By Eric Welsh
The Chilliwack Sports Hall of Fame class of 2019 has been announced. An Olympic level swimmer, curling’s biggest fan and a championship soccer squad will be inducted at the Chilliwack Sports Dinner Gala on October 23.
The 2019 Chilliwack Sports Dinner, sponsored by Triple B Plumbing , will be held October 23 at the SureStay Hotel by Best Western. In addition to the induction ceremony, the night will also feature a silent auction and a performance by comedian Patrick Maliha.
Former Chilliwack Stingrays and Spartans star Jenn Heagy is this year’s inductee in the athlete category. Heagy’s story is a fascinating one. A child prodigy in the pool, the Chilliwack native started competitive swimming in 1985 and was soon setting records, winning provincial championships and competing at the national level.
By age 10, Heagy was testing herself against much older swimmers at the Canadian Youth Nationals and by age 12 she was going head to head with Canada’s best at Senior Nationals.
In 1992, she joined the Canadian National team at the 8 Nations swim meet in Rome, Italy and competed at the ‘Juvenile’ Olympics in Avila, Spain.
At one point, Heagy rose to 16th in the world in the FINA (Fédération internationale de natation) rankings. At just 14 years old, Heagy dove into the water at Canadian Olympic Trials, with a chance to go to Barcelona, Spain for the 1992 Summer Games. Heartbreak followed. The teenager’s time in the 100 metre breaststroke was .01 seconds off the qualifying mark. Not even a finger snap was the difference.
“Our Chilliwack Sports Hall of Fame inductees have had some amazing stories over the years, but Jenn’s is particularly fascinating because it combines so many elements,” said CSHOF spokesman Barry Douglas. “There’s triumph and heartbreak and so much emotion. Imagine going through all of that at such a young age, watching the ultimate dream of many athletes slip through your fingers. “The Chilliwack Sports Hall of Fame exists to tell stories and I am so interested to hear Jenn tell hers.”
Bruce Renwick’s story is one of dedication.
Renwick has been the general manager of the Chilliwack Curling Club since 1997, and his involvement with the club and sport stretches back decades. Renwick has worked tirelessly to increase the Chilliwack Curling Club’s membership in an era when other clubs are experiencing a decline. He has paid extra attention to youth curling, making sure the CCC is strong at the grassroots level.
The most tangible result of Renwick’s work can be seen on Spadina Avenue. The CCC moved into a brand new building early in 2019. Years in the making, the CCC now enjoys one of the finest facilities in the province.
Within weeks of opening, the building hosted the Everest Canadian National Senior Curling Championships. The Everests were the latest in a string of high profile events to be held in Chilliwack during Renwick’s tenure. The CCC hosted the 2006 Continental Cup and the 2016 Canadian Police Curling Championships, along with many provincial and regional tournaments.
“Bruce Renwick’s name is synonymous with curling in Chilliwack, and there’s been no greater advocate for the sport,” Douglas said. “He exemplifies what the CSHOF looks to recognize in the Judy Fitzsimmons Builder Category. Bruce is a man who has a vision for what he wants the Chilliwack Curling Club to be, and he has gone above and beyond to make that vision a reality.”
1999 Chilliwack United Gold Boys Soccer Team
The 1999 Chilliwack United Gold boys soccer squad is being inducted in the team category.
A history making crew, they were the first Chilliwack team to win a provincial youth soccer championship. Chilliwack United traveled to Castlegar in July of 1999 for a six team tournament that included Kelowna, Dunbar-United (Vancouver), Bays United (Victoria), Quesnel, Kamloops and Kootenay South.
Chilliwack beat Bays United 2-1 in their opener and whomped Kootenay South 9-1. After falling 3-2 to Dunbar United, the locals bounced back to blank Quesnel 1-0. A win over Kamloops sealed the deal. “This was a breakthrough moment for Chilliwack soccer, with this team proving our town could compete with the best of the best,” Douglas said. “It is always special getting a team together after so many years and we look forward to reuniting these men 20 years after their historic accomplishment.”