NeveHarms Steve Shostrom has been involved in every progressive step in the phenomenal growth of road racing in the Peoria area. He began distance running and road racing in the early seventies at a time when road racing and marathons were looked upon as a curious type of sport.
In December 1973, he, with the co-assistance of Red McGraw, now assistant track coach at Bradley University, founded the Illinois Valley Striders, an organization devoted to improving the quality of road racing and to helping runners in their own self-improvement. It has grown from an original membership of seven to over 1,000, one of Central Illinois' largest participating sports clubs. Steve has been president of the Illinois Valley Striders since its beginning.
Shostrom has been race director for countless races in the Peoria area. By far, the most prominent is the Steamboat Classic. From 158 runners who competed in the first Steamboat race, the 1983 Steamboat Classic attracted 2,010 runners, a tribute to the dedication of Steve to promotion and direction of road racing. The Steamboat Classic is now a cornerstone race of the Illinois Grand Prix circuit throughout the State of Illinois.
Steve has won a number of honors for his own performance as a runner. He is most proud of being the first Peorian in the Boston Marathon in 1973 with a two hour and thirty-five minute finishing time.
Shostrom is a supervisory attorney at the National Labor Relations Board where he has been employed for 16 years. In addition to being president of the Illinois Valley Striders, he is vice president of the National Road Runners Club of America, and has been on the Park District Recreation Committee for ten years.
Steve Shostrom has been involved in every progressive step in the phenomenal growth of road racing in the Peoria area. He began distance running and road racing in the early seventies at a time when road racing and marathons were looked upon as a curious type of sport.
Neve Harms Award
The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Neve Harms Award, formerly the Peoria Advertising and Selling Club's Annual Meritorious Service to Sports Award, was named the Neve Harms Award in 1966 and for a very good reason.
As Director of Proctor Recreation Center, Harms observed the need for all youths to experience participation in sports activities, and not just the few who excelled. He, therefore, adopted a firm policy which assured that all youths would have an opportunity to play in games of the various sports controlled by Proctor Center. This plan met with much success and certainly with acceptance by parents whose children became more interested in sport activities at Proctor and consequently made good use of their free time.
Neve carried through this policy when he was appointed Superintendent of the Peoria City Recreation Department which later became part of the Peoria Park District. In addition, he also developed a system of recognition for all youths so that each young person could feel good about his or her efforts.
This kind of interest in all youths regardless of ability came from a most competitive and outstanding athlete. Neve was a four-sport player at Manual High School and a three-sport letter winner at Bradley University. He was a member of the 1929 Manual High School State Championship Basketball team.
Awards prior to 1981 were offered through the Peoria Advertising Club, rather than the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame. We don't have biographies for these individuals. If anyone would be able to provide the bios that were written by the club at the time of the awards, we would very much appreciate receiving them for posting. We are also missing the Bruce Saurs' bio that was written in the 1991 Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Banquet book, and we would like to receive it also. We are specifically interested in the bios written at the time of the awards, not more or less current. Please contact Rick at email@example.com.
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The first official Board of Directors meeting was held on October 14, 1979. Officers were elected. Early decisions determined that the Hall of Famers would be from the Greater Peoria Area; the name would be The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame; its purpose would be to promote and encourage the many varied sports programs in our area, to share with the area the pride we have in the accomplishments of area athletes, and to honor those men, women and teams contributing to our enjoyment and rich sports history.
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