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Mr. Speaker, today I would like to highlight and celebrate the 2018 inductees into the Northwest Territories Sport Hall of Fame.
The Northwest Territories Sport Hall of Fame was created to honour athletes, coaches, officials and contributors to sport from all parts of our society. Sponsored by the Sport North Federation, the Hall of Fame shares the history and the impact of our greatest contributors to sport.
Mr. Speaker, I invite Members of this House to join me in congratulating Ms. Robin Mercer-Sproule, Mr. Abe Theil and the 1970 Fort McPherson Centennial Canoe team, who will be recognized at a special ceremony to be held in Yellowknife on November 23.
Ms. Mercer-Sproule competed on behalf of the Northwest Territories in figure skating, softball, volleyball, basketball, hockey and broomball in no less than 12 Arctic Winter Games and numerous other regional and national competitions across Canada. A breakthrough leader in women’s hockey, she started in the sport by playing with a boys’ team in 1977 as a forward. She later became a top goaltender.
Mr. Theil is being recognized for his lifelong contribution to volleyball and for the significant role he played in the development of the Sport North Federation. He participated in 10 Arctic Winter Games from 1972 through 1998. His contribution to the sport from the local club level through to national and international levels has been significant and remains an important part of the sport’s legacy in our country.
The Fort McPherson Canoe Team participated in the historic Northwest Territories Centennial Fort Providence to Inuvik canoe race in 1970. The six member team finished in first place after a series of races covering the 1800 kilometer distance, competing against teams from Aklavik, Inuvik, Fort Providence, Fort Good Hope, Yellowknife, Detah, Tsiigehtchic and from outside the Northwest Territories. Team members were Captain Phillip Blake, Woody Elias, Fred Vittrekwa, Joe Vittrekwa, John Itsi and Joseph Kaye.
Mr. Speaker, these inductees and those selected in previous years are role models, mentors and leaders in sport. They have worked tirelessly to develop the North’s capacity to pursue active healthy lifestyles through engagement and participation in sport programming.
It is important to recognize and celebrate the past and present successes of our Northern athletes and sport builders. Applauding their commitment to excellence, as athletes, coaches or as an entire team helps to set a benchmark for the next generation. On November 23, we will celebrate these inductees for their accomplishments and for the inspiration they have provided to us all.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank our community governments, Sport North Federation and all the Territorial Sport Organizations for their efforts to support opportunities for these inductees and all residents to pursue their dreams through sport.
I would also like to thank the many volunteers who contribute their time, talent and energy to the sport system. The work you do is important to the well-being of our youth, the growth of the sport system and our collective efforts to build healthier communities in the Northwest Territories.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.