Twenty-seven inductees will tonight be officially inducted into the inaugural Greater Shepparton Sports Hall of Fame at a ceremony.
About 300 people are expected to attend the event at Riverlinks with most athletes or their families travelling from across Victoria and even interstate to be present.
Shepparton personality and hall of fame advisory committee member Don Kilgour will be master of ceremonies at the formal gathering and said it was long overdue the abundance of region’s sporting stars were celebrated.
‘‘It’s vitally important that Shepparton has a hall of fame to recognise those that have brought honour to Shepparton and the council can say you’ve brought honour for our city and acknowledge that,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve got 13 women and 14 men across 11 sports right across the board.
‘‘It’s the biggest night that there has been for all sports in Shepparton, there have been big football or tennis or netball nights, but this is the first night for all sports — apart from the old Apex Club’s Sports Stars of the Year awards, that I’ve seen and I’ve been to in Shepparton for 50 years.’’
Many of the inductees that won the Apex award have been included, with strict nomination criteria involved.
Kilgour said potential candidates had to reach the highest level of their sport, whether that be an Olympics, national title or in the case of VFL umpire Glenn James, officiating in a grand final.
Athletes must also have lived in the region for 10 years, where they played the sport at local sporting grounds and arenas for a minimum of five years.
Each inductee will receive a plaque, with a replica to be made and placed in the official hall of fame which will be in a location yet to be decided on by council.
While an advisory committee made the final call on who would be part of the inaugural inclusion, nominations were open to the public in January.
The committee first met in February last year and Kilgour is thrilled the long-term idea will have its prominent night of recognition.
‘‘It’ll be terrific to see the very best gathered together,’’ he said.
‘‘It’ll be wonderful, the very best, the cream of sportspeople in the Goulburn Valley will be honoured.’’