Sports

Five new inductees named to Hall

Former Okanagan Sun head coach Lawrence Nagy is one of five 2011 inductees into the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame. - Sean Connor/Capital News
Former Okanagan Sun head coach Lawrence Nagy is one of five 2011 inductees into the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.
— image credit: Sean Connor/Capital News

For the better part of two decades, she was virtually unbeatable in women's golf in the B.C. Interior.

That longtime dominance on courses around the province has made Kelowna's Joan Campbell one of five inductees into the 2011 Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.

To be inducted in the Pioneer category, Campbell won the Interior women title 10 times between 1953 and 1972, and also won the Kelowna Golf and Country Club championship a record nine times.

A mother of five, Campbell was a three-time semi-finalist at the B.C. women's championship and helped Team B.C. win the Canadian Senior Women's Golf Championship in 1971.

Campbell, who was introduced with the other inductees at a media conference Tuesday at the Kelowna Museum, is delighted with her induction.

"It's a combination of all the accolades I've had in the past, and it's very nice," said Campbell, now 95, who was accompanied Tuesday by sons Terry and Chris. "Nothing has come up to this, to this level. (The game) meant everything to me, it was my life.

"I'm sorry to say I can't play now," Campbell said with a smile.

The other 2011 inductees are:

• Lawrence Nagy—Builder

A former player at Immaculata and the University of Alberta, Nagy is the only head coach to have led the Okanagan Sun to the national junior football title.

Under Nagy's guidance, the Sun captured the Canadian Bowl twice, in 1988 and again in 2000.

The Sun also won five B.C. titles during his tenure, while Nagy was named B.C. Junior Football coach of the year three times.

Nagy, 55, was surprised his induction into the Hall came this quickly.

"I didn't anticipate anything happening for years and years, because there's so many great, great people in this town, you know having lived here most of my life," said Nagy. "I know all the support and help that I got on the way, those people were more deserving than I was. I anticipated this happening 10 years from now."

As for Nagy's recollections of his days with the Sun, it wasn't the victories or awards that stand out most—it was the people.

"It wasn't so much the wins and championships but the things that happened between times, the quiet moments when you're on a bus, there was so many good players that had good personalities and did so many crazy things. The most important thing was being in the moment and doing the things that had to be done."

Nagy has been away from coaching for the better part of a decade, but hasn't ruled out a return to football at some point. He and his family will be moving back to Kelowna Aug. 1 from Revelstoke.

• Eric Tasker-Builder

The late Eric Tasker was involved in virtually every aspect of soccer in the Central Okanagan as a player, coach, manager and referee.

He founded the Okanagan Challenge men's soccer club in the early 1990s and oversaw the operation of the team for almost two decades.

Tasker, who passed away last year, saw his team win the PCSL title three times, the last one coming in 2009.

He was also a tireless volunteer, a nationally-certified referee and conducted clinics for hundreds of youngsters in the Okanagan.

Tasker's wife, Isla, said while her husband would have appreciated the individual recognition but would be most grateful for the attention given the sport he loved.

"At the end of the day, Eric would be saying this was a great day for the Challenge and a great day for soccer in Kelowna," said Isla Tasker.

"At the same time he'd say 'Yes' to all those people on the sidelines who helped him along the way."

Tasker won the Calgary Winter Olympics Community Service Award in 1988 and B.C. Soccer's Merit Award in 1994.

• Dan Bertoia and Aundrea Bertoia—Athletes

Excellence on the track ran in the family for Kelowna's Bertoias.

Dan specialized in the 800 and 1,500 metre events where he won many provincial, Western Canadian and national titles at the high school, juvenile and senior levels.

On the international scene, the highlight for Dan was a bronze medal in the 1,500 metres at the 1991 Pan American Games.

Aundrea made her mark as a long distance runner in the 1,500 and 3,000 metre events, winning medals at the B.C. Summer Games, provincial high school championships, and national junior championships.

Her biggest achievements were winning the bronze medal in the 3,000 at the 1990 Junior Olympic Athletic Championships in Japan and the NAIA national title in 1992.

In attendance to acknowledge their induction was their dad, Don Bertoia.

"They wanted me to say how honoured and privileged they are to be included in the Hall of Fame," said Don Bertoia. "They appreciate the support they've received througout their runnning careers from their teachers and coaches and particularly the Kelowna Track and Field Club."

Dan Bertoia is currently living with his family in Burnaby, while Aundrea Bertoia is in the process of completing her nursing degree at the University of Alberta.

The Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Thursday, Nov. 24 at 7 a.m. at the Coast Capri Hotel.

whenderson@kelownacapnews.com

 

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