Abbotsford – The University of the Fraser Valley athletic department has mined the history of its rowing and women’s basketball programs to comprise its latest class of Cascades Hall of Fame inductees.
Longtime UFV rowing coach Liz Chisholm and one of her star pupils Matt Douma will enter the Hall of Fame in the builder and athlete categories, respectively. In the team category, a storied Cascades women’s basketball era – 1993 through 1997 – will be recognized.
Cascades Hall of Fame night will be held on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in conjunction with the UFV basketball teams’ home games vs. Trinity Western (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.). Inductees will be celebrated at a private reception with UFV President Joanne MacLean, and will be recognized in an on-court ceremony at halftime of the men’s basketball game.
“We’re thrilled to welcome this group of distinguished Cascades into our Hall of Fame,” said Steve Tuckwood, UFV director of athletics and campus recreation. “Liz Chisholm is well-deserving for her dedication to the rowing program over nearly two decades, and Matt Douma and the women’s basketball teams of the mid-1990s achieved some amazing things on behalf of the Cascades.”
Liz Chisholm was the founding head coach of the Cascades rowing program, and served in that capacity for 18 seasons, from 2001 through her retirement in the spring of 2019. Under Chisholm’s direction, UFV rowing was a true grassroots program – an estimated 95 per cent her athletes over the years were recruited from the existing student body and had no prior experience with rowing. Yet the Cascades consistently experienced success beyond their modest pedigrees in the sport, turning in strong results over the years at the Western Canadian and Canadian University Rowing Championships. Four former UFV rowers have had stints with Canada’s national development team, and one – Lisa Roman – participated in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first UFV athlete across all sports to compete at an Olympics.
Matt Douma, a product of 108 Mile Ranch, B.C., was the Cascades’ top male rower from 2004 to 2006, achieving unprecedented results. Most notably, he and teammate Gareth Newcombe became the first Cascades rowers to earn selection to the prestigious Head of the Charles regatta in Boston in 2005, where they finished second to Harvard University in the men’s double. Douma also turned in outstanding performances with Newcombe at the Canadian University Rowing Championships, winning the B final in 2004, and qualifying for the A final in 2005. He was subsequently named the Cascades’ male student-athlete of the year in 2006. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduate, Douma has gone on to an accomplished career and further education in that field, and has earned plaudits for innovative research.
The 1993-1997 women’s basketball era was one of incredible, sustained success. The Cascades posted an amazing 65-3 record in BCCAA regular-season play over the four-year stretch, and they rolled to four straight conference championships. A CCAA national championship proved elusive, but the program brought home national medals each year, winning silver in 1993-94, 1994-95 and 1995-96, and bronze in 1996-97. The Cascades’ star-studded rosters under head coach Sandy Chambers included seven players who earned recognition as BCCAA all-stars, CCAA All-Canadians, and/or CCAA championship all-stars: Danielle Moe, Tricia Grant, Sue Parke, Denise Rehman, Martha Craig, Brandee Fort and Amber Mytting. This dynasty established a tradition of women’s basketball excellence at UFV which has endured over the ensuing decades.
ABOUT THE CASCADES HALL OF FAME
The Cascades Hall of Fame was established in 2016, and January’s induction event is the fourth annual. Chisholm, Douma and the 1993-97 women’s basketball era join 14 previous inductees – six athletes, five builders, and three teams. Inductees are honoured with plaques in the mezzanine of the Envision Financial Athletic Centre, and a display cabinet containing Hall of Famers’ memorabilia is also maintained in the EFAC lobby. For more on the Cascades Hall of Fame, including previous inductees, criteria, and nomination forms, visit GoCascades.ca/HOF.