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How about a Sports Hall of Fame?

Brian Lochore [in headgear] moves towards the action in the All Blacks clash with Cambridge University in 1963. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

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Several months ago I alluded to the idea of establishing a Wairarapa Sports Hall of Fame.

With plenty of time to ponder over recent weeks, it got me thinking what it could look like, and who would be the inaugural inductees.

A Sports Hall of Fame wouldn’t need to be much, maybe some photos or memorabilia in a local pub, just something to recognise our sporting heroes and there have been plenty over the decades.

Then there are the criteria, so I have taken my lead from the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame, which uses five years after retirement before induction.

Being a region where many of our sports stars leave to develop their sporting career elsewhere, there would also need to be some sort of criteria around their relevance to Wairarapa sport. They would need to have a significant local connection.

Then there would be the selection process and how often new inductees would be admitted.

For the sake of discussion, I’ve decided on 20 inaugural inductees – 10 individuals, five teams and five officials, coaches, referees, administrators, media, etc.

Each day this week I will name my inaugural inductees starting with the first five of the individuals.

Sir Brian Lochore

Undoubtedly Wairarapa’s greatest sporting product, BJ qualifies as a player and as a coach, but as one can only be inducted once I have included him as a player.

Lochore made his All Black debut against Oxford University in 1963 and two months later played the first of his 25 tests against England at Twickenham.

Sir Bob Charles. PHOTOS/FILE

He went on to captain the All Blacks in 18 tests, losing only three, all on the 1970 tour of South Africa.

After retirement Lochore took up coaching, leading Wairarapa-Bush to the first division in his second year in charge in 1981.

Higher honours beckoned and BJ took control of the All Blacks in 1985, culminating in victory at the inaugural World Cup in 1987.

Sir Bob Charles

As an 18-year-old amateur playing out of the Masterton Golf Club, Charles stunned the national sporting scene with a brilliant win in the New Zealand Open at Heretaunga, Upper Hutt.

Charles then represented New Zealand as an amateur before turning professional in 1960. His crowning glory came in 1963 at Royal Lytham and St Annes, when he won a 36-hole playoff with Phil Rodgers to win the Open Championship and became the first left-hander to win a major.

Charles won six PGA titles, four European tour events and 23 Senior PGA tournaments in an illustrious career.

Aaron Slight

Aaron Slight

During the 1990s, Slight was feted as one of the best motorcyclists in the world, but that was never enough to win an elusive world championship.

Slight finished second in the World Superbike Championship twice, in 1996 and 1998, the latter only 5.5 points shy of arch-rival Briton Carl Fogarty.

He also had four third placings. In his 229 World Superbike starts Slight had 13 wins and 87 podiums.

He was also the first rider to win the prestigious Suzuka 8-hour race three times from 1993 to 1995.

Slight’s motorcycling career came to an abrupt end in 2000 when he had to undergo emergency brain surgery.

Tinks Pottinger

Tinks Pottinger.

Pottinger was a member of the New Zealand equestrian team that won the bronze medal in the three-day event at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She finished fifth in the individual event.

Two years earlier Pottinger was denied the chance to push for World Championship glory at Gawler, South Australia, when her mount Volunteer was vetted out when leading after the cross-country.

After retirement, Pottinger organised New Zealand’s talent identification and development squads for more than 10 years. She has also coached Young Rider transtasman teams, and was an eventing
performance leader.

Randolph Rose

Many of you will say: Who? But back in the 1920s and early 1930s Rose, a Carterton farm worker was one of the best known athletes in New Zealand, despite never competing at an Olympics or
Empire Games.

In his career Rose won five Australasian titles and eight national championships.

A highlight was a New Zealand record for the mile of 4min 13.6sec set on the grass in Masterton in 1926.

Also, that year Rose beat American Olympic finalist Lindsay Hahn 4-1 in a five-race series.

Despite his ability Rose lacked ambition and rarely trained.

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