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Mayor Mike Spano Inducts Local Boxing Legend Sal Corrente and Paddling Pioneer Nancy Kalafus to Yonkers Sports Hall of Fame

Post Date:10/16/2017 2:29 PM

Mayor's News

Yonkers, NY – October 16, 2017 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, in collaboration with the Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation, this week inducted boxing legend Salvatore Corrente and paddling pioneer Nancy Kalafus to the Yonkers Sports Hall of Fame.  The Yonkers Sports Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding professionals and amateurs in the field of sports, living or deceased, who have gained prominence or make substantial contribution to sports in the City of Yonkers.  The ceremony took place Saturday, October 14th, at the Yonkers Sports Hall of Fame located at the Yonkers Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation.

“Our Sports Hall of Fame is a memorable way of honoring past and present residents who enhanced Yonkers through their athletic accomplishments,” said Mayor Spano. “Throughout the years, many outstanding local citizens have gained prominence and fame within the world of sports.  The pride and honor they brought to themselves and others should live on as symbols of achievement and examples of hard work for future generations in our community.”

Sal Corrente was born and raised in Yonkers to Italian immigrant parents, Salvatore and Teresa Corrente. Sal graduated from St. Mary’s Grammar School and attended Sacred Heart High School his freshmen year, but his love for football perpetuated a transfer to Saunders Trades and Technical High School. After leading Saunders to its first city football championship in 1957, he received a scholarship to Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado.  In 1975, Sal founded the Yonkers P.A.L. boxing program.  Under Sal’s leadership, Yonkers PAL Boxing won several metropolitan, regional and national titles and several of his students went on to the professional ranks to attain both national and international success.

Nancy Kalafus was born and raised on Buena Vista Avenue in Yonkers overlooking the Hudson River. She attended Yonkers Public Schools and quickly fell in love with canoes and kayak racing.  In 1970, she became the first Yonkers Canoe Club female to participate on the United States World Championship team and although women raced for the Yonkers Canoe Club (YCC), their constitution at that time did not allow females to be voted into the club as senior members. That all changed in 1970 as the YCC Constitution was changed to allow women. Nancy was voted in as one of the first women senior members.  Joe Beczak, of the Beczak Environmental Center at C.U.R.B., asked her to help start a canoe/kayak paddling club at Sacred Heart High School and she jumped at the chance. They formed a club of students who became the next wave of productive paddlers and national champions for the Yonkers Canoe Club.

Established in 1966, the Yonkers Sports Hall of Fame was formed to honor residents for their playing ability, integrity, character, sportsmanship and advocacy of sports.  They must have brought honor, fame and prestige not only to themselves, but also to the City of Yonkers. Their actions must have inspired young people to participate and their example must have encouraged others to promote and initiate community sports and recreation programs.  The names of those selected will be permanently enshrined upon plaques located within the Yonkers Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, at 285 Nepperhan Avenue. 

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