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Athlete Builders
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There are individuals who attain excellence in sport on several levels of participation, and in doing so, create opportunities for others and inspire young and old alike in the pursuit of excellence in sport and in life.  These men and women are athletes, players, coaches, trainers, managers, officials, fundraisers, promoters, and volunteers; they are leaders and organizers whose innovative thinking, expertise, and commitment of time and energy forms the foundation for the development of sports programs, facilities, and events.

The athlete/builder radiates a love and dedication to sport that encourages the people who play at sports and also those who support sports programs.  They have magnanimously been instrumental in providing better sporting opportunities for the people of their community and often beyond those borders to the Provincial, National or International levels of organization and competition.

The category of Athlete/Builder serves to formally recognize individuals that would qualify under more than one category of sporting achievement.

Inductee 20

Blain Kjorlien

Blaine Kjorlien has always had a passion for sports.  He was born in Wetaskiwin and grew up involved in a variety of community and school sports including hockey, fastball, football and wrestling.  It wasn’t until high school and university that Blaine really excelled as an athlete. He gained renown and success in both football and wrestling at Camrose Lutheran College and in wrestling at the University of Alberta.  Blaine's passion for sport continued into his teaching career where he was a successful and influential coach in football and wrestling at Wetaskiwin Composite High School.  Because of his impressive athletic and coaching accomplishments Blaine is indeed worthy of this induction.

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Inductees 2016

Phyllis and Bob Cleland

Phyllis and Bob Cleland have been competitive sports enthusiasts all of their lives, but their most rewarding experiences came from involving youngsters in sporting activities at the community level.  Individually, they represented the City and County of Wetaskiwin as impressive competitors for over fifty years.  Teamed as a couple for over forty of those years their selfless dedication to the youth of our sporting community has been exemplified by their organizing and coaching ball and curling teams, leading our youth to competitive success, building ball diamonds and teams that endure today, and volunteering in administrative capacities.

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Inductee 20

Ken Nelson

Ken Nelson, a recognized pioneer in the Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada Hall of Fame, has been a world class competitor for close to forty years, winning over seventy  medals in major championships.  He is a dreamer, innovator, designer and builder.  He founded Shalom Park, described by athletes as one of the top ten water ski sites in the world, his youth programs, boat driver clinics and military "Honour Day" have made the sport more accessible to a wider group of water sport enthusiasts, and his ground-breaking designs have had an influence on the sport round the world being incorporated into international competitions.

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Inductee 20

Elvin Kopp

In 1981 Elvin Kopp married his wife Jan and they settled at their newly purchased “That’ll Do Ranch” near Westerose Alberta.  Raising cattle was one of their ventures and after time Elvin decided that he would like to have some help dealing with his cattle. Consequently, a year after he started his life as a rancher Elvin attended a dog training clinic (1982).  When he saw what a stockdog could do he was “hooked”.  He bought a Border Collie pup at the clinic and started training his protege.  In 1984, two years later, Elvin entered his first competition and three years after that (1987) he was the World Sheepdog Champion, a meteoric rise to the top.  During his time competing, Elvin trained eleven different dogs to championships.

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Inductees 20

Ross MacEachern

Born and raised in Wetaskiwin, from an early age Ross participated and excelled in community and school sports including hockey, ball, football, basketball and curling.  At University Ross played hockey and football for the University of Alberta Golden Bears.  He continued his participation in sports into adulthood by playing Senior Hockey and ball.   After graduating in 1964 from the University of Alberta,  Ross started his thirty-two year lifework as a physical education teacher, sharing his expertise and enthusiasm by coaching young people and becoming involved in the administrative aspects of amateur sport.  Ross’s hockey playing career spanned forty-eight years (1948-1996)...

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Al Sandahl

Al Sandahl played  football and basketball and participated in track but football was what he pursued.   After a successful football career at the Junior and College levels, Al became involved in coaching.  He spent 34 years coaching football, basketball and track at high schools and colleges in the USA as well as spending one year coaching in the NFL.  Al successfully coached many individuals in high school and college who were able to receive scholarships or NFL or CFL contracts.  Many of the teams where Al was a member of the coaching staff were conference champions, involved in state championships,  or “Bowl” champions.

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Inductees 2009

Jerry Greene

Jerry was a dominant force on the Colonels Hockey team - named League All-Star Defenseman five consecutive times, voted the League’s Most Valuable player, and a team leader serving as captain for eleven years.   Described as the  “Home Town Hero” who embodies the true essence of sport in Wetaskiwin, Jerry played or coached eighteen championship teams in hockey and fastball and was also a driving force in the administration and organization of those same sports - president, manager,  fundraiser to name a few.

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Ron Emmerling

As an athlete Ron Emmerling was an avid golfer, curler, downhill skier, bowler and badminton player.  He focused on hockey and ball, even catching a game for the “legend”, Satchel Paige.  Behind the bench his coaching skills helped win several championships.  Beyond the bench he contributed immensely to sports in Wetaskiwin as  an organizer and instructor of hockey schools that benefitted many players and coaches, many from other communities.  He worked behind the scenes on various committees that influenced sport both in the community and in Alberta.

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Inductee 2007

J. Wilton Littlechild

Willie has been involved in sports all his life as a player and administrator at the local, university, and global level.  Throughout his career as an athlete and builder he has strived to create opportunities for youth to improve their self esteem and realize their potential through sport. Beyond his community his contributions on the international stage have benefited the global community. One of Willie’s greatest achievements is co-founding the North American Indigenous Games.  Besides athletic recognition worldwide,  Willie has been awarded the Order of Canada, the American Medal of Honor and been named one of the 2000 outstanding intellectuals of the 21st Century.

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Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame
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