March 29, 2023 - The Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame is returning to its spring induction ceremony and is thrilled to announce six new inductees for the class of 2023. Two athletes, two builders, one team and one special award winner who significantly contributed to the athletic history of Lethbridge and Southern Alberta will join the ranks of more than 330 past inductees.
The 2023 induction class includes athletes Ashley Patzer (rugby), Lanny Tron (track and field – discus/shot put), builders Mitch Ball (baseball), Brian Donaldson (wrestling), team 1979 Lethbridge Little League (baseball) and special award Rufus Goodstriker (multisport).
The Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame has also selected the two Kinsmen Sports Persons of the Year. The Kinsmen Sports Persons of the Year acknowledges individuals for outstanding performance or participation in sports while representing or from Lethbridge.
The 2023 female recipient is University of Lethbridge Track and Field weight throw standout Jinaye Shomachuk and the male recipient is former Lethbridge Minor Hockey player and current Ottawa Senator, Ridly Greig.
The induction ceremony will take place on May 5 at the Canadian Western Bank Lounge in the ENMAX Centre. The theme of this year’s banquet is Indigenous Contributions in Sport and will be celebrated with both the induction of Rufus Goodstriker and in a special guest speaker which will be announced in the coming weeks.
2023 Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame inductees:
Ashley Patzer – rugby
Ashley Patzer is well decorated when it comes to rugby accolades. Debuting on the international stage in 2007 for both Women’s Rugby Sevens and Fifteens Patzer has played on the biggest stages in rugby, including taking home a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Lanny Tron – track and field, discus/shot put
Lanny Tron was a track and field star and it was no surprise when he set the Canadian Midget shot put record in 1976. Tron’s impressive talent allowed him to represent both Team Alberta and the Junior Canadian national team at competitions. He went on to compete for the Harvard University Track Team and was selected as Captain for the 1982 season.
1979 Lethbridge Little League - baseball
The 1979 Little League team boasts members still synonymous with baseball in Lethbridge today and the team continued to demonstrate Lethbridge as a baseball hotbed. This team won the Canadian Senior Little League Baseball title and represented Canada at the Senior Little League World Series.
Mitch Ball - baseball
Mitch Ball had a passion for baseball and his passion was exemplified on the diamond umpiring. Ball was an excellent umpire, and his talent led him to umpiring games at multiple levels including the Little League World Series and 2015 Pan Am Games. His dedication to teaching and mentoring many young umpires left a lasting impression on the baseball community.
Brian Donaldson – wrestling
Brian Donaldson was the founder of the Lethbridge Amateur Wrestling Association (LAWA) and devoted his life to bringing wrestling to Lethbridge. Donaldson coached many Provincial and National champions including athletes who have gone on to wrestle for Canada on the world stage.
Rufus Goodstriker – multisport
Rufus Goodstriker was a charismatic individual with a passion for sports. Goodstriker was a great boxer only losing one of 34 matches. He went on to train multiple athletes for the Blood Boxing Club. He excelled at rodeo competing at many events throughout Alberta and Montana and owned and trained many winning racehorses.
Kinsmen Sports Persons of the Year
Jinaye Shomachuk - track and field, weight throw
University of Lethbridge athlete Jinaye Shomachuk dominated the women’s weight throw taking home the gold medal at the 2023 Canada West Track and Field Championships with an 18.90m throw. She followed up that performance at the 2023 Usports Track and Field National Championships once again taking home the gold medal in weight throw.
Ridly Greig – hockey
Born and raised in Lethbridge, Ridly Greig played on Team Canada at the 2022 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship. In 2020 Greig was drafted in the first round by the Ottawa Senators and made his debut with the National Hockey League in January 2023 netting one goal and five assists since.
Tickets for the ceremony are on sale now and can be purchased through the ENMAX Centre box office or online here. Tickets must be purchased by April 28.
The Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame has inducted more than 330 members since its formation in 1985 as part of the City of Lethbridge’s Centennial celebrations. The mandate of the hall is to identify and honour not only contemporary individuals, but also those who have excelled in sport at some time since the founding of Lethbridge.
Media contact: Sara Peters, 403-635-9285.