The idea of establishing a Western Australian sporting Hall of Champions was originally put forward by the Sportwriters Association of WA in 1983.
That Association did some preparatory work on the project before the Western Australian Government as the Western Australian Institute of Sport to develop the concept fully. The Hall of Champions was officially inaugurated by the then Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Hon. Keith Wilson, on August 19, 1985. The Foundation Members of the Hall were inducted on that date.
It was not until HBF Stadium (formerly Challenge Stadium) was constructed on its present site in Mount Claremont in 1987 that the Hall of Champions became a tangible entity which could be visited and enjoyed. Busts of the fourteen foundation members were placed on display in the foyer of the Superdrome and are still located in that situation today.
A large framed photograph of each athlete in action honours new inductees, with a commemorative plaque under the photo detailing their achievements. Since 1987 the photos have been shown in a long walkway gallery which forms the main artery of Challenge Stadium, running straight down the centre of the building to the Champions Club a social and function room in the stadium.
The Hall of Champions remained unchanged for several years until the closing months of 2001 when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Western Australian Institute of Sport and Curtin University of Technology. This memorandum hands over the role of curator to the University who will henceforth be responsible for the maintenance and operation of the Hall of Champions. It is possible that, at a later date, the Gallery and busts will be re-located to a venue within Curtin University. However, for the time being they will remain at Challenge Stadium for the enjoyment of visitors and citizens of WA.
Click here to view the WA Hall of Champions
The main criteria for admission to the Hall are:
- Outstanding sporting achievement at the highest level
- The athlete must be accepted as a product of the WA sporting system or have established their reputation while resident in WA
- The athlete must have retired from the highest level of competition for five years.
Members of the selection committee for the Hall of Champions are:
- Mr David Hatt (Chairman)
- Mr Ken Casellas
- Ms Priya Cooper
- Ms Emma George
- Ms Wendy Pritchard
- Mr Clint Wheeldon
- Mr Ray Wilson