Leighann Doan Reimer has been hailed the greatest University of Calgary women’s basketball player of all time and was recently inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.
Leighann grew up in the small Alberta town of Halkirk where she honed the basketball skills that would take her around the world. After leading her Stettler high school to three provincial championships, Leighann joined the U of C Dinos women’s team in 1997, where she was named the CIS women’s rookie of the year. She followed that up with two CIS women’s basketball player of the year awards, and in 2001 she was named the top female university athlete in the country.
Leighann represented Canada on several national university teams and was the torch bearer at the World University Games in China in 2001. She finished her University career as the Dinos’ all-time leading scorer with 1,958 points. She was named a First Team All Canadian four times, as well as an All Academic four times. After graduating from University, Leighann took her scoring skills to Europe, playing professionally in France from 2001 to 2004.
Leighann still gives back to the sport that has given her so much, holding basketball clinics throughout central Alberta. She was instrumental in helping set up Camp Teckla, named after a former junior and high school teammate who passed away in a car accident. In the more than 20-year history of the camp, over 3000 athletes have had the chance to improve their skills.
Since it’s inception in 1957, hundreds of Albertans have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. We invite everyone to join us in this celebration of both new Inductees and returning Honoured Members, and their lasting impact on sport in our province. If you would like more information on the Induction Banquet or to order tickets, please call (403) 341-8614.
Tickets available for the 2019 Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Induction banquet May 31, 2019
The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame presents their 2019 Inductees; three athletes, three builders, one team and three Award recipients. These ten Albertans will have their legacies in sports preserved and celebrated by all of Alberta for generations to come. The Inductees will become official Honoured Members of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame at the Induction Banquet taking place Friday, May 31, 2019.
The inductees include athletes who are Olympians and World Champions, builders who have dedicated endless hours to develop their sports, a team who knows the meaning of teamwork, and a pioneer who has partaken and watched his sport evolve throughout the decades. The celebration of these inductees is a show of appreciation and acknowledgement to the growth of the sports to which they have contributed and to those they continue to inspire.
Kreg Llewellyn – Water Skiing Athlete
Kreg began competitive water skiing in the late 1970s. In 1979 he won his first Provincial Junior Boys Overall Title and later that year set his first Canadian Junior Boys Trick Record. In 1984, he became an integral part of the Canadian National Water Ski Team and for the next 20 years competed in the Overall events of Slalom, Trick and Jump. Kreg held 24 Canadian Records and won 7 individual World Championship medals, 3 Gold Team World Championship Medals, and 18 Pan American medals including: 7 Gold, 9 Silver and 2 Bronze. Kreg was an innovator and was willing to try anything, doing “tricks that couldn’t be done to doing them fast”. He also helped design and test the first ever Skurfer, which was a precursor to the evolution of wakeboarding. Kreg won the first ever World Wakeboard Championships in Hawaii. Photo Credit: Outerbridge Photography
Mike Rogers – Hockey Athlete
Mike Rogers played professional hockey for a total of 12 years; five years in the World Hockey Association, then seven years in the National Hockey League. Mike has the distinction of being one of only four players in the NHL to achieve 100 points in their first three seasons – the others are Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Peter Stastny. Mike’s first year in the NHL was with the expansion Harford Whalers team in 1979/80. He scored 105 points in both his first and second year. Mid-way through the 1980/81season, he was named captain. Mike joined the New York Rangers for the 1981/82 season and led the team with 103 points. He averaged 67 points in his next three seasons as the team adapted a more defensive style of play. In 484 regular-season NHL games, he had 519 points. In 1974/75, during Mike’s first year in the WHA, he led the Edmonton Oilers rookies in goals and points and was selected the WHA’s Most Gentlemanly Player. He was traded to the New England Whalers in 1975/76 and was their top scorer in 1978/79. In 396 WHA games, he scored 145 goals and had 222 assists for 367 points.
Lyndon Rush – Bobsleigh Athlete
Lyndon Rush has achieved medals at the highest levels of competition during his bobsledding career. He was originally recruited to be a bobsled brakeman. Following a hamstring injury at training camp, he chose to train as a driver instead. He had a breakthrough season in 2009/10 and became the new leader of the Canadian men’s team as he captured his first World Cup gold medals in the two-man and four-man events. He made his Olympic debut at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and piloted his four-man crew to a bronze medal. Lyndon reached the podium at the 2012 World Championships where he raced to a second place finish with brakeman Jesse Lumsden. He claimed his first World Cup Title when he took top spot in the overall two-man standings during the 2012/13 season. At the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, he finished ninth in both the four-man and two-man events. Lyndon retired from competition in 2014.
James Donlevy – Football & Hockey Builder
‘Jim’ Donlevy devoted his professional career to more than 50 years of coaching, teaching and administrative leadership. His career in football began in 1954 coaching Bantam and High School Football teams. He joined the Edmonton Huskies from 1961 to 1963 and won two Canadian titles. At the University of Alberta, he led the Golden Bears to four National Championship games and brought home the Vanier Cup in 1972 and 1980. He had the most wins of any Golden Bears football coach with 89 wins, 69 losses and 3 ties. From 1993 to 2015, Jim was the Western Hockey League’s Education Consultant. He built a formal education and scholarship program for the student athletes playing in the league. It is now considered one of the most comprehensive education programs for hockey in the world today.
Dorothy ‘Dot’ Padget – Artistic Swimming Builder
Dorothy began her involvement with Synchronized Swimming in Alberta in the early 1970s. Now known as Artistic Swimming (FINA 2017), Dorothy trained, guided, supported, evaluated and mentored many athletes throughout the years. She worked her way up through the judge’s ranks and then became a certified FINA judge and earned her level ‘A’ certification, the highest there is. As a FINA judge, she visited more than 20 countries worldwide enroute to judging over 50 international competitions. Dorothy contributed to the sport as a clinic leader, and served on various committees and Boards at the provincial, national and international level. She wrote training materials, evaluated and assessed other judges, and participated in more than 15 event organizing committees. Her administrative roles included serving on the UANA (continental) and FINA (International Federation) Master committees from 2000 to 2015.
Edward ‘Ted’ Thresher – Wrestling Builder
Ted has been active with the Alberta Amateur Wrestling Association since 1967 as a coach, an official, administrator and event organizer. He organized and co-chaired the wrestling portion of the 1978 Commonwealth Games. Ted was also instrumental in putting together the successful bid for Edmonton to host the 1982 World Wrestling Championships and then served as Executive Director for the event. Ted became an outstanding national and FILA ranked official, and officiated at Nationals 14 times and officiated at Senior Nationals for 18 years. He also officiated internationally for 13 years: participating in 48 events, five World Championships, three Pan-Am Games and three Commonwealth Games. Ted always took time to return to the roots of the sport, officiating at all levels and conducting clinics for our national team, preparing them for the World stage.
Randy Ferbey Curling Team
‘The Ferbey Four’ curling team, consisted of skip Randy Ferbey, 3 rd Dave Nedohin, 2nd Scott Pfeifer and lead Marcel Rocque. Considered one of the most successful and popular curling teams of all time, they curled together from the 1999/2000 season until the end of 2010. They won five consecutive Provincial men’s titles, four Canadian Brier Championships and three World Curling Championships. The team made a number of innovations within the sport, popularizing the system where the Skip throws the Third’s stones and the Third, Dave Nedohin, threw the final stones. They also promoted the use of the ‘numbered zones’ to communicate the weight (speed) of the curling stones. The four member each brought their own unique and integral skills to form a strong and supportive team structure.
Achievement Award – George Stothart, Multisport Athlete/Builder
George is a multi-sport athlete, coach, and for 64 years, a basketball official. He was born deaf and became a leader in the growth of the deaf sporting community in Alberta. He played football with the Lacombe High School, the University of Alberta, the Edmonton Huskies, and basketball for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). George competed at three World Deaf Games, twice on the Canadian Basketball Team in 1965 & 1973, and as a 400m athletics participant in 1969. He attended once again in 1981 as a Team Canada official and chaperone. George was one of the key players on the Edmonton deaf fastball team, ‘The Flying Fingers’ in 1969, and was one of the founders of the Edmonton Tasmanian Devils deaf slo-pitch team in 1980. He was also a leader in the formation of the Edmonton Deaf Basketball team. George was one of the first officers to serve on the board of the Federation of Silent Sports of Alberta (FSSA), the forerunner of the Alberta Deaf Sports Association. He held numerous positions from 1976 to 1982. George refereed basketball at various levels since the age of 15 and in the peak of his career, was officiating 287 games per year.
Bell Memorial Award – Rob Kerr
Rob Kerr was a sports play-by-play announcer, a reporter, producer and host for more than two decades. He started his broadcasting career in the 1990s as the television play-by-play voice of the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. He went on to be the voice on the radio for the Estevan Bruins for two seasons. Following a move to Edmonton, he became the host of a sports talk show and a play-by-play announcer for two years. He then went to Calgary where he was the play-byplay announcer for the Calgary Vipers, the Calgary Roughnecks, Calgary Hitmen and the Calgary Flames. He was with Sportsnet from May 2003 to August 2018 and was a long-time radio host on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
Pioneer Award – Herman Dorin, Wrestling Athlete
Herman began wrestling in the late 1940s. While attending the University of Alberta in the early 1950s, he wrestled and became an assistant coach in 1950/51, and then head coach from 1952 to 1954. Herman competed in the light-heavyweight and heavyweight categories and was undefeated in provincial competition for 15 years from 1951 to 1966. Herman competed at three national championships: in 1952, 1954 finishing in third place, and 1967 where he placed second. In 1954 he founded the Edmonton Amateur Wrestling Federation. Herman became a school teacher and formed the first school wrestling teams outside of Calgary and Edmonton in the rural communities of Winfield, Bentley, Eckville and Didsbury. Herman also played an early role in the development of Zone 2 wrestling for the Alberta Winter Games as he recruited athletes for the 1980 Games, and acted as zone coach in 1982 and 1984.
The Induction Banquet
The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum hosts an annual Induction banquet each year in Red Deer, Alberta. More than 600 people from across the provinces and the United States attend this gala event to honour Alberta’s great athletes, sport builders, pioneers, and media personnel.
At this prestigious event, several extraordinary Albertans that have made an impact on sport in our province, country, and around the world are honoured. The event not only honours these great Albertans but it recognizes the importance of sport in our lives and communities.
The Induction Banquet will be May 31, 2019 at the Cambridge Red Deer Hotel.
Since it’s inception in 1957, hundreds of Albertans have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. All are invited to join in this celebration of both new Inductees and returning Honoured Members, and their lasting impact on sport in our province! Click here for tickets.
Click here to watch some great vignettes about last year’s inductees.
Alberta Woman “in a league of her own” passes away at 93
Betty Carveth Dunn (nee Carveth), enshrined in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame just 2 years ago, has died.
Betty, a member of the Rockford Peaches back in 1945, was one of just 64 Canadian women to play in Phil Wrigley’s World War II era All American Girls Professional Baseball League. The league and in particular the Rockford Peaches were the inspiration for the Tom Hanks / Geena Davis movie A League of Their Own.
Dunn was 93.
The day of her induction into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame I was fortunate to sit down and interview Betty. Here’s a post we made for that interview followed by her Induction video for The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.
Born in 1925, Betty Carveth grew up in Grande Prairie, Alberta and became a part of baseball history.
Betty Carveth was one of only sixty-four Canadian women to play in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. A right-handed pitcher, she played during the 1945 season with the Rockford Peaches and was traded mid-season to the Fort Wayne Daisies. She returned home to Edmonton and became the city’s first female Little League Baseball coach and coached the boys for 10 years. At the age of 12, she pitched for the Twilight Ladies Softball team which won three Peace River Championships in a row. In the mid-1940s, she pitched for Edmonton’s top-rated Walk-Rite women’s baseball team.
Betty played for the Walk-Rite team from 1943-1945 at the age of eighteen to twenty. It was during this time that a scout saw her play and asked her to try out for the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the United States; a league that was featured in the 1992 movie “A League of Their Own.” Betty played from April to October in 1945, earning $75 a week – which was four times more than she had made as a secretary back in Edmonton. There was a list of rules and a dress code the players had to abide to, both on and off the field. They attended a half day of beauty school and were told to look and act like ladies, however while on the field, they were to play ball like men. Sliding into a base or making a flying catch was not pleasant as the uniforms were short dresses, knee socks, and caps which provided very little protection.
When the 1945 season closed, Betty returned to Edmonton and demonstrated her love for baseball by promoting and signing autographs throughout the years that followed. She was named Ambassador of Baseball for the inaugural IBAF (International Baseball Federation) Women’s World Baseball Championship in 2004 and then named Special Ambassador in 2012. She threw the ceremonial first pitch at both tournaments and did again in 2015 at one of the Edmonton Prospects games.
As a member of the AAGPBL, Betty was inducted into the American Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, USA in 1988. She was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 with the Canadian AAGPBL players.
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