More than a dozen members of the 1971-1976 Lakers Senior A hockey team and its management share some laughs during the team’s induction into the wall of fame. “I really think they did add something to the community. Certainly it was great fun for us people involved with the team

More than a dozen members of the 1971-1976 Lakers Senior A hockey team and its management share some laughs during the team’s induction into the wall of fame. “I really think they did add something to the community. Certainly it was great fun for us people involved with the team

Leanne Wilkinson-Sirup and the 1970s Lakers team are this year’s additions to Cowichan Lake Sports Wall of Fame

The Cowichan Lake’s Heritage Sports Wall of Fame has added two new plaques

The Cowichan Lake’s Heritage Sports Wall of Fame has added two new plaques following a packed induction ceremony in the arena’s curling lounge.

On Saturday acclaimed swimmer and coach Leanne Wilkinson-Sirup and the 1971-1976 Lakers Senior A hockey team were inducted into the wall of fame, which recognizes the athletic accomplishments of Cowichan Lake’s finest.

Doug Callsen hosted the event, and shared some memories of when Wilkinson-Sirup moved to Lake Cowichan as a child and lived in the same neighbourhood as him. Like so many children at the lake, Wilkinson-Sirup learned to swim at the Duck Pond.

“From the very beginning it was evident that Leanne had some very special abilities in the water. In 1983 at the age of eight she began commuting to Duncan six days a week to swim more competitively,” said Callsen, before expounding on her many achievements as a swimmer and later a coach.

Wilkinson-Sirup still holds 47 records with the Duncan swim team, which she swam with from 1983-1989. She swam with a number of other teams over the years including Island Swimming and the University of Victoria from 1989-1992; Team BC from 1986-1992 for various events including the 1989 Canada Summer Games; and the Duncan swim team again from 1996-1997.

Throughout her swimming career she received numerous awards, including in 1997 when she competed at the North American Indigenous Games in Victoria and received five gold medals in individuals competitions, and three silver medals in relays.

Today, she is head coach of the Duncan swim team.

“Leanne has accomplished many outstanding achievements as a swimmer and she also deserves special recognition for the guidance she has provided for so many others throughout her dedicated coaching career,” said Callsen.

In an emotional acceptance speech, Wilkinson-Sirup thanked her many teachers and the local Kinsmen club who supported her during her years as a swimmer.

“All of my achievements certainly wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Lake Cowichan,” she said. “As it’s said, it takes a village to raise a child and so much so in my case here.”

Several of her young swimmers were in attendance for the event.

“Now, as a coach, I have an opportunity to give back,” she said.

The second recognition of the day was given to the 1971-1976 Lakers Senior A hockey team, which introduced competitive hockey to the lake. The team was immensely popular and filled the arena on game nights.

A dozen former players and team affiliates were on hand for Saturday’s induction ceremony, and Ken Irving, who was involved with the team’s management and who was the chairman of the arena building committee, spoke in accepting the award.

“I really think they did add something to the community. Certainly it was great fun for us people involved with the team,” he said. “I just hope that everyone else in the room who ended some of the games… has also some good memories.”

Jim Kipp, former player and now a Nanaimo city councillor was on hand for the event.

“With this group, and guys like Jimmy Peterson, they’re our local heroes. They’re the guys who were mentors to guys like me… They gave me that spirit and it comes from a community like this. That loving spirit, sticking up for each other, working hard.”

He said he really appreciates being recognized for the wall of fame alongside his fellow former teammates.

“These are the memories that make communities,” he said.

james.goldie@lakecowichangazette.com

Just Posted

Jared Popma recently streamed a live concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre. (Ashley Daniel Foot photo)
21-year-old jazz artist talks favourite tunes and joys of music theory

Jared Popma recently streamed a concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Vetch cover crop beginning to flower. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Vetch and crimson clover to the rescue of soil fertility

I add dry organic fertilizer as plants use up what is in the soil.

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: A shift in perspective can sometimes change everything

Have you even been forced to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

A 58-year-old B.C. woman says she was attacked by a deer while out walking her dog last week. (Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Deer attack in southeastern B.C. leaves woman cut, battered and bruised

Liz Royer says she was out for a run last week when the deer appeared out of a bush and charged

Most Read