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2009 Inductees
Sabres 1956

INDUCTEE 2009 - ATHLETE - Brenda Vergette


Wrist Wrestling & Arm Wrestling
World Champion, Can-Am Champion,
Canadian Champion, Western Canadian Champion, Provincial Champion

Brenda Vergette was born in Ponoka.  She and her twin sister were the youngest in a family of six.  Having four older brothers and sisters and a twin sister probably accounted for Brenda’s competitive nature.  As a young girl she was involved in competitive swimming, softball, gymnastics and baton.  At the age of 10, Brenda and her family moved to Athabasca.  Unfortunately Athabasca lacked in sports activities, but the farm kept the family very busy and extremely fit.  Brenda lived there until her graduation from high school in 1977 when she moved to Wetaskiwin.  It was in Wetaskiwin that Brenda was introduced to the sport of arm wrestling.

Earned Eight World Championship
Titles in Thirteen Years

After watching the World Arm Wrestling Championships in Wetaskiwin in 1979, Brenda and her husband Jim became involved in the sport.  That year (1979) Brenda was coerced into taking part in a meet in Red Deer so that the Wetaskiwin Club could qualify for the Team Trophy.  Brenda placed second in her first meet and the rest is history.  Brenda’s rise to the top of her sport was spectacular.  Competing at the World’s three years later (1982), Brenda became World Champion in the Sit-Down Table. 

During her thirteen year career, Brenda won eight World Championships as well as eleven Provincial titles, six Western Canadian titles, twenty Canadian National titles, five Canadian Open championships, one Can-Am title and one Golden Bear Invitational Championship in Moscow.  As well, she was Runner-Up thirteen times.  During her years of competing Brenda took part in 129 competitions ranging from the local to world level and competed in 182 weight classes.  She garnered  120 first place finishes;  40 seconds ; 10 thirds and  6 fourths for a total of 176 times in the top four, all in all a more than impressive record.  Brenda won championships with her right and left arms, in her weight class as well as open classes and in both the Stand-Up Table and Sit-Down Table.  She competed in meets all across Canada and the United States and in Russia, bringing honour to her city, province and country.  Her triumphs involved hours of work in the gym exercising and weight training as well as practice arm wrestling with her husband. 

Canada’s Top Female Arm Wrestler Five Times

Because of her successes and achievements Brenda was named Canada’s Top Female Arm Wrestler five times, in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1988.  In 1985 she was also named Canada’s Top Arm Wrestler.  In 1990 she won the award of Canada’s Top Female Wrist-Wrestler and in 1991 she garnered the Top Female Award in Moscow.  All of these accolades led to her being inducted into the Canadian National Wrist Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1991.  Wetaskiwin honoured Brenda with a City and County Sports Achievement Award nine times; each of those times she was named Wetaskiwin’s Outstanding Female Athlete.

Brenda and her husband Jim also became involved in the administrative aspect of their sport.  In 1981, a year after the formation of the Wetaskiwin Club, Brenda and Jim became promoters for Wetaskiwin.  They helped to organize the North-Am Wrestling Championships from 1982-1990, three of those years were also Alberta Championships with added responsibility.   Organizing tournaments spread to Millet, Hobbema, Winfield, Leduc and Camrose.  From 1983-1986 Brenda was the Statistician for the Canadian Arm Wrestling Association.  She also helped with the draw-sheets at a number of competitions, even involving her sister and brother-in-law.  Brenda and her sister would do the draw sheets and announcing and their husbands would referee.  For her contributions to the sport, Brenda received an Award of Appreciation from the Canadian Association in 1984.

Brenda is undeniably Wetaskiwin’s most decorated and gifted female athlete.  Her accomplishments at the local, provincial, national, international and world stages are outstanding and make her definitely worthy of being inducted into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame.





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