By Woodard, Dale on February 23, 2018.
The sport of volleyball has taken Steve Wilson across the globe.
It’s also allowed him to make his mark at home.
Wilson, who has been a fixture on the volleyball scene in southern Alberta for more than 40 years as a player, coach and mentor, was one of four people named as 2018 inductees into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame Thursday morning, celebrating 33 years of recognizing local sporting excellence.
Wilson joins Duane Konynenbelt (multi-sport) and athletes Carla Pavan (skeleton) and Lauren Perry (volleyball) as this year’s inductees along with the 1975 Lethbridge Chargers Soccer Team in the team category.
Named as Kinsmen Sports Persons of the Year for 2017 in the female category are curling sisters Casey and Jessie Scheidegger, while former Lethbridge Hurricane captain Tyler Wong earns the male honour.
Wilson noted volleyball that has taken him well outside the confines of southern Alberta.
“Volleyball has been so good to me in that it’s gotten me around the world,” said Wilson, who played his high school volleyball at Taber St. Mary’s High School and was a member of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns volleyball team before graduating in 1979. “I’ve always been proud to say I’m from Lethbridge and to get back here and spend the last 25 years of my life here again, it’s just been cool. To have Lethbridge, volleyball and myself all linked together is pretty special.
“The Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame inductees over the years have shown such commitment and contributions to the community, so to be thought of in those terms is humbling.”
Konynenbelt joins the Hall’s 2018 class in the multi-sport category.
“It sure means a lot,” said Konynenbelt. “To be recognized as a builder of athletics in southern Alberta, there are a lot of great names on that board, people who have worked tirelessly for many years and I know a lot of them. It’s just an encouraging thing and I just hope I can continue to help out athletics in southern Alberta as the years go on.”
Witnessing local athletic development from year-to-year has been especially rewarding.
“When you see them in their zone and provincial competitions and it means a lot to them, they’ve been working hard all year,” said Konynenbelt. “Then to see them develop year-to-year, that’s why I like to go back and watch the championships, seeing these young kids and wondering if one day maybe one of them will be the athletic category of the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame.”
Konynenbelt retired as a teacher and athletic director at Immanuel Christian High School in 2015, but remains active in local events.
“I think I still have a lot of years in athletics, so I think I’ll continue to run the zone championships and help out with the ASAA championship whenever I can and look for ways to support the community.”
Casey Scheidegger was on hand to accept the Kinsmen Sports Persons of the Year as part of the sister tandem that recently represented Alberta at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton.
“It’s an incredible honour. I think anytime you can be recognized by your community and your peers it’s always an honour. Jessie and I are super happy to be able to receive this.
“We’ve always had the support the of Lethbridge and the surrounding area and to have the sendoff party was incredible. All the messages we received there were awesome. We really felt the support of our community as we were playing in Penticton.”
And the foursome isn’t done.
“We’re excited. We’ve decided to stay together for another four years,” said Scheidegger. “So the trials is definitely something we’ll be gunning for the next four years. So we’re really exited for that.”
The induction banquet takes place May 4 at the Canadian Western Bank Lounge at the Enmax Centre.
Tickets will be available for purchase through the Enmax Centre Ticket Centre.
See Saturday’s Herald for the biographies of the 2018 Hall inductees.
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