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Richmond Sports Wall of Fame expands by 10

Don Fennell   Oct-02-2018

Former Richmond Colts basketball great Ron Putzi, left, (with his high school coach Bill Disbrow and former Colt Jared Hulme) was one of 10 individuals inducted into the Richmond Sports Wall of Fame Saturday.

Photo by Chung Chow


Ten individuals, all of whom have made significant contributions to their sport, were inducted as the Class of 2018 into the Richmond Sports Wall of Fame at a special ceremony Saturday at city hall.

Reflecting on the community’s rich sporting history, dating back to the early 19th century, Mayor Malcolm Brodie said “to be named to the Richmond Sports Wall of Fame is an incredible distinction, and we are proud to honour those who made a tremendous impact in their sport and the community throughout their career.”

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The new inductees join an esteemed group of 43 individuals and teams that have previously been inducted, starting in 2015.

The 2018 class includes athletes Chim-Hing Stephanie Chan (table tennis) and Ron Putzi (basketball); coaches Ian Anderson, Les Hamaguchi, Moseley Jack, Amarjit “AJ” Sander and Doug Staveley; official Kelly Sutherland; builder Archie Blair; and, in the special achievement category, Dr. Jack Taunton.

STEPHANIE CHAN, ATHLETE

A four-time Parapan American Games medallist, winning gold in 2015, Stephanie Chan never allowed her disability to hold her back.

With a keen interest in sport since childhood, Chan, who also enjoys swimming, was 44 years old when she began playing table tennis. In 2010, she competed at the world championships in Korea as well as at the Copa Costa Rica, where she reached the top of the podium.

RON PUTZI, ATHLETE

A two-time provincial high school basketball champion with the Richmond Colts, and a former Canadian national team player, Putzi was a dominant force on the court in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

ARCHIE BLAIR, BUILDER

A member of one of Richmond’s early pioneering families, Archie Blair took over the operation of the family farm after serving with the Canadian Armed Forces oversea in the First World War. Coincidentally, he also left a legacy of public service that, in addition to serving many years on school board and municipal council, included notable contributions to sport—particularly in the development of lacrosse from the grassroots. Archibald Blair Elementary School, located in the West Richmond community, is named after him. His son, Gil, also served on council for many years and was mayor from 1974 to 1990.

IAN ANDERSON, COACH

The longtime head football coach at Steveston Secondary School, Ian Anderson dedicated considerable time and energy to the sport.

In addition to coaching at Steveston, where he developed a widely-respected and successful program, Anderson also officiated the game for which he also earned considerable praise and is recognized as a lifetime member of the B.C. Football Officials Association.

DOUG STAVELEY, COACH

Ironically one of Anderson’s longtime football colleagues, Doug Staveley also made his mark as a successful high school basketball coach in Richmond for more than two decades. Staveley’s calm demeanour complemented a wealth of knowledge.

MOSELEY JACK, COACH

A fixture on the local track and field scene, Moseley Jack has spent the last 40 years and counting coaching with the Richmond Kajaks. In that time, he’s helped countless young athletes realize their potential. It’ still what inspires him.

Integral in the creation of the B.C. Elementary Track and Field Championships, which the Kajaks host annually, Moseley has missed just one meet (he was vacationing with his wife) since he started volunteering in 1980. Now in his early 80s, Jack’s healthy lifestyle enables to him to maintain a level of energy many half his age would envy.

AMARJIT (AJ) SANDER, COACH

Even after guiding his teams to eight consecutive Midget A female hockey provincial finals, and four championships, AJ Sander continues to be dedicated to helping develop the game at the grassroots. For 36 years, Sander has coached hockey, which began as a teen with the Richmond (boys) Minor Hockey Association. He has coached the Richmond Ravens Midget A team for the last 11 seasons, and has earned six Coaching Excellence Awards.

LES HAMAGUCHI, COACH

For four decades, Les Hamaguchi was one of the faces of basketball in Richmond. One of the longest-serving high school girls’ coaches in provincial history, he was instrumental in the success of programs at Steveston, Steveston-London and Richmond secondary schools guiding them to several B.C. titles. His dedication to the game was further illustrated by the two decades he spent overseeing the provincial championship tournament, helping it become a major event on the annual sports calendar.

KELLY SUTHERLAND, OFFICIAL

An NHL referee since 2000, Kelly Sutherland began his officiating career in Richmond before working his way through the junior hockey ranks to the pros. Reflecting his talent and dedication to the craft, Sutherland has officiated more than 1,000 NHL games and one of a select few to be assigned to three Stanley Cup finals in 2010, 2011 and 2015. He was also selected to referee the gold medal game at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

JACK TAUNTON, SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT

A pioneer in the development of sports medicine, Dr. Jack Taunton spent more than 40 years practising in the field. He opened the Terra Nova Sports Medicine Clinic, the first referral-only sports medical centre in Canada, and also gave back to sport through volunteering. In 1994 he became the chief medical officer for the NBA Vancouver Grizzlies and, in 2010, held the same position at the Olympic Winter Games and the Paralympic Games.


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