Pride and excitement were competing emotions at Shepparton’s Eastbank Centre last night as hundreds of sports fans, friends and family of inductees gathered for the inaugural Greater Shepparton Sports Hall of Fame gala dinner.
The 27 nominees were officially inducted at a special ceremony to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the city’s sporting greats from football, cycling and lawn bowling and many other codes.
Excitement bubbled at Shepparton Art Museum where inductees gathered ahead of the official ceremony at the Eastbank Centre.
Recipients and those collecting awards on behalf of family and friends remembered the glory days and swapped stories ahead of the offical presentation.
Established earlier this year, the Greater Shepparton Sports Hall of Fame aims to showcase and celebrate heritage of sports excellence and achievement in the municipality.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Dinny Adem said it was a proud day for Shepparton.
‘‘This is a great recognition of the great sporting prowess of this town,’’ he said.
‘‘(Sport) is a grass roots activity for all Australians and especially Greater Shepparton residents.’’
Inductee Edna Harling, who soon turns 103, said she felt 60 years young during the proceedings where she was recognised for her achievements in lawn bowls.
‘‘I’m a bit honoured about the whole thing,’’ she said.
Also inducted to the Hall of Fame, former cyclist Betty Curtis nee Knight, had brought along a special reminder of her success during the 1940s and 1950s.
Ms Curtis donned the sash she won on January 1, 1952, when she took out the Australian two mile title at Deakin Reserve.
‘‘It’s an honour after all these years to be recognised,’’ she said.
Inductees included players and athletes, coaches and officials, administrators and others involved in sport at an elite level.