Into the hall

Kens­ing­ton na­tive an­nounced as a mem­ber of 2018 Nova Sco­tia Sport Hall of Fame class

Journal Pioneer - - FRONT PAGE - BY WILLY PALOV

Anna (Pen­der­gast) Stamm­berger, Kens­ing­ton na­tive, is one of this year’s in­ductees into the Nova Sco­tia Sports Hall of Fame. The for­mer Dal­housie basketball star went on to cap­tain the na­tional team and is now the head coach of the Dal women’s team.

The 2018 Nova Sco­tia Sport Hall of Fame class has a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing. Among the in­ductees are a num­ber of fe­male trail­blaz­ers, a leg­endary basketball team, a horse, Olympians and ded­i­cated coaches. Go­ing in as ath­letes are soc­cer player Mary Beth Bowie, gym­nast Kris­tan Bur­ley, basketball star and Kens­ing­ton na­tive Anna Stamm­berger and har­ness rac­ing’s Some­beach­some­where. The 1978 Saint Mary’s men’s basketball team also got a nod, as did builders Thomas Doucette and Margaret (Peggy) Gal­lant. “It means a lot,” Bowie said. “When you’re play­ing you get ac­co­lades and you’re fo­cused on what you’re ac­com­plish­ing but you’re also look­ing ahead to the next thing. When your ca­reer ends you have more time to re­flect and this is what I find my­self do­ing with this. I’ve been think­ing about all the peo­ple who helped me ac­com­plish what I did.” Hal­i­fax’s Bowie was a force in col­le­giate soc­cer for Dal­housie and the Univer­sity of Con­necti­cut be­fore play­ing for Canada’s na­tional team for four years, in­clud­ing at the 1999 FIFA World Cup.

Made mark

Gal­lant also made her mark in soc­cer, first as a coach at St. Fran­cis Xavier Univer­sity and later as a zeal­ous ad­vo­cate for women in the sport. She also guided the XWomen vol­ley­ball pro­gram and made nu­mer­ous con­tri­bu­tions as a scholar and sports pi­o­neer. “I never thought this would hap­pen,” she said. “I was ab­so­lutely gob­s­macked when I got the news. My ca­reer was so long and when you’re in the trenches you don’t think you’re a Hall of Famer. You might think that you’re mak­ing a con­tri­bu­tion or you’re do­ing things be­cause you think they need to be done but you don’t think you’re at the level of some of the peo­ple that are in here. “With some­thing like this, you start to think about peo­ple that you looked up to or even peo­ple that you fought with, whether it was for new pro­grams or bud­get­ing.

“This brings back so many mem­o­ries. Nova Sco­tia’s such a big part of my life and, of course, I live and coach here now and get to work with Nova Sco­tia ath­letes. It’s so spe­cial.” Anna Stamm­berger

Women didn’t have a great place in sports back then so it brings back all those mem­o­ries.” The 1978 Huskies basketball team won the na­tional cham­pi­onship with an un­for­get­table win over Aca­dia in the ti­tle game in Hal­i­fax, and Some­beach­some­where shat­tered har­ness rac­ing stan­dards dur­ing his nearly mytho­log­i­cal run in the sport. Doucette was the head coach of Canada’s ju­nior men’s soft­ball team for seven years, and also won the At­lantic Col­leges Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion basketball coach of the year award. He and Some­beach­some­where en­ter the Hall posthu­mously. Truro’s Bur­ley won mul­ti­ple in­ter­na­tional medals and rep­re­sented Canada at the 1996 Olympics and at seven world championships.


Stamm­berger is orig­i­nally from Prince Ed­ward Is­land, but said her basketball ca­reer didn’t take off un­til she re­lo­cated to Hal­i­fax to play for Dal­housie. “I re­ally grew and made huge jumps in my ca­reer in Nova Sco­tia,” she said. “Even af­ter I grad­u­ated from Dal I stayed here for two years and trained to be ready for the na­tional team. I trained with the Univer­sity of King’s Col­lege men’s team and with the Red Fox se­nior women’s team. “I was also an as­sis­tant coach with Dal and I worked here for two years. I ce­mented my spot with the na­tional team be­cause of that time I spent here in Nova Sco­tia. I made the jump to the na­tional team my fourth year at Dal, but it wasn’t un­til three years later that I be­came a fixed part of the team. “The first sum­mer or two you don’t know if you’re go­ing to be picked up again the next year; it’s very com­pet­i­tive. But that time was so im­por­tant to ev­ery­thing I did with the na­tional team and also as a pro in Europe.” Af­ter a highly dec­o­rated fiveyear stint with the Tigers, Stamm­berger went on to cap­tain the na­tional team and spent sev­eral years play­ing pro­fes­sion­ally in Ger­many. She is now the head coach of the Dal women’s team. “This brings back so many mem­o­ries,” said Stamm­berger, who com­peted at the 1984 Olympics. “Nova Sco­tia’s such a big part of my life and, of course, I live and coach here now and get to work with Nova Sco­tia ath­letes. It’s so spe­cial.”

Echoed those sen­ti­ments

Bowie echoed those sen­ti­ments, say­ing she has never been far from the sport but doesn’t of­ten make time to re­visit her glory days. “The big­gest mem­o­ries are prob­a­bly the peo­ple that I’ve met and the friend­ships that I’ve made and the trips we took together,” said Bowie, who coaches her two young daugh­ters and still plays in the women’s sec­ond di­vi­sion. “When I re­flect back, those are the things that re­ally stand out. Of course, play­ing on the na­tional team and be­ing a part of the World Cup are ca­reer high­lights but I prob­a­bly spend more time think­ing about the peo­ple I went through those ex­pe­ri­ences with.” The in­duc­tion cer­e­mony will be Nov. 2 at the Hal­i­fax Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.


Anna Stamm­berger poses for a photo out­side the Nova Sco­tia Sports Hall of Fame. The for­mer Dal­housie basketball star and cur­rent women’s head coach is one of this year’s Hall of Fame in­ductees.

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