McLean’s reputation as a true character of the game was forged through a lengthy resume of accomplishments. One of the original founders of the current Western Hockey League, McLean survived a plane crash in 1971 and within a year moved his hockey club from Estevan to New Westminster, settling himself in Coquitlam. His hockey teams soon built a reputation and a fierce record during the rough-and-tumble 1970s. McLean’s Bruins would set a record in qualifying for four straight Memorial Cup championships, capturing the junior title in 1977 and 1978. Among the players he prepared for future fame in the NHL were Brad Maxwell, Stan Smyl and Ron Greschner.
The Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame will honour the newest class of inductees, along with a group of teams and individuals for its annual Wall of Fame recipients, on June 16, 2016, at the Coquitlam Sports and Leisure Centre (633 Poirier St.). For information on the induction ceremonies or to purchase tickets to attend the evening gala, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Wall of Fame winners will be announced next week.
For more information, contact Lois McNary, CSHOF president (email@example.com) or Les Wingrove, CSHOF vice-president (firstname.lastname@example.org).