The Riverside Sport Hall of Fame is dedicated to fostering an appreciation for the role sports play in contributing to the quality of life in Riverside. The Hall of Fame honors athletes, coaches, athletic administrators, and community leaders who have brought fame or honor to the City of Riverside through their involvement in athletics. Furthermore, the Hall of Fame encourages participation in sports among young people by recognizing to Riverside student athletes with scholarships; sponsoring local athletic events; and providing sports-related clinics for the benefit of athletes, their coaches and parents.
The Hall of Fame recognizes those persons who have brought exceptional fame and honor to the City of Riverside through their participation in their chosen sport;
The Wall of Distinction recognizes those athletes, coaches and contributors who have excelled at a local, national or international level of competition;
The Annual Awards Dinner provides a venue to induct and publicly honor inductees into the Hall of Fame and other notable contributors to the Riverside sports scene.
Funding endeavors represent an ongoing effort to conduct activities that generate necessary funds to conduct the business of the association;
Membership activities seek to solicit new members while retaining our current membership. Members help support the mission of the Riverside Sport Hall of Fame. Every dollar collected in membership dues and all proceeds from events are returned to the community to support activities that help preserve and memorialize Riverside’s important sports history. Membership helps insure that the organization can continue to honor Riverside’s top student athletes annually in the Parade of Champions and with meaningful scholarships.
A Vision Is Realized
As its first chairperson, Dr. Chuck Kane would begin each Riverside Sport Hall of Fame committee meeting by requiring everyone in attendance to share one good piece of news with the rest of the group. It was a way to bring the group together, especially in its formative stages, but also a way to celebrate life. The meeting would start with smiles, laughs, congratulations and heartfelt responses. It is tradition that carries on today.
The effort to form a Hall of Fame to recognize Riverside’s rich athletic history dates to the late 1930s, and at least five other efforts were undertaken but fell short. The current effort gained momentum at the rededication ceremony of the Bobby Bonds Sports Complex in June 1999. With the support of the Riverside Parks and Recreation Department, the Riverside Sports Advisory Committee and numerous city leaders, in February 2001 the City Council appointed a task force to pursue a Hall of Fame. Dr. Kane, a former Riverside Community College president, was appointed its first chairperson. Under his direction, the group flourished. Its efforts resulted in a sold-out banquet to induct the inaugural class in May of 2003.
The Hall of Fame’s mission is to celebrate the achievements of athletes, coaches and contributors who have brought fame and honor to Riverside. Members of The Riverside Sport Hall of Fame come from the ranks of residents, former athletes, athletes, coaches of high school, college and other levels, administrators and athletic directors. In addition to the spring banquet, The Riverside Sport Hall of Fame every fall also honors individuals who have demonstrated excellence in sports on the Wall of Distinction. The Hall of Fame plaques and the Wall of Distinction are on display on the exterior of the Community Medical Group building at the corner of 14th Street and Magnolia Avenue. The Riverside Sport Hall of Fame display includes a plaque honoring Dr. Kane, who died in February of 2004. His vision and spirit will be remembered always. And that’s a piece of good news worth sharing.
In addition to the commemoration of our greatest sports heroes and supporters, The Riverside Sport Hall of Fame is committed to community outreach through education. In 2004, a very relevant seminar concerning the problem of “Steroids and Performance Enhancement Supplements” was presented by Ellen Coleman a renowned speaker, exercise physiologist and registered dietician and author of the book “Eating for Endurance”. Another great program was presented by Chris Carlisle, Head Strength coach from USC. His message to Riverside athletes articulated proper strength training technique. The talk concluded with an open invitation to some of the participants to observe a practice at USC. Both seminars were attended by coaches, parents and athletes and have been made available on The Riverside Sport Hall of Fame website for the benefit of all.
The ideas that were born of the efforts of Dr. Chuck Kane and his committee thrive today. Meetings will always begin with that good piece of news shared among dedicated volunteers who share the vision for The Riverside Sport Hall of Fame. And as Chuck wished, each year new, eager, young sports-minded citizens are brought onto the managing board to insure that the interest in recognizing excellence in Riverside sports continues for many years to come.