The 2018 class to be inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame is an impressive one.
The group was announced Monday at press conferences in Red Deer, Calgary and Edmonton.
The list of inductees includes long time Red Deer broadcasting personality Dianne Finstad, who is receiving the Bell Memorial Award given annually to a worthy broadcaster. Finstad began her career at CKRD-TV and Radio and hosted the award winning program ‘The Business of Farming.’ She also covered events like the Calgary Stampede, Canadian Finals Rodeo and the National Finals Rodeo.
Finstad, who admits she never believed she would end up in a sports hall of fame, reflected on the way story-telling has changed from her early days in the business.
“When I started at the TV station, back when Ron MacLean was still there, we did use typewriters. The change in technology has been amazing,” she says. “One thing that hasn’t changed is the stories. That’s what I love the most. Cowboys are great story-tellers -- they can spin a tale like no one else. I’m just grateful to all the competitors who allowed us to tell their stories.”
Also in this year’s class is Halkirk native Leighann Doan Reimer, who played for the University of Calgary Dinos basketball team from ‘97-‘01. Among other honours, she was named CIS Women’s Basketball Rookie of the Year and went on to play professionally in France.
“This caught me completely off guard in a busy schedule. I actually missed phone calls a couple times from somebody here,” she recalls. “I called back and I kind of thought it was to do with my brother or something. I didn’t know what it was, and then, ‘Oh, well thank you very much.’ This is a wonderful surprise.”
The other inductees for 2018 are Doug Barkley (Athlete/Builder-Hockey), Keely Brown (Athlete-Ringette), Theo Fleury (Athlete-Hockey), Cindy Klassen (Athlete-Speed Skating), Phil Allen (Builder-Basketball-posthumous), Dave King (Builder-Hockey), Dr. Lorne Sawula (Builder-Volleyball), 1989 & 1990 Calgary Colts Junior Football teams, Stuart Erskine (Achievement Award-Mountaineering), and Robert Davies (Pioneer Award-Basketball).
The class will be inducted at a banquet on June 1 in Red Deer.
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