Acting upon a suggestion of by the Los Angeles 15th District City Councilman John S. Gibson that a Sportswalk should be started in San Pedro to commemorate outstanding achievements, the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce developed plans for such a Sportswalk.
Approval of the concept had to be first obtained from the Los Angeles City Council, the Public Works Commission and the Cultural Arts Commission before the Walk could become reality.
The initial San Pedro Sportswalk opened October 5, 1978 in a ceremony that also marked the revitalization of San Pedro’s Downtown Commercial District. The Sportswalk was initially sponsored by the Trani Family of San Pedro, whose Restaurant was on 6th Street near the Waterfront and was a gathering place for famous athletes from around the world.
The Sportswalk to the Waterfront Foundation represents community recognition of local and regionally produced individuals who have achieved exceptional and outstanding collegiate, Olympic and professional athletic success.
Each year end there after, until the year 1998, the Sportswalk induction ceremony, which features bronze plaques listing the name of the sports honoree and a symbol representing the sport for which the person is known is placed on the Walk. Originally the plaques could be found in the sidewalk along 6th street between Harbor Blvd and Mesa Streets. Future plans will incorporate the Waterfront including areas in front of Catalina Terminal, The “IOWA”, Maritime Museum and the new Ports of Call Village walk ways.
The Chamber of Commerce Committee was the incubator of expansion ideas that included honoring the Trani Family and establishing the Trani Award to be given to a local contributor to sports in the area and later expanded to include Special Individuals who worked tireously to encourage youth athletes to exceed their own expectations.
The Sportswalk was self-supporting up until 1998 when it became difficult to secure the necessary corporate sponsorship for an annual induction ceremony and luncheon honoring the inductees.
In 2004, the San Pedro Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors unanimously adopted the proposal for a non-profit Foundation to assume all inherent responsibilities related to the continuation of the Sportswalk. In 2018, The Foundation changed its name to The Los Angeles Sportswalk of Fame and recognizes Athlethes, Sports Celebrities who have both Regional and National significance to the Sports Community.
The San Pedro Sportswalk mission and purpose is to:
Promote and vitalize sports through education in the Los Angeles Community.
Provide a scholarship program for youth of the South Bay Area Community.
Continuation and expansion of the Sportswalk concept thruout the Waterfront Area.
The Los Angeles Sportswalk of Fame has expanded to include Local, Regional, National Athletes along with Coaches (Trani Award), and Veteran Services Members (Tillman Award), and Special Individuals Sports (Sports Humanitarian Award).