Sporting walk of fame for Banna Ave?

GRIFFITH'S Sporting Hall of Fame is back on the agenda with the city's sporting stakeholders set to debate tonight the best way to honour our greats.

The Griffith City Sports Council (GCSC) will meet this evening to discuss an array of ideas for how the inaugural Hall of Fame inductees should be publicly acknowledged.

The most heavily favoured option appears to be the installation of plaques down Banna Avenue to commemmorate Hall of Fame members, while it's believed the Griffith Leagues Club is also prepared to host an honour board.

GCSC president Lou Testoni said whatever the approach, Griffith's sporting stars should be on display for all to see.

"I believe it has to be available to the public, something that can become an attraction," he said.

"I can just imagine people walking up and down the street, looking at plaques while their partners are out shopping.

"I don't think indoors is the appropriate thing because it limits the amount of people who can enjoy it.

"It has to be available for everyone to see and have a look at.

"The main street is the perfect place for it but maybe Memorial Park could work or when council looks at an extension for City Park one day, that could be a good option too."

The Hall of Fame's launch originally set for late last year was postponed due to the GCSC's partnership with Sports Marketing Australia and the company's forthcoming report on Griffith's capacity to host major sporting events.

The lack of nominations from several major sporting clubs was also a contributing factor in the delay.

But Testoni said with the SMA report due next month and the Australia Day awards done and dusted, the time to strike is now.

"Instead of everyone sitting back and waiting, let's throw all the ideas out there and discuss the best thing we can do," he said.

"This is a bit of a lull period for us in regard to a few things so there is no better opportunity.

"There's been a few different ideas. I've put it out there to the delegates to come back with some ideas and now it's time to figure out what we're going to do.

"If we're going to push council to do something, we have to know what it is."

Jeff McKenna is head of the Hall of Fame organising committee and said he is close to finalising the list of nominations.

He, too, is grappling with how the inductees will be honoured, but strongly believes the Banna Avenue plaques option - the "walk of fame" - would provide a huge intangible benefit to the city's sporting community.

"Once you get them in there, everyone will want to be in the Hall of Fame," he said.

"To my way of thinking it either has to be main street plaques - that was always what I had in mind, personally.

"I'm sure we could get that type of thing done locally as well.

"Even those plaques in front of shops on the main street, I see people looking at those all the time.

"At the very least we could put it in the visitor's centre.

"I know in Orange they put it in their visitor's centre and it became a really big deal.

"Everyone who walked in read about it it and there were plenty of people going in there just for that.

"When they moved it away, they noticed a drop-off."

McKenna also put out a renewed call for nominations, which are to be directed to the Griffith City Sports Council or Sportspower.

"So far, the three biggest clubs in town - the Swans, Black and Whites and Waratahs - have not nominated anyone and that's disappointing," he said.

"We don't want them to miss out. We thought there would be plenty of people deserving of nomination from those clubs."

The committee settled last year on two categories for Hall of Fame nominations - players or administrators who have competed at the elite level, or a "local legend" award for those who have excelled in Griffith sport.


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