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Serwa leads induction class

Olympic ski-cross gold medallist Kelsey Serwa will lead a group of six inductees into the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame this November.

The group was unveiled Tuesday at Okanagan Heritage Museum, and it also includes high jumper Duncan McNaughton (posthumously), runner Tania Jones and basketball’s Robyn Buna in the athlete category, along with Daphne Richard and Roger LaFontaine as builders.

The induction ceremony breakfast will be held Nov. 21, at Coast Capri Hotel.

Jones grew up in Oyama and went to high school at George Elliot Secondary in Lake Country. Her track and field exploits for the Coyotes were foremost in her mind Tuesday as she reflected on her illustrious career.

“I’ve had quite a lengthy career with a lot of amazing milestones, but any time you represent Canada and even representing my high school, these were fabulous opportunities that I really cherish,” said Jones, who now lives in Richmond Hill, Ont.

“The high school events are what’s important to the community here. That’s what folks identify with, and there’s a lot of pride in representing your community and your school.”

Jones started out by winning the B.C. high school marathon, and she ultimately became the Canadian university and Canadian champion. She now gives back to the sport any way she can, helping out with long-distance competitions and charity events whenever she can. 

“It brings together over 30 years of sporting excellence and my commitment to sport and brings it all to life,” she said. “It gives me an opportunity to relive all those accomplishments and to share again with the people around me.”

Here is a closer look at the 2019 induction class:

ATHLETES

• Kelsey Serwa, ski-cross — won gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, and captured silver at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. The pride of Big White also won a world championship in 2011.

• Robyn Buna, basketball — won three national championships with Simon Fraser University, was the 2007 Kelowna Civic Awards athlete of the year and was the USports national women’s basketball tournament MVP in 2010.

• Tania Jones, marathon — provincial champion, a university gold medallist and a Canadian gold-medal winner who represented her country at the 2001 world championships.

• Duncan McNaughton, high jump — captured gold at the 1932 Olympics and stood as the only Canadian gold-medal winner in that event until 2016, when Derek Drouin did it. McNaughton died in 1998.

BUILDERS

• Daphne Richard, equestrian — known as the ‘Grand Dame’ of endurance riding in B.C., she won bronze at the 1999 Pan Am Games and fourth at the 2005 world championships. She then became the first chair of Endurance Canada.

• Roger Lafontaine, all sports — Okanagan Track Club co-founder spent 38 years coaching, refereeing and in sports administration. He has been involved in track and field, soccer, basketball and field hockey.



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