New sports hall of fame inductees named

By John Tapley, Ingersoll Times

Four individuals and one fastball team will be inducted into the Ingersoll Sports Hall of Fame later this month.

The new inductees include Isao Yabunaka, Carole Bragg, Dick Parker, Kieran Wilson and the 1988 Shelton Ford Foldens midget girls fastball team.

The induction ceremony will be held at the Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The formal part of the event and inductions will start at 7 p.m.

Yabunaka is Shihan (chief instructor) of the Sewai Kai Canada Ingersoll karate dojo and chief instructor of Sewai Kai North America.

An eighth dan black belt, Yabunaka established Seiwa Kai in North America in 1998 and oversees all dojos across Canada and Mexico.

He is also a member of the Technical Committe of Karate Ontario to develop standards of excellence, and is a national A referee.

A member of the now defunct Ingersoll Lawn Bowling Club, Bragg is a national champion, having won a bronze medal in Regina, Saskatchewan in 2006.

Ingersoll resident Dick Parker began playing fastball when he was 17. A switch hitter, Parker batted .345 in his first season with the Ontario Fastball League while playing outfield with the Woodstock Warriors.

Spending most of his career with Woodstock teams, Parker moved to first base and won many titles.

Wilson is being posthumously inducted into the hall of fame for his success in karate.

The 14-year-old, whose passion was karate, died following a brief illness in October, 2016, days after winning gold, silver and bronze medals at the World Martial Arts Organization Championships in Spain.

Always an avid athlete, Kieran started out playing T-ball in Salford and became a member of the Ingersoll Soccer Club when he was five. He also joined his mother, Kim, father, Kevin, and brother Brayden, in long distance running, participating in 2K and 5K runs, a kids' marathon and a nine kilometre obstacle course called the Bad Ass Dash.

In 2013, Wilson discovered his passion for karate and it wasn't long before he was winning medals at the local, provincial and national levels as a member of the Sewai Kai Canada Ingersoll dojo. They include 12 gold medals, 16 silver and 15 bronze as well as eight other trophies.

The 1988 Shelton Ford Foldens midget girls fastball team is being recognized for its accomplishments on the field.

“We are trying a different approach to this year's induction by turning it into a mini event or festival celebrating sports,” said Scott Gillies, curator of the Ingersoll

Cheese and Agricultural Museum. “We are inviting the general public as well as friends and family members of the inductees to come join in the fun.”

Gillies said the museum will have a new special exhibit on sports in the main building along with some interactive sports games and refreshments.

“Local organizations have been invited to participate and promote their respective sport, either through activities or information booths,” Gillies said. “Bring your team, bring your family.”

People planning to attend are asked to contact the museum (519-485-5510) so organizers can get an idea how much food to prepare.