Should Langley immortalize its most athletic residents in a new, local sports hall of fame?
Township Councillor Steve Ferguson thinks so, and last week convinced his council colleagues to vote for an examination of the issue.
"We just want to celebrate the accomplishments of Langley citizens," said Ferguson.
Ferguson said he isn't planning an elaborate program or a new building.
"It doesn't have to be something big," he said, and it shouldn't be expensive.
Either it could be installed in the Langley Events Centre, or it could be a mobile exhibit, moving from location to location around Langley so many residents could see it in their neighbourhood, said Ferguson.
He said the idea was partly inspired when he saw that several other nearby communities, some smaller than Langley, have their own halls of fame.
Langley residents have racked up trophies, awards, and secured places in pro leagues or Olympic berths.
The sibling duo Brett and Danielle Lawrie have been dominating ballfields, Danielle in Olympic and university softball, Brett with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Langley has sent teams to the Little League World Series, most recently in 2011, but also in 1964 and 1998.
Braedon Dolfo has competed in the 100-metre dash at the most recent Paralympic games, coming in seventh, while Lauren Barwick holds gold and silver medals won in 2008 for para-equestrian.
It's in equestrian sports that a number of Langley residents have risen to prominence.
"A while ago we were sort of counting on our fingers the numbers who were Olympians, and it's quite a lot," said David Esworthy.
Esworthy is a longtime Langley resident and organizer of equestrian events, and with the BC Summer Games in 2010 and Langley's Spirit of BC Committee. Last fall he was inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame for his work building up equestrian sports.
Langley, with thousands of horses, really began getting into equestrian sports about 25 to 30 years ago, Esworthy said.
"It's always been an equestrian place," he said.
Venues like the original Thunderbird riding facility and its larger successor, as well as smaller rings and stables, have nurtured sports like show jumping and dressage.
"It's now become the hub - we call it the horse capital of B.C.," Esworthy explained.
Olympic equestrians included Hawley Bennett-Awad, Monica Pinette, in pentathlon, Leslie Reid, and Eleanore Elstone and Barwick in para-equestrian sports.
All of them have competed since 2004.
Esworthy thinks a hall of fame could give a boost to young athletes.
"Things like that give a target for the up and coming something to shoot for," he said.
Staff are to come back with a report on the costs and possibilities surrounding a sports hall of fame later this year.
@ Copyright 2013