Earl Seitz had to be convinced he was deserving of entering the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame.
He was likely the only person at the induction banquet on Saturday who had any doubts.
“I’m pleased to be going in with Tony Parker,” said Seitz, the CFJC broadcaster who has worked his beat in Kamloops for more than 45 years. “His recognition is long overdue. Same with Paddy Harrington.
“I’ve thought about it a lot. It’s a humbling experience for a guy who was never an athlete. If I was an athlete, it was a very, very bad one. I guess it’s recognition for being here for a long, long time. I never thought this would happen. I never gave it any thought.”
Parker spent 15 years working in media, but is perhaps best known for nearly 50 years of volunteer work in the local sports community.
“To be honest, and not to brag or anything, I kind of knew it was coming,” Parker said. “It wasn’t a surprise. I think I’ve worked with about 10 sports, very different sports.
“It’s something I inherited from my mom. She was heavily involved in politically oriented volunteering. With Mother’s Day being tomorrow, it’s perfect timing.”
Parker capped his acceptance speech by saying he will always miss his mother.
Harrington, of the Kamloops Rugby Club, had already booked a trip overseas when he discovered he would be inducted. He made his speech in a recorded video, providing a brief history of the club and showering peers with credit.
KRC president Erin Connelly-Reed returned the favour during an interview with KTW, thanking Harrington for 43 years of tireless service.
“Junior teams, senior teams, minis, he’s coached, he’s been president, he’s had every single role you can think of to keep this club alive,” Connelly-Reed said.
“If we didn’t have our Yoda, I don’t know if the rugby club would be here today.”
Why is he called Yoda?
“Because he looks like Yoda, he has pointy ears and he tells people what’s up,” Connelly-Reed said with a cackle.
Parker, Harrington, Seitz and track-and-field proponent Ted Pierson (click here for more on Pierson), who was inducted posthumously on Saturday, share longevity and passion in common.
Those characteristics also belong to the Kamloops Rugby Club, inducted in the team category with four or five tables of Raiders on hand to mark the occasion.
“Being recognized as an entire club, that is pretty amazing,” Connelly-Reed said. “From what I’ve been told, we’re actually the first club, as a whole, to be inducted in the team category. We have an immense amount of pride in that and we’re truly grateful to the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame.”
The Kamloops Sports Council handed out its annual athletic awards at the banquet on Saturday.
Winners include Maddy Gobeil, female athlete of the year; Gavin Dodd, male athlete of the year; Niki Remesz, sports person of the year; Dave Arthurs, masters athlete of the year; the South Kamloops Titans’ boys’ basketball squad, team of the year; Tim Unaegbu, coach of the year; Kyle Pauwels, university athlete of the year; and Greg Stewart, international excellence award.