VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — In just two days, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame will hold its induction. It’s an induction three years in the making.
In 2019, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame announced the class of 2020, including WAVY’s own sports director (now retired) Bruce Rader. Then, the pandemic hit.
“In 2020, we were six weeks shy of the induction when the pandemic began. So, the class of 2020 has yet to be inducted. As we got through the process, even further along, we decided, well, we still want to close the gap on voting. We didn’t want to go three full years without voting. So, what we did was we added a modified class for 2022. And not to take anything away from those inductees, but [we] did just one person per our induction categories. So, we have seven people in the class of 2020. Four people in the class of 2022. Plus, a Distinguished Virginian, which is sports and philanthropy. So, it’s just a really exciting weekend celebrating sports here throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Will Driscoll, executive director of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Driscoll says a unique event tonight kicks off Induction weekend.
“At Three Notch’d Brewing Co. in Town Center in Virginia Beach, we did a beer collaboration, and we’ll be rolling out Enshrined Pale Ale. Which is just kind of celebrating the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, the events this weekend, and working with a community partner like Three Notch’d.”
Of course, the main events are Saturday beginning with the Breakfast with Champions where those who bought tickets get to meet the inductees, ask them questions and get autographs.
“It’s the type of event where the inductees get to show a little bit more of their personality. The questions aren’t always specific to sports. It’s more about who they are as people,” said Driscoll.
Then, the VIP reception and induction will happen Saturday evening.
“We will induct 11 new people in the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, giving us 345 inductees total. So, it’s something we are just unbelievably excited for, the inductees are excited for, the families, the supporters of the inductees are excited for, our supporters of the Hall of Fame are excited, and it’s just nice to get this back on the calendar. We’ve been saying over the past few months in the office that history begins again, because it’s been three years since our last induction. It’s almost like history is starting anew. So, it’s just a wonderful weekend and it’s 49 which means next year is 50, so we have some history here,” said Driscoll.
Ticket sales for all of Saturday’s events are now closed. If you would like to become an insider of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, which gives you the ability to nominate potential inductees, advanced ticket access to future events, among other perks, click here.
Editor’s note: Driscoll is the husband of WAVY’s Katie Collett, the author of this story.