Gravenhurst council has moved to nominate champion snowboarder Liam Brearley for the Lions Sports Hall of Fame.

It comes the same week that Brearley has been named to the Canadian National Park and Pipe Snowboarding National team. He was previously on the NextGen team where he made history as the first Canadian to win three medals at the Youth Winter Olympic Games in 2020. He also finished 3rd during last year’s World Cup season.

Brearley explains the NextGen team is made up of up-and-coming riders, while the National team is made up of the nine best snowboarders Canada has to offer. 

Being on the team doesn’t guarantee Brearley a trip to next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing. There are competitions in the fall that he has to perform well at to boost his qualification push. The Olympic team will be selected on January 10th, 2022. “Everyone is going to try and be at their best,” he says. “It’s going to be a heated Fall.”

The Canadian Olympic website explains that the qualification period for snowboarders runs from July 1st, 2020 to January 16th, 2022. Through World Cup and World Championship events, Brearley will need to gain enough points to meet a pre-determined quota. A maximum of 14 men and 14 women can be sent by each competing nation. 

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I’m going to push my best in the fall, for sure, to try and get on the team,” Brearley says.

The original motion put forward by Gravenhurst council called for the skate park at Gravenhurst Children’s Park to be renamed the Liam Brearley Skatepark. That motion was shot down due to a conflict in the town’s policy. Manager of Recreation Services Shawna Patterson explained that to rename a park or facility in Gravenhurst after someone, the town’s Naming of Public Parks and Recreation Facilities policy says it has to relate to their celebrity. So, in Brearley’s case, the skatepark doesn’t fit since he’s a snowboarder.

“I don’t understand the policy,” Councillor Sandy Cairns said. She pointed out that Brearley helped design the park and trains on it. “I just thought it would be additional excitement for youth and the rest of our town to see that front and centre,” she added. The hall of fame is located in the Terry Fox Auditorium, which Cairns says is out of the way, unlike the skatepark.

The hall of fame committee has not met during the current term of council because of a lack of members.