Judy Fitzsimmons’s dream of a Chilliwack Sports Hall of Fame is finally taking shape.
More than three years ago, Fitzsimmons was in Delta when she came across that city’s local sports hall.
“I thought, hmm. It was a little light bulb,” she said.
Since that fateful trip, Fitzsimmons has received support from local politicians and built a formidable team of volunteers to work towards her goal of a Chilliwack hall.
The sticking point, however, was where to put it.
“It really was a conundrum for us,” Fitzsimmons told the Times.
But that’s no longer the case. The Chilliwack Chiefs have offered up a portion of the Prospera Centre concourse to the hall, solving the long-running location problem and giving the idea a firm shove towards becoming reality.
“Without them, we wouldn’t have known what our next step would have been,” said Fitzsimmons.
Gord Pederson, the city’s director of parks, recreation and culture, said the idea is for a multimedia display that will honour athletes, coaches and builders for excellence at a high level of sports.
“We’d be looking at a setup that would have TV screens and a static display,” he said. The display would allow the presentation of physical objects, while the TV screens would allow the hall to expand as it recognizes more inductees. “We wanted to find a really appropriate way to honour the legacy of these winners.”
He also said organizers have focused on making sure the hall doesn’t overlap with the successful Sport Heroes program, which honours long-time volunteers with Chilliwack sport.
The goal is for the hall to preserve the legacy of presentday athletes, while reminding residents of the heroes of yesteryear. To dig back into Chilliwack’s history, organizers are working with the Chilliwack Museum and Archives.
“I think what we’re also doing is waking up the community to the level of skill and talent we’ve had in the community-both have and had,” said Pederson.
The hope is to have the hall complete and open to the public by December. But that will mean not just hammering out the details of what the display will look like, but deciding what athletes deserve a spot in the hall.
“We’ll be running hard to get it done, but I think we can do it,” said Fitzsimmons. “There’s a huge diverse [sports community] and I think we can tap into that.”
Anyone who wants to volunteer can call her at 604-847-3765