Burlington Sports Hall of Fame
Sports Hall of Fame 2017 Members:
Melanie Booth Soccer
Burlington can indeed be very proud of this young woman’s story.
Melanie Booth was born and raised in Burlington – more specifically – in Aldershot.
Her rise to Olympic status and medallist had its foundation as a member of the Burlington Youth Soccer Clubs Program. Melanie was blessed to be tutored by some exceptional BYSC coaches as a youngster who recognized that she was an exceptional athlete demonstrating determination and focus far beyond her years. Melanie is an outstanding soccer player and equally outstanding human being. Among Melanie’s many fine qualities is her commitment and loyalty to Burlington and to BYSC. She remained loyal to her club team – the Burlington Flames – throughout her formative soccer youth. At 15 the skilled teen was selected to the Ontario provincial team. Her savvy on the pitch immediately attracted the attention of Soccer Canada’s National Team program. At 17 Melanie was living “the dream.” The former BYSC standout suited up in the Canadian kit representing Canada at the 2002 FIFA U-19 World Championship hosted in Edmonton. More than 47 000 packed the stadium to witness the inaugural U-19 Womens World Cup. In sudden-death overtime in the gold medal game, Canada fell to the U.S. 1-0. To date this is the only FIFA youth age group medal that Canada has captured. The Aldershot High School grad was heavily recruited by a number of NCAA D1 universities. Melanie selected the University of Florida in Gainesville specifically because of coach Becky Burleigh and the team’s ‘team first’ philosophy. Melanie received All-American accolades during 3 of her year competing, and along with her Gator mates qualified all four years for the NCAA D1 tournament; twice qualifying for the sweet 16 round. In 2007 Melanie was selected to represent Canada at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janiero where Canada defeated Mexico 2-1 scoring a bronze medal. Four years later in Guadalajara Mexico, Canada was tied 1-1 with Brazil in the gold medal game after regulation and extra time. In the shootout Melanie scored one of the goals to help Canada defeat Brazil 4-3 winning Canada’s first ever Pan American soccer gold medal. In the four year interim between Pan Am Games Melanie’s international experience included the 2008 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China and the 2008 CONCACAF Olympic qualifier in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico. In 2012 Melanie’s Olympic dream became reality. In extra time in the bronze medal game, Canada defeated France 1-0 - for the first ever medal won by a Canadian women’s team at the summer Olympic Games. The medal presentation in front of more than 80 000 fans at London’s venerable Wembley Stadium was the penultimate for the little girl from Aldershot who always dreamed big. Melanie has endured many setbacks and injuries over her decorated career. A broken ankle in 1998; a broken wrist in 2002; a torn ACL in 2008; numerous sprains and strains; an inner ear infection which seriously impacted her balance and perception - but throughout all the challenges – she never gave up. Melanie Booth indeed represents all things good about sport. We are proud to welcome Melanie Booth into the 2017 Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Tim Bothwell Hockey
The average length of a playing career in the National Hockey League is 5.5 years. Imagine the skill and determination it takes to sustain a professional career for twelve years. That’s exactly what Tim Bothwell did playing more than 500 NHL games. Tim’s love for the game began in the 1960’s thanks to his mom who constructed a backyard rink for her young family both in Dundas and here in Burlington, right around the corner on Shadeland Avenue. Prior to moving to Burlington in 1965 Tim played pee-wee hockey in the Dundas Minor Hockey League…starting at the ripe “old” age of 8. The young forward flourished in the Burlington Minor Hockey League being named to a number of All-Star teams. Initially, Tim played forward but transitioned to defense starting in his final year with the Burlington Barton Tubes Midgets. The following year he earned his way onto the roster of a powerful Burlington Mohawk championship team as an extra defenseman. In the 1972-73 season Tim was recognized as the Junior B Burlington Mohawks “Most Promising Player.” The following season he was named the Mohawks Most Valuable Defenseman. Upon graduation – in 1974 - from Aldershot High School, the Ontario Scholar accepted a scholarship to Brown University – a prestigious Ivy League school. The curriculum at Brown allowed Tim to create his own major; combining Economics and Political Science. He set marks in both the classroom, graduating in the top 15% of his class and on the ice during his Brown Bears career. During his collegiate career Tim was a three-time All-Ivy League First Team All-Star. In total he played 85 games recording 28 goals and 85 assists; ending as the highest scoring defenseman in Brown hockey history. He helped lead the Bears to the NCAA D1 Final Four Championships in 1976, earning a bronze medal. That team was inducted into the Brown Sports Hall of Fame last October. Tim had been inducted as an individual student-athlete in 1983. The two-time Bears captain’s earned Eastern College Athletic Conference First team All-Star status in the 1976-77 season. Tim graduated in 1978 from Brown and signed his first professional contract with the New York Rangers. He was assigned to the Rangers AHL team - the New Haven Nighthawks for the 1978-79 season. He had a remarkable rookie season for the Nighthawks; setting a team record for points by a rookie defenseman; named the team’s Most Valuable Player; leading his team to the Calder Cup finals. Tim played for three NHL teams during his distinguished career: the New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Hartford Whalers. He was a three-time winner of the Emery Edge Award honouring the best plus/minus player on the team – twice with the St. Louis Blues and once with the Hartford. In the 1985-86 season Tim was presented the Emery Award by “Mr. Hockey” – Gordie Howe. Tim retired from playing professional hockey in 1990 and began the second phase of his remarkable hockey career – coaching boys and girls; men and women – at all levels – spanning 27 years. Among his numerous achievements is serving as an assistant coach with the Canadian Women’s National Team that earned an Olympic gold medal at the 2006 Torino Olympics. In total Tim has coached in ten different leagues including the NHL, AHL, IHL, Major Junior with the Medicine Hat Tigers, Canadian University (both men and women at University of Calgary), NCAA Division One (University of Vermont Women), the CWHL (Calgary Inferno) and aforementioned Women’s National Team on two separate occasions. Tim’s impressive career as both an athlete and builder is one that we in Burlington are very proud to display in the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Barb Bunkowsky Golf
In 1963 the Bunkowsky family moved from Toronto. Barb’s mom Evelyn and dad Larry bought two farms on Cedar Springs Road in north Burlington. They proceeded to build the Burlington Springs Golf and Country Club on the edge of the idyllic Niagara Escarpment. It was at the age of ten, on this iconic piece of property that Barb’s love for the game of golf was rooted. From an early age Barb showed a keen interest in the game. With her dad’s guidance – and – a golf course at her doorstep – Barb took her game to tournament play. At 15 years of age the teen entered a number of tournaments in Ontario establishing herself as a young up and comer. In 1981 Barb finished second in the Ontario Amateur Champion losing to legendary amateur Canadian Golf Hall of Famer Marlene Stewart Streit at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club. This same year, Barb won the Ontario Match Play at the Toronto Golf Club. At 19 Barb was selected to play on the World Amateur Team hosted in Prince Edward Island. Barb’s talent and skill were widely recognized. She received a scholarship to Palm Beach Junior College in Florida and twice earned All-American status. She then took her talent to Florida State University in Tallahassee where she anchored the Seminoles to the 1981 Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Championship (AIAW) and again was twice named an All-American. In 1994 Barb was inducted into the Florida State University Hall of Fame. In 1983 Barb joined the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. In her second year on tour she captured the 54 hole Chrysler-Plymouth Classic at the Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton N.J. defeating six-year pro Muffin Devlin-Spencer by four strokes. On day three of the tournament Barb equalled the course record with a seven under par 66 – finishing with a 54 hole total 209 – 10 under par.
Among Barb’s best finishes in LPGA major championships:
1985 – 19th - US Women’s Open
1986 – tied – 28th – ANA Inspiration
1987 – 4th – du Maurier Classic – Canadian Women’s Open
1993 – 3rd – Women’s PGA Championship
Barb retired from the LPGA tour in 2000 to begin a family but was drawn back to competitive golf in 2004 when she joined the Legends Women’s Senior Tour. She played in three Handa Cups (2006, 2007, 2008) – a Women’s Legends event based on the Ryder Cup format. In 2009 Barb started teaching full time with “The First Tee” program in Florida. It is an initiative that builds character, teaches life skills, and promotes healthy choices through the game of golf. Disadvantaged youth and Special Olympians are among the beneficiaries of this Class ‘A’ LPGA Teaching Pro’s expertise. Barb Bunkowsky is an ambassador for the game of golf and one in whom Burlington can be very proud. We are delighted to welcome Barb Bunkowsky into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Becky Kellar-Duke Hockey
Becky Kellar Duke is one of the most decorated hockey players in the world – male or female. Becky’s career - on ice – began as a ringette player in her then hometown of Hagersville Ontario. She quickly transitioned into hockey where her skill level attracted the interest of a number of NCAA D1 universities. Becky selected Brown University - a highly respected Ivy League school. Becky was a multi-talented athlete at Brown. When not playing defense for the Brown Bears she played second base for the Bears softball team. Twice Becky was an All-Ivy First Team All-Star selection. Add three-time All-Ivy hockey team honours to her remarkable collegiate resume. During her Bears hockey career she helped lead Brown to three straight ECAC regular season titles and two Ivy League title. The adroit defenseman recorded 47 goals and 82 assists over her incredible four year Brown Bears career. In 2005 Becky was inducted into the Brown University Sports Hall of Fame. Becky’s game has been truly global. Seven times she competed in the Nation Cup Tournament winning five gold medals; seven times she suited up for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championships capturing four gold and three silver. The four-time Olympian collected three gold (2002; 2006; 2010) and one silver medal (1998) at the esteemed winter global games. A remarkable statistic of note: Becky Kellar-Duke is one of only four women who has played in four Olympic Games. Locally, Becky played for the Burlington Barracudas in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. Twice she was named CWHL top defender as well as a CWHL All-Star. Since becoming a Burlington resident almost two decades ago Becky’s contribution to the community at large – and – youth in particular - has been profound. She has coached Burlington Youth Soccer; Burlington Blast Ringette; BOMBA Baseball; Barracuda Hockey; BLOMA Hockey - earning Coach of the Year Honours (2015) and Burlington Rep Hockey where once again her skill behind the bench was recognized earning 2017 Coach of the Year. Becky has been described as a “trailblazer,” “game changer,” a “difference-maker.” And indeed she is! She is a genuine “role model” - an inspiration for not only young women – but - all with whom she interacts. Becky has travelled extensively in Canada as a keynote speaker sharing her love for the game of hockey and her love of life. She has delivered leadership workshops to Girl Guides of Canada; day clinics in First Nations communities promoting self-esteem and positive life choices; presentations at numerous Burlington schools; Probus; and various service clubs in the area – including Rotary; as well as delivering motivational speeches to multiple sports teams and corporations. Clearly, Becky Kellar Duke is committed to country, community and kids. She is indeed meritorious of induction into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame as an athlete/builder. We are delighted to welcome Becky to the Hall.
Sean McDonough Squash
In 2003 Forbes ranked squash as the number one healthiest sport to play. And no one knows that better than Masters - World, US and Canadian champion Dr. Sean McDonough. Squash is an exacting and demanding test of athleticism, skill, tactics and fitness. Sean has them all – in spades. He has played the court game for more than 40 years. Sean’s love for the game began as a university student at Western. His talent was obvious to iconic Mustang coach Jack Fairs. Sean, though faced a dilemma. Dental school was demanding – as was squash. Finding a balance was difficult until the Dean told Sean “if you quit the team I will flunk you.” Perhaps an empty threat – but - one that Sean took to heart as he excelled in both the classroom and on the court. He was instrumental in Western winning four Ontario University Athletic Association Championships (now OUA) and Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (now CIS) four times. In 1977 Sean established roots in Burlington setting up a dental practice. His trademark passion and relentless energy for squash continued. He took his game to a whole new level. In 1989 and 1991 Sean “dominated the T” winning the Canadian Men’s – Age 35 Plus Class Championship. He also won the singles title in 1992 in the Age 40 Plus. He then focused on doubles play – a game that requires more strategy and a high level of teamwork.
Dr. Sean’s double titles include:
Ontario Men’s Doubles Champion: Age 40 Plus Class: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001
Age 50 Plus Class: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008
Canadian Men’s Doubles Champion: Age 40 Plus Class: 1992, 1994, 1996, 1999
Age 50 Plus Class: 2001, 2002
Age 55 Plus Class: 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011
Age 60 Plus Class: 2014, 2015, 2016
United States Men’s Double Champion: Age 40 Plus Class: 1999
Age 55 Plus Class: 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Age 60 Plus Class: 2015
World Men’s Double Champion: Age 40 Plus: 1994, 1998
Age 50 Plus: 2002
Sean is among the elite in the world. Very few people can claim being a World Champion. Burlington’s Dr. Sean McDonough was named a World Champion not once – but – three times. Sean’s mastery of the game of squash on the world stage brings honour not only to him but to our community as well. The Burlington Sports Hall of Fame proudly welcomes Dr. Sean McDonough to the Hall – Class of 2017.
Sports Hall of Fame 2016 Members:
Gary Jeffries Athlete/Builder (Football/Coach)
Some would say that Gary Jeffries is the best athlete to ever come out of the City of Burlington. During his high school years at Nelson, Gary participated in football, track, basketball and hockey in the rep system. He was an accomplished athlete and leader in every sport.
Beyond high school, this multi-talented competitor played:
Junior B Hockey for the Burlington Mohawks in 1963
Senior Inter County baseball for the Guelph CJoys in 1963 to 1966
Varsity hockey for the University of Guelph 1966 to 1968
Varsity football for the University of Guelph 1966 to 1968
Professional baseball in the Detroit Tigers system 1966 to 1969
Professional football for the Toronto Argonauts in 1972 and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1973
After his playing days, Gary went into coaching. In 1972 he was hired as the linebackers coach and defensive line coach for the Laurier Golden Hawks until his promotion to defensive coordinator in 1981. While serving as the defensive coordinator until 1988 he also assumed the head coaching duties for the Laurier women’s basketball team from 1984 to 1988. He then took over the men’s basketball program in 1989, holding that position until 1997. He had to leave all his football responsibilities during this period of time but re-joined the football team as their defensive coordinator in 1994. In 2002 Gary became the Golden Hawks head coach building a program that was second to none in the Ontario University Athletic Association. His exceptional athletic skills combined with a talent for leading and directing young men helped bring the Laurier football program to national prominence. In 2005 Laurier clearly established their football supremacy by winning the Vanier Cup, defeating the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. His teams were always very well prepared and competitive. After his many years of service at Laurier, Gary decided to step down in 2012. He took one last kick at the game he loved best by joining the McMaster Marauder Football team as the special teams coordinator in 2013 until 2015. Gary has been the recipient of many rewards over the life of his amazing athletic career. He was:
Athlete of the Year at the University of Guelph, 1967
Coach of the Year at Laurier, 1987
O.U.A. Football coach of the Year, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009
Canadian University Football Coach of the Year in 2003
Over the length of his years in sport, Gary has consistently presented the image of an honest, reliable, trustworthy competitor and leader. He played the game with honour and imparted these qualities to each of his players. We are proud to induct Gary Jeffries into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Helen Nichol Athlete (Badminton)
Few of us realize or understand the preparation and training required to compete in world class badminton. Helen Nichol does. She competed in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Growing up in Burlington, Helen participated in many sports as she was an active, energetic youngster. She was an avid swimmer. She played public and high school sport plus house league soccer, tennis and avidly competed in gymnastics. She won a bronze medal in vault at provincial championships. At M.M. Robinson High School, Helen was a multi-sport athlete for all five years. She played basketball, volleyball, tennis, badminton. She was named M.M. Robinson Athlete of the Year in 1998 and again in 2000; the Burlington Spectator Athlete of the Year, in 1998 and 2000; Rotary Medalist for M.M. Robinson for leadership and academics. At 14 years of age she was introduced to badminton at the L.B. Pearson Community Badminton Club and loved it. In her very first competition she lost badly. Helen does not like to lose. So she pursued elite coaching and joined the Brantford Badminton Club. This required her to drive to Brantford three times per week. Pairing with the young woman who had defeated Helen in her first match, they entered a host of competitions provincially and nationally, winning regularly. Helen received a Presidents Scholarship to the University of Guelph but before enrolling she was pursued by Badminton Canada, urging her to join the national training program in Calgary Alberta. No more scholarship. She graduated from U of C in five years while training vigorously to raise her game. In 2004 Helen learned she had qualified to compete in the Athens Olympic Games. Here is a list of just some of her achievements:
Provincial Championships Ontario
1997 – Under 16 Ladies Doubles Champion
1999, 2000 - Under 19 ladies Doubles Champion
2000 – Mixed Doubles Champion
1999, 2000, 2005, 2006 – Ladies Doubles Champion
2005 – Mixed Doubles - Silver
Pan American Games
2001, 2003, 2005 – Ladies Doubles - Gold
2006 – Ladies Doubles – Quarterfinals
2004 – Ladies Doubles – Lost to China in single elimination draw
In order to qualify for the Olympic Team, an athlete must have a world ranking. To achieve this status Helen mostly self-funded entry into competitions in over 25 countries around the world. Helen Nichol’s determination, perseverance and commitment to her sport provides a model for all aspiring young athletes. We welcome her into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Colin Russell Athlete (Swimming)
Competitive swimming is a family affair in the Russell household and Colin leads the way. The Russell family moved to Burlington in 2005 with Colin already established as a significant force in the sport. Colin swam for the Dolphins Swim Club of Oakville in his formative years and he commuted back and forth to Oakville for his training until he went off to university.
This young man is:
7 time Canadian Swimming Record Holder in the 200 metre freestyle
4 time Canadian Interuniversity Sport Record Holder in the 100, 200 freestyle & 50 metre breaststroke
16 time Ontario Swimming Record Holder in free style events
2009 Swim Ontario Athlete of the Year
2009 University of Toronto Athlete of the Year
In 2008, Colin qualified for the Beijing Olympics as a member of the Canadian Swim Team. He was a semi-finalist in the 200 metre freestyle and a member of the relay team that placed 5th. To get his opportunity with the Canadian Olympic team, it is worth noting that he was the Canadian Olympic Trials Champion. In 2012, Colin again represented Canada at the Olympics, this time in London. The relay team on which he was a member made it to the semi-finals, significant achievement.
In between, Colin swam for Canada in the World Championships in 2009 and 2011. For each of these events he had to qualify and on each occasion, he emerged as the Canadian World Championship Trials National Champion. In other words, he was the best swimmer in the nation for a number of years.
At the2006 Pan-Pacific Championships he was a team member winning two Silver Medals and in the 2010 Pan-Pacific Games Colin was a finalist in the 200 metre freestyle.
Colin graduated from Burlington Central High School in 2004 and went off to Indiana University. He was the Indiana University Rookie of the Year and three time All-American, setting 4 Indiana University Swimming Records. Returning to Canada Colin enrolled at the University of Toronto in 2010 and was named their Athlete of the Year. Representing the U of T in 2010 at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships, he won 5 Gold and 2 Silver Medals. He was named the Interuniversity Male Swimmer of the Year. Colin went on to pursue and achieve a degree in Kinesiology from Brock University.
The demands of training in swimming, as in any high level competitive sport are time consuming and can be exhausting. It is worth noting that Colin has also made a point of giving back to his sport through coaching and mentoring younger swimmers. He was a volunteer with the Special Olympics swimming program while at U of T; the Assistant Swim Coach in 2012-13 at Brock; volunteer assistant at Ridley College in 2014; volunteer trainer at camps, dryland and swim workouts at Oakville Dolphins, 2013-15.
The Burlington Sports Hall of Fame is pleased and proud to welcome this superb swimmer and athlete. He presents a role model to which we can all aspire.
Dr. Jamie Russell Athlete (Basketball)
From his grade nine year at Nelson High School, through university and to the Canadian Olympic Team Jamie Russell’s career has been a story of hard work, a commitment to improvement and a keen desire to learn. At each stop along the way Jamie Russell has left a legacy.
In 1971 he lead the Nelson Lords to their first Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA) provincial basketball championship. From there – based on his strong academic standing - the Nelson grad won a grant-in-aid scholarship to Ivy League’s Colgate University – an NCAA Division 1 school. At Colgate he averaged a remarkable of 22 points per game and was chosen a co-captain in his senior year.
Jamie returned to Canada in 1975 to attend the University of Waterloo and led the warriors to a third place finish in the 1975-76 Canadian University Basketball Championships. Here he averaged an amazing 23.89 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. As well, he was names a OUAA West All-Star; the most outstanding player in the OUAA playoffs; and a first team all-Canadian; and became the 1976 recipient of the Mike Moser Award which recognizes the most outstanding the Canadian university basketball player in the country.
Jamie, at 20, was the youngest starter on the Canadian National Senior Team. From this moment on his stature and reputation in the game grew immensely. He took immense pride in his game and particularly in the defensive side of basketball. His high basketball IQ and superb talent was soon recognized internationally.
Jamie’s international resume includes:
1973: The World Student Games - Moscow USSR
1974: World Championships - Puerto Rico
1975: Intercontinental Cup at Maple Leaf Gardens where he led the team with 26 points and a first ever victory against the Soviet Union
1975: Pan American Games - Mexico City
1976: Olympic Games - Montreal where the Canadian Team placed fourth
1978: World Championships - Manila, Philippines
After completing his undergraduate degree at Colgate, Jamie enrolled in the McMaster School of Medicine n 1976. Somehow he managed to find time to serve as assistant coach for the Marauders men’s basketball team. In 1979 he added “Doctor” to his name. He completed his residency in General Surgery at Mac in 1984, followed by a Fellowship in Surgery/Critical Care in Baltimore, Maryland.
Jamie’s playing days however were not quite over. From 1976 to 1982 and from 1987 to 1991 he was the Player/Captain of the Toronto Estonia Basketball Club leading helping them win ten Ontario Basketball Association Senior Men’s Championships and two Canadian Championships. One can easily see that Jamie Russell’s commitment and dedication to basketball and athletics is exemplary. We are proud to welcome him into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Sports Hall of Fame 2015 Members:
Graham Hood Track Athlete
Graham was born in Winnipeg Manitoba in 1972. His family moved to Burlington when he was a youngster. He was a keen athlete and soon developed an interest in soccer and track. He attended Nelson High School where he joined the track team. As well, he became a member of the Burlington Legion Track Club.
At an early age, Graham showed great promise in track. He was a talented runner who combined his natural athletic ability with determination, courage and willingness to work hard. While competing at Nelson, Graham won numerous Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA) medals at the midget, junior and senior levels.
His successes at OFSAA and at the Club level attracted numerous scholarship offers from major track programs in America. He selected the University of Arkansas, a recognized powerhouse in track and cross- country. While at Arkansas he claimed numerous individual and team awards. In 1994 he was named the most outstanding collegiate athlete at the Penn Relays and won the NCAA 1500 metre individual championship. As well Graham was a major contributor to the Razorbacks winning multiple NCAA titles in cross-country, indoor and outdoor track.
Graham represented Canada in two Olympic Games: 1992 (Barcelona); 1996 (Atlanta). Graham’s specialty was the 1500 metres. In 1997 he broke the Canadian record in the 1500 metre with a time of 3:33:93 and held the record for three years. And to this he still holds the second fastest time ever run by a Canadian in the 1500 metre. Arguably among his most memorable moments, was his return to Winnipeg- his place of birth - for the 1999 Pan American Games where he captured gold in the 1500 metre.
Highlights of Graham’s Career:
* Two time Olympian (1992 and 1996)
* Former Canadian National Record Holder in the 1000m and 1500m
* 1989 Pan Am Junior Championships – Argentina – Silver - 1500m
* 1991 Pan Am Junior Championships – Jamaica – Gold – 1500m & 800m
* 1992 Olympics – Barcelona Spain – 9th place in 1500m
* 1996 Olympics – Atlanta U.S.A. – Injured and unable to finish
* 1997 World Outdoor Championships – Athens Greece – 7th in 1500m
* 1999 Pan American Games in hometown Winnipeg – 1st in 1500m
* 2002 Commonwealth Games – Manchester England – 5th – 1500m
* 2014 Inducted into the Arkansas University Sports Hall of Fame
Graham Hood is a “competitor for life”. He has recently been competing in a number of triathlons – and winning. This year he will be inducted into the Ontario Track and Field Hall of Fame. For his accomplishments both national and internationally, the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame is proud to induct Graham Hood.
Steve Mitruk Builder
In 1975 Burlington welcomed a distinguished new resident, Steve Mitruk to its’ community: Senior Provincial and National Champion in Men’s Gymnastics. He was a member of the Canadian Men’s Gymnastics Team from 1968 to 1976 competing in National Championships, North American Championships, Pan- American Games, two World Championships and two Olympic Games. As a student at McMaster he competed in two World Student Games (FISU) and was the first recipient of McMaster’s Ivor Wynne Trophy. He was inducted into the University’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1968.
Steve brought with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field of gymnastics while at the same time showing the determination and grit that made him a champion performer. He immediately became involved in gymnastics at the local level upon. He coached the gymnastics team in the Burlington International Games establishing a reputation as a knowledgeable and demanding coach.
In 1978 Steve founded the Burlington Boys Gymnastics Club (the BG’s). Under his direction as Head Coach and board member, the club grew rapidly. Initially 34 children participated in the Saturday morning recreation program at M.M. Robinson High School, and soon it expanded to satellite programs in two more locations. The program grew to include pre-school, pre-competitive and competitive gymnastics and trampoline in a rental facility.
Steve introduced plans for a permanent site to the City of Burlington. They could see the merit in supporting such a venture so in 1985 the Burlington Boys Gymnastics Club opened its’ world-class gym on Maple Avenue. By this time the enrolment had grown to approximately 1600 children producing many national and international gymnasts and trampolinists. Steve also introduced a tumbling program to the club as well as a very successful adult gymnastics program.
In addition to coaching and administrating the Gym Club, Steve was also very active coaching at McMaster University from 1978-80 and 1987-91. As well Steve became a respected judge of gymnastics and the trampoline both at the provincial and national levels. He also served on the Ontario and Canadian Gymnastics Federations in numerous volunteer capacities including Men’s Gymnastics Technical Committee as Judging Chair and Chair of the Ontario Trampoline and Tumbling committee. He was a member of the Ontario Gymnastics Federation Board of Directors for two years. Steve is a level 2 Course Instructor and in this capacity positively impacted many coaches nationally.
Steve Mitruk’s contribution to gymnastics has spanned an extraordinary period of 45 years. He committed 22 years to judging gymnastics and the trampoline and served volunteer another 23 years on provincial and national committees and competitions. As a builder of the sport he has had as much impact on gymnastics as any Canadian. His contribution to athletes in Burlington is outstanding. We admire and respect his commitment to the sport of gymnastics and commend his service to this community by welcoming Steve Mitruk into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Chris Schultz Football Athlete
Few Canadian born football players have had the career that Chris Schultz has enjoyed. Born in 1960 and raised in Burlington Chris began his storied football career in the Burlington Minor Football Association. Upon entering high school, Chris played for the Aldershot Lions. He was a tall, lanky youngster who loved the game and excelled as an offensive lineman.
His story is one of passion, determination and will. He was determined to see how far he could go in football and was intent on receiving a scholarship to a big American university team. So, at 17, completely unannounced, Chris took the bus from Burlington to Michigan State to visit the Spartans and to Syracuse to visit the Orangemen just to let them know he was ready to play football. With those two trips and some 10 letters to other universities, the word got around that there was this somewhat crazy kid from Canada ready to play football for anyone interested.
The University of Arizona of the Pacific 12 Conference took notice and in March of 1978, Chris got his full ride athletic scholarship. As an Arizona Wildcat from 1978 to 1982 Chris spent his first 4 years on the defensive line and played in the 1979 Fiesta Bowl. In his senior season of 1982 Chris switched to left tackle on offense knowing it would be his best position to get drafted into the NFL.
And he did in April of 1983, in the sixth round, as the 189th pick overall he was taken by the Dallas Cowboys coached by the legendary Tom Landry. It took 3 years to break into the starting line up but in 1985 he was a starter for the ‘America’s Team’.
Then in 1986 that dream ended and a new one began as Chris signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Chris played nine seasons becoming an all-star in 1987 and 1988. He played in the 1987 Grey Cup and in 1991, winning the Grey Cup. At this time the Argos were owned by Bruce McNall, Wayne Gretkzy and John Candy. In 2007 Chris was named to the Toronto Argonaut all time team, a fitting and crowning achievement for a highly successful home grown football player. During his playing days Chris was very active in the off-season representing the Argonauts as a member of their charity basketball team and numerous other charitable functions.
After his football career Chris entered the field of broadcasting. This new venture began in September 1993 on radio and evolved into TSN of Bell Media in 1998. As a full time analyst Chris earned respect in the studio not unlike the respect he earned on the football field. He continues to offer his time and presence to worthy causes. In partnership with the CFL, TSN and Purolator, Chris is now the national spokesman for the Purolator Tackle Hunger program. It has raised over 7 million pounds of food for Canadian food banks since its’ inception in 2003.
Chris Schultz has had a storied career in professional football as both a player and analyst. His determination and commitment to the game ‘inside and outside the lines’ is the mark of a true professional and a welcome addition to the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
John Priestner Football Athlete
John was born and raised here in Burlington and has returned to the city with his family. He has brought honour to and fostered pride in our city through his exceptional athletic achievements. He is now quite committed to working with young athletes in his role as coach, trainer and mentor.
While growing up in Burlington he excelled in many sports. He played on the initial Burlington Minor Football Association flag football team at age seven. From age nine through to age 16, John represented the City in the Burlington International Games (B.I.G.) and played on a provincially ranked baseball team for Burlington until age 17.
John is a graduate of Nelson High School where he was recognized as a strong student while participating in numerous sports: basketball, track and field (both high jump and shot put) as well as football. He developed a passion for football and it is in this sport discipline that he earned the most recognition. His accomplishments in athletics are noteworthy but his achievement in football is truly outstanding. In his senior year he captained the Nelson Lords and played with such intensity and energy that he earned recognition as a league all-star, catching the attention of university scouts.
He selected Western and in his first year he earned a starting linebacker position with the Mustangs and capped off the year by helping them win the 1976 Vanier Cup, followed by a second win in 1977. In 1977 and ’78 he was named a Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (C.I.A.U.) Football All-Canadian. In his senior year he was named captain of the Mustangs. John played in two consecutive CAN-AM Bowl games. The CAN-Am Bowl featured the very best of Canadian and American Football players. John was named the Most Valuable Player in the ‘78 CAN-AM Bowl game
In 1979 John was drafted in the 11th round (280th overall) in the National Football League Draft by the Baltimore Colts. He was the first Canadian defensive player to be drafted to the NFL from a Canadian University and was the youngest player signed to a contract in the NFL at that time.
Although his career in the NFL lasted only one season, John returned to Canada to join the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1980 where he played for seven successful seasons. He was selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team in 1981 and led the league with 115 tackles in 1983. As well, John played in the three Grey Cups: 1980, 1984 and 1985. From 1981 through 1985 John took a role on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Football League Players’ Association, sat on the CFL Benefits Committee and worked actively with CFL players in preparing for “Life After Football”.
Today John contributes tirelessly to the youth and to sport as a volunteer in Burlington. He has been a coach and trainer in minor hockey for many years and he spends his summers coaching the Halton Cowboys Football team. Most recently John has returned to Nelson where he coaches and mentors many young football players who aspire to play at university or even the C.F.L.
John Priestner represents all the many qualities we ask of an athlete and member of our community. We are extremely pleased to welcome him into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Michael Torsney Swimming Athlete
Michael Torsney is a vigorous 85 year old, who trains and competes with the determination of a youngster. A Burlington resident since 1959, he has been an enthusiastic athlete and administrator with a passion for water sports.
For Mike it all began in the sixties. In that era Burlington did not have the pool facilities to allow him to pursue his interest in water polo. He commuted to Hamilton to train and compete at the Jimmy Thompson Pool. As a member of the Hamilton Water Polo Club he was a powerful force both in the pool and “on deck”. He assisted in the selection and preparation of the team that represented Canada in the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Over the years Michael Torsney has earned recognition as an inspiring leader by many that he coached and mentored.
As Burlington’s population increased a greater need for more adequate swimming facilities paralleled that growth. In 1972, along with friend and colleague Len Whiteman, Mike founded the Burlington Water Polo Team. They encouraged local youth to join their team and soon created a team that was strong enough to qualify for the 1972 Canadian Water Polo Championships. Also, in 1972 Mike was elected as the President of the Canadian Water Polo Association. He was charged with the responsibility of organizing, planning and preparing Canada’s first entry into the Olympics.
Mike wasn’t satisfied with administrative duties and realized his competitive urge was not fulfilled. He was motivated to train more efficiently and effectively, not only for his health and well-being, but also to compete as a Master swimmer. At the age of 48 Mike competed in his first World Championships in New Zealand as a member of the Canadian relay team winning two gold medals. The butterfly, arguably the most demanding stroke in the sport, and the backstroke are Mike’s specialties.
Mike has competed in eight International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Masters Championships since 1978, medaling in seven of them. Here is an example of a typical year for Michael Torsney: in 2005 at the Worlds Masters Championships in Edmonton, Mike set two national records while winning four medals. Competing in the 75 to 79 age group the 75 year old Mike eclipsed the Canadian standard in the 100 metre fly, earning a bronze medal; in this same meet he won silver in the 200 metre fly, gold in the 50 metre fly and capped it off with silver in the 200 metre backstroke.
Over his career Mike has established numerous Provincial and national records. In the winter Mike competes for the St. Petersburg, Florida Masters and has earned individual “All American Honours”.
Michael Torsney inspires us with his dedication to his sport and to life. He is all that a Burlington Sports Hall of Fame inductee should be. He represents this select group of athletes and builders with dignity and respect
Sports Hall of Fame 2014 Members:
Dr Frank Hayden Sport Builder
A pioneer sets out to explore and find new territory. He/she must have vision but along with this rare quality must come perseverance, tenacity and diligence. Dr. Frank Hayden displayed these qualities and much more in his quest to provide sporting opportunities for those who are developmentally disabled and intellectually challenged.
Professor Emeritus at McMaster University, Dr. Hayden has also served on the faculties of the University of Toronto and Western. A graduate of the University of Illinois Physical fitness Research Laboratory, he has spent over 40 years designing and evaluating exercise and sport programs. In 1966 he co-authored the first national study of the fitness of Canadian children, which provided the basis for the Centennial Fitness Program and, later, the Canada Fitness Awards. He also co-developed and co-authored the R.C.A.F.’s famous 5BX program.
In the early sixties, testing of children with intellectual disabilities revealed that they were only half as physically fit as their non-disabled peers. It was assumed that their low fitness levels were a direct result of their disability. Dr. Hayden questioned this assumption. He conducted research which concluded that, given the opportunity, intellectually disabled people could become physically fit, and acquire the physical skills necessary to participate in sport.
His belief and understanding led him to conceive the idea of Special Olympics, a national sports program for people with an intellectually disability. His proposal was originally rejected by the Canadian government, however, his research became known to the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation in Washington D.C. So he went to work with Eunice Kennedy Shriver for the next seven years. Here he served as Director at the Kennedy Foundation and was the catalyst in establishing federal legislation to assist persons with a disability.
He returned to Canada and worked to establish a similar program here. Canada’s first games were held in Toronto in 1969 with 1400 athletes. In 1975 and assumed the position of Director of the School of Physical Education and Athletics at McMaster. From there Dr. Hayden persisted with his dream and established the Special Olympics Office of International Development , assisting with the growth of International programs from 15 to 50.
HIs list of achievements and awards is remarkable. Here are a few: Honorary Member of the Canadian Olympic Association; Officer of the Order of Canada in 1999 and Order of Canada in 2000. Also, he was recognized recently by the Halton Board of Education as the name of their newest and ‘state of the art’ secondary school here in Burlington is Frank Hayden High School. Dr. Haden legally incorporated “Special Olympics Inc.” and today the program provides training and competition for more than three million athletes in more than 170 countries.
Member of the Sports Hall of Fame.
Elaine and *Ken Lake Sport Builder
Commitment and dedication are the hallmark of any notable achievement whether it be in the arts, athletics even one’s personal life. It is truly noteworthy when that level of involvement is surpassed by ones contribution over decades and without compensation and notoriety.
Ken & Elaine Lake have officiated track and field, together for over 40 years. They became registered track and field officials in the early 1970’s. They established a reputation for honesty, integrity and competence and soon were recognized on the national and international stage. In 1976 Elaine officiated at the Montreal Olympics and on return from there they were asked to officiate at the Olympics for the Physically Disabled in Etobicoke.
Soon they were traversing Canada and travelling abroad to officiate. Elaine became one of only three International Track Referees in Canada. Ken became an international Field Referee as well as an International Starter (to this day he is the only official in Canada with the international grading).
In the early 1980’s they became involved with athletes with a Physical Disability. This group of athletes didn’t have many qualified officials at their competitions so Ken and Elaine went about inviting other Ontario officials to get involved and many did. Soon, officiating and working with these athletes became a real passion for Ken and Elaine.. They are experts on the rules that govern these sports and are qualified to teach and train other officials. They have travelled the world to officiate events for Wheelchair, Cerebral Palsy, Blind and Amputees. From Cuba to Argentina to Australian and beyond Ken & Elaine Lake have given freely of their time, energy and personal resources to officiate these competitions.
Throughout their career they always assisted with the Halton School track meets as well as innumerable university competitions in Ontario and across Canada. They served on the Executive of the Burlington Track Club for many years. Ken was President for many years and Elaine was the Treasurer.
They are both recipients of the Queens Jubilee Medal for their work with the Cerebral Palsy Sport Association. In Burlington they have both been honored as Sportsmen of the Year, twice, and are recipients of the A.J. Dunn Award. They have received the Province of Ontario Special Achievement Award and in 2012 they were inducted into the Ontario Hall of Fame for Athletics.
It is worth noting that Track and Field is the only sport in which officials are not paid. Expenses are covered for travel to National and International competition but inevitably Ken and Elaine absorbed many of the incidental expenses involved.
Ken passed away in February, 2012. The Burlington Track Club has named their annual Cross-Country Meet, the Ken Lake Cross-Country Meet in honour of Ken and his lifelong commitment to track and field For their unselfish dedication to the track and field community both here in Burlington and beyond we welcome Ken and Elaine Lake into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Jesse Lumsden Athlete Football
He is a hometown boy who loved to play and play he did, all kinds of sports. But his passion was football and he was good – so good in fact that in 2004 this former McMaster Marauder was awarded the HEC CRIGHTON trophy recognizing the most outstanding collegiate football player in Canada. In the same year Jesse was honoured by the CIS as not just the best football player in the country but the best university ATHLETE in the country.
Jesse followed in the footsteps of his father Neil who had an accomplished career at the University of Ottawa and ten remarkable years in the CFL. 2014 is a memorable year for this father-son team. Later this year Neil will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame while his son is recognized now in his hometown as a member of the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Jesse earned football prominence very early in his Nelson High School career. He captained the 1999 Nelson Lords to an undefeated season, earning a trip to the Metro Bowl played in Toronto’s Skydome. A clear underdog, Nelson defeated a bigger and much older Toronto Central Tech team to win the provincial title. This gifted running back was named the game’s MOST VALUABLE OFFENSIVE PLAYER AWARD and a Greater Toronto Area All-Star.
Heavily recruited, Jesse selected McMaster where he made an immediate impact. He electrified spectators (and coaches too) with his speed and elusiveness. In his third year he broke the single season O.U.A. rushing mark gaining a remarkable 1497 yards and averaging 8.4 yards per carry. He also tied the single season touchdown record with 20. His sensational season earned the Nelson grad McMaster’s Male Athlete of the Year. In his senior season he continued to tear up the turf rushing for 1816 yards – averaging 10.2 yards per carry and establishing a record 21 touchdowns. He was named OUA 1st Team All-Star and CIS All-Canadian and he repeated as Mac’s Athlete of the Year
As a young man Jesse dreamt about playing pro ball in the NFL. Even though drafted in 2004 in the first round by the Hamilton Tiger Cats he was drawn south of the border where he signed as a free agent with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. The Cats hoped he would return to Tigertown. And he did. Jesse had an incredible rookie season and earned a spot as an Eastern all-star. Injuries short-circuited the talented young man’s six year CFL career.
This gifted athlete recently turned his athleticism to bobsledding. Recognized as one of the top brakemen in the world, the Nelson grad has twice worn the Canadian singlet on the world stage at the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Games. Today we recognize his football talent and welcome “hometown hero” – Jesse Lumsden - to the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Lance Nethery Athlete Hockey
Born and raised in Burlington, Lance Nethery was a superior athlete from the ‘get go’. At an early age he demonstrated the raw talent and natural ability to compete in numerous sports. In his teenage years he had to make a choice and fortunately for Burlington and the hockey world he chose hockey. Lance was an important cog in the Burlington Minor Hockey team that won the Ontario Minor Midget Championship in the 1972-73 hockey season, a first for Burlington.
In 1974-75 Lance joined the Burlington Cougar Junior B team. He was their leading scorer and led the league in scoring as well. He was named the league Most Valuable Player. School was always important to Lance and he did well. His academic success combined with his exceptional hockey skills made this talented Nelson student-athlete very attractive to Ivy League Schools. Lance chose Cornell which also graduated the likes of Stanley Cup Champions Ken Dryden and Joe Nieuwendyk.
At Cornell, Lance was a two-time All-American and to this day is recognized as their all-time leading scorer and the all-time leading scorer in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC). He was named to the All Decade Team for the ‘70’s and was recently named to the ECAC Top 50 Players of the 50 years, 1961 to 2011. In 1979 the New York Rangers drafted Lance and he made the team starting the season in New York, eventually being traded to Edmonton.
Lance concluded his NHL career by signing with Davos in Switzerland in 1982 and was instrumental in helping them to two Swiss Championships between 1982 and 1990. There is a theme here for it seemed that for every hockey venue that Lance joined, in whatever capacity, they became a force in their league.
His playing days over, Lance went into coaching in 1990. Over the next decade, he led the Mannheim Adler team, as Head Coach in the German Ice Hockey League, to three championships, being named twice as the German Ice Hockey Coach of the Year. He also won the prestigious Spengler Cup by coaching Koelner Hale on his return to Davos Switzerland.
His next career move in took Lance to the management role in hockey as he became the General Manager of the Frankfurt Lions in the German League. Under his inspired direction, in 2004 they won the German Championship. He was again bestowed another honour being named Manager of the Year.
Lance has continued in the management side of the game he loves. Lance is presently the Chief Executive Officer or Geschaftsfuhrer of the Koelner Eishockey Geselifschaft (Koelner Hale Hockey Club).
Lance Nethery, is a homegrown boy who made it to ‘the show’ and went on to excel at every level of his career in hockey. If you knew him as a school boy you would know why and if you didn’t, you now know why he is welcomed into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Melanie MacKay Athlete Swimming
The pinnacle of competition in sport is the Olympic Games. Melanie Mackay set her sights on being an Olympian and she did just that. Born and raised in Burlington, the Nelson High School alum began swimming when she was 9 years old, after the first BIG Games in 1969. As there was not an indoor pool in Burlington then, the first Burlington Y Aquatic Club swam once a week at the James Street Y in Hamilton, coached by 2 “moms,” Kay Ferguson (1948 swimming Olympian) and Jackie Crans. When the Burlington Y opened it’s doors, the team then moved to the first indoor pool in Burlington. Melanie continued to improve as an age grouper finishing 7th at the Nationals in 1974, but when there was not enough pool time in Burlington to continue her intensive training, Kay suggested she swim with Oakville Aquatic Swim Club where she was mentored and coached by the highly respected TOM ARUSOO – himself an Olympian – a 1968 Olympic swimmer.
Arusoo believed that this special 14 year old had the raw talent to represent Canada at the Olympic Games. He shared with his young protégé what was required to reach the penultimate as an amateur athlete: commitment, perseverance and sacrifice. Melanie was prepared to take up the challenge. She trained relentlessly, achieving remarkable results – particularly in her specialty – the 200 metre breaststroke – ultimately fulfilling her Olympic dream at the tender age of 16.
Melanie’s road to the 1976 Olympics includes:
Bronzes at the 1975 Canadian National Championship-Summer and Winter
Canadian National Team to Britain (1975) and Holland (1976)
Ranked 19th in the FINA World rankings in 1976
3th at the 1976 World Championships and the 1976 Canadian Olympic Trials where her
“Dream Came True” as she was named, as a 16 year old, to the Canadian Olympic Team.
This 1976 Olympian was awarded an NCAA Swim Scholarship to the University of Alabama where she was named All-American at the Nationals University swimming championships. She went on to complete her university studies at the University of Western Ontario where she won and set a new CIAU record in the 200 breastroke and was named to the Western Swimming Hall of Fame.
Melanie continued to swim competitively into the early ‘80’s but soon turned her attention to coaching, passing along her skills in support of up and coming swimmers. Throughout the balance of the ‘80’s and until now Melanie can be found on the deck of a pool sharing her passion for swimming, and guiding the next generation of swimmers in this province. She travelled to Windsor, Peterborough, Hamilton and Etobicoke to work with young aquatic competitors. Melanie is currently Head Novice Coach of OAK which over the 15 years she has worked there, has developed into one of the largest and successful Age Group Teams in Canada.
Melanie is also an active member of our local community. She gives generously of her time and skills while volunteering at schools in Burlington. For her enduring commitment to swimming both as a competitor and one who has given back so much to our kids, our community and our country we welcome Melanie MacKay into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Sports Hall of Fame 2013 Members:
Lee Knight: Athlete Football
Lee Knight is one of the rare examples of a multi-talented athlete who played numerous sports and actually played them all very well. As a participant and a contributor, Lee continually confirmed that he was both dedicated and committed to anything that he undertook.
Born in Wallasey, England and raised in Burlington, Lee has been involved in athletics all his life. While still in elementary school, Lee joined the Burlington Legion Track and Field Club. Competing with them, he became the 1973 and 1975 100 metre Ontario Champion for his age group. In 1977, Lee signed up to play soccer to represent our city in the Burlington International Games in both 1977 and 1978.
It wasn’t until he reached Lord Elgin High School (now Robert Bateman High School) in 1984 that Lee got his first taste of football. With his exceptional speed and athletic ability, he soon excelled. He was invited to participate in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats High School Evaluation Camp, a portent of his decade long future with the Cats. His focus on football did not stop Lee from also playing basketball, volleyball and soccer each year throughout his high school career.
In 1984, it was clear to Lee and his family that he should focus on football so he joined the more challenging program of the Burlington Braves Junior Football Team. Right away he earned Ontario Football Conference honors as an All-Star wide receiver. He led the team in receiving from 1984 through 1986. He is one of only two Burlington Braves to have had their number retired, a clear sign of the respect and admiration he earned for his contributions to this team.
In 1986, Lee was called up to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats practice squad and very quickly earned a place on the team as a slot receiver, running back and even, on occasion, a place kicker. Lee’s career with the Cats lasted 11 years, an eternity in this sport at his position. In fact he is in the top ten of most games ever played for the Tiger-Cats. He was a member of the 1986 Grey Cup Championship Team, a winner of the Charlotte Simmons Humanitarian Award for community service in 1994 and the Cats own nominee for the CFL Humanitarian Tom Pate Award also in 1994. Lee was inducted into the Tiger Cat Wall of Fame in 2006 and today is a Board Member of the Tiger-Cat Alumni Association.
Through all his success, Lee never forgot his roots. He has coached youth basketball, Burlington minor football and Burlington Stampeders football from 2004 to 2010. His teams won the Ontario Minor Football Championship in 2009 and 2011 and Lee was named Coach of the Year in 2009. He returned to his alma mater in 2012, helping the Bateman football team reach the Halton Junior Championship.
Lee Knight represents all that is positive about sport in our community and we are very proud to add his name to the list of Inductees in the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Michael Moir: Builder Canoe; Hockey
Behind most successful athletic ventures or individual sporting achievements one generally finds an energetic, conscientious and reliable organizer, someone who unselfishly commits hours of quiet work to support these efforts. Perhaps there is no finer example of that in our City than Mr. Michael Moir.
In 1957, Mike founded the Mohawk Canoe Club. He was an avid member as well. In the mid 1980’s the City decided to develop the Burlington Waterfront. The breakwall was removed and Spencer Smith Park emerged. As a result, in 1989, the Mohawk Canoe Club merged its’ programs with the Oakville Canoe Club to become the Burloak Canoe Club. Again, Mike was at the forefront of this initiative.
During his years at Mohawk and the Burloak Clubs, Mike administered, organized, competed, coached and did a lot of what is generally termed ‘grunt work’. He received numerous awards and honors in the clubs but was also recognized for invaluable contributions to the provincial and national canoe and kayaking programs. Most notably, in 1975, he was elected to fill the role of Commodore of CanoeKayak Canada(CKC), the youngest person to hold that position up to that time.
Mike also took up officiating while at the Mohawk Canoe Club and in 1975 he was accredited as an International Canoe Federation official. His reputation for industry, integrity and reliability was widely recognized, so much so that Mike became the first chair of the CKC National Officials Committee. This amazing volunteer was recognized by the CKC in with a special volunteer award in 1987.
Since being accredited in the early ‘70’s, Mike has been appointed to serve as a technical official at numerous CKC national championships. In this role, he spends countless hours each summer at provincial and national events while all the while mentoring and coaching upcoming officials. The list of events he has officiated is remarkable and includes six pre-Olympic and Olympic events, 15 World Championships, three Pan-American Games, one University Games, one Canada Summer Games and, most recently, official starter for the sprint canoe/kayak events at the London 2012 Sumer Olympics.
In addition to paddling Mike made exceptional contribution to hockey in Burlington. His son Andrew was an avid hockey player so Mike volunteered as assistant coach for the City Rep Tri-County Atom team for three years. He was head coach from 1981-83. When Andrew moved to AAA Bantam, Mike helped raise funds to send the team to Sweden and Russia. When Andrew made the Junior B Burlington Cougars, Mike became the game statistician, then a Board member, then President in 1990 until 2000 and he now serves as Past-President and Bingo Chairman.
Mike has made an amazing commitment to youth and sport in Burlington through a volunteer career spanning 56 years. “Thank you Michael Moir and welcome to the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame”!
John Wallace: Athlete Rowing ( Olympic Gold Medalist )
Burlington has a proud history of athletic achievement among its’ citizenry but perhaps none more noteworthy than that of this modest Olympian. Born and raised in Burlington, John is another multi-talented athlete that participated in numerous sports while growing up.
At Aldershot High School where he excelled in cross country, track and field, and basketball, he also ran for the Burlington Legion Track and Field Club. As well, he participated in the Burlington International Games for two years in both track and basketball.
John is one of those athletes that didn’t find his real passion until moving on to university. He attended the University of Western Ontario and graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. It was here, at the age of 20 that he started rowing and, upon graduating, returned to Burlington to continue at the Hamilton Leander Rowing Club, where he was coached by fellow Burlington resident, Jim Roche, one of Canada's most distinguished and decorated lightweight scullers.
Rowing is both a team and an individual sport. It is a tough sport that requires the capacity for hard, unrelenting, often exhausting, work as well as dedication, sacrifice, courage and selflessness.
John joined the Canadian National Rowing Team in 1985 and soon cemented his place on that team for the next seven years. He rowed on the 1985, 1986, 1987 World Championship teams and on the 1986 Commonwealth Games team. In 1988, John rowed with the National Team at the Seoul Olympics with the ‘eights’, where the team finished a respectable sixth.
In 1990 John moved to Victoria and joined the Victoria City Rowing Club to intensify his training and work out with other members of the Victoria based National Team. In 1990 and 1991, as a member of the men’s eight crew, John won Silver at the World Championships. In 1992, after seven arduous years of training and commitment, John was a member of the National Team that won Gold at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. The team gained a measure of achievement and satisfaction with this victory by outlasting the defending Olympic and World Champion German crew to win the Gold Medal.
John may very well be the only Burlington athlete, born and raised in Burlington, to win a Gold Medal at the Olympics. With this crowning achievement, John moved on to the other side of rowing; coaching and volunteering to help grow the sport. He coached at both middle and high schools in Victoria for a few years and also took on the role of Vice-President of Rowing BC from 1996 to 2000. Also, during this same period of time, John volunteered as Executive Director of Foundation 2000 Plus (currently called GO Rowing and Paddling), a not for profit organization that promotes rowing and paddling sports across Canada. John is currently on the Advisory Board for Shawnigan Lake School’s rowing program.
John Wallace personifies a true Olympic hero. He has never used this amazing accomplishment for any personal aggrandizement. He is the consummate team player and is the perfect ambassador for the sport of rowing and for Canada. We are extremely proud to include John Wallace alongside fellow inductees in the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Sports Hall of Fame 2012 Members:
FRANK BUCHANAN - BUILDER
In support of athletes and sport in general for over 50 years in our community, Frank Buchanan has earned a rightful place in the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame. His hours of commitment and dedication to amateur sport, specifically hockey, baseball and basketball are unparalleled in Burlington.
Frank moved to Burlington in the late 50’s and soon immersed himself in community life. Here is a brief list of some of his major accomplishments:
Burlington Lion Optimist Minor Hockey Convenor 1963 to 1966 inclusive
Secretary/Coach in same league, 1974 to 1988 – during these years he took five different teams to Europe and Russia to not only play but also to encourage the players to learn about other countries and cultures
Frank was President of the Burlington Central Lions Club, 1973-74. As well, Frank was one of the originators of the Burlington Sports Celebrity Dinner which began in 1966 and ran successfully for 25 years. He chaired this prestigious event twice
Burlington Mohawks Junior B Hockey team manager 1967-68 and President and General manager 1968 to 1973
Burlington Cougars Junior B/A Hockey League General Manager 1988 to 2000
Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League Director at Large and Treasurer 1988 to 2000
Ontario Hockey Federation Appeals Committee 1995 to present
Burlington Golden Horseshoe Hockey Tournament Director 1982, 1983 and 1986 – he also served on the Board of Directors for 7 years has been involved in some capacity with this tournament for over 36 years
Burlington Senior Fastball Association – player 1960 to 1965
Burlington Amateur Softball Association – Coach from 1970 to 1987 and member of the Executive for 12 years
Burlington Junior Fastball Team – Coach and Manager 1965 to 1970
As well, Frank had a lengthy career as a basketball official. He is a recipient of the prestigious A.J. Dunn Sports Person of the Year Award, given annually to the volunteer whose leadership and initiative over a large number of years has lead to the advancement of sport within the Burlington Community. Frank received this honour in 1989. He has received other Civic recognition as well for he is a tireless supporter of sport in our community. Well done, Frank Buchanan and thank you from the hundreds of athletes that you guided and supported.
DON GREEN - ATHLETE
In 1950, still a teenager, at the age of just seventeen, Don Green sailed around the world as part of the crew of the brigantine ‘Yankee’. For 18 months, over 48,000 miles, with a compass as the only instrument for guidance, they sailed through a hurricane, a cyclone and a typhoon. This saga resulted in a book which Don co-authored, ‘White Wings Around the World’ which described his adventure. But this was only the beginning for this passionate sailor.
In 1967 Don moved to Burlington to raise his family but it also brought him closer to the water he so loved to challenge. He spent many hours with his children in junior sailing but he was also anxious to get back into racing. Don did just that when in 1978 he challenged for the Canada’s Cup at the helm of his “one of a kind outright racing machine”, ‘Evergreen’. The Canada’s Cup is a sailboat race held periodically on the Great Lakes between two boats, one from Canada and one from the United States.
Evergreen won this challenge and Don, with his crew of mostly Burlington sailors were feted royally here in Burlington. The City threw a parade in their honour and an evergreen was planted at City Hall as a permanent reminder of their triumph. It was a victory not only against their American competitor but also against the sailing establishment in Canada which had some difficulty with this ‘brash’ newcomer. In 1980 Don was name to the Order of Canada for bringing home the Canada’s Cup again.
But there were bigger challenges on the horizon and Don, never one to shy away from a challenge or adversity, qualified to represent Canada in the prestigious Admirals Cup in England. It is a 700 mile race out of England, around Fastnet rock in Ireland and back again. Disaster struck the over 300 hundred boats in the form of a fierce and unpredictable storm. Seventeen lives were lost. In his book ‘Beyond Endurance’, author Adam Mayers details the savage storm and wrote: “Don Green worried about it all: the mast, the rudder, the keel, the crew, morale and whether this was the last night of his life. His crew did not sense his fear. They saw someone who was confident and in control”. His composure, courage and expertise guided them to survive the sixty foot waves and live to tell about it.
There remained one final challenge. Don was determined to represent Canada in the big daddy of ocean racing, the 1985 America’s Cup. He viewed it as the perfect opportunity to showcase Canadian innovation and technology on a world stage. It was a huge challenge, and an expensive one. Eventually Don merged his efforts with a group from Western Canada and built ‘True North’. They finished in the middle of the pack with the American team prevailing. However, Don was vindicated in a subsequent two boat challenge in the Caribbean, as True North defeated ‘Stars and Stripes’
Don Green has been sailing since he was five years of age and he still looks forward to every day on the water because each brings “a brand new experience”. At the same time Don gives immensely to the local community and to the world of sailing. Just this past year he was the Honourary Chair of the 2011 Rotary Mobility Cup, a series of races established for disabled sailors and has just received the Canadian Yachting Association Award for Regatta of the Year. It is our distinct pleasure to welcome Don Green into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
KATHY LEVY - ATHLETE/BUILDER
“Never give up; never give in” This is the motto of the ‘Knot A Breast’ Dragon Boat Team founded by Kathy Levy in 1998. The team was comprised of breast cancer survivors from the Burlington/Hamilton area. They came from varied backgrounds but all of them had waged the battle against breast cancer and through this initiative they continued to fight the illness, give support to others while showing family and friends that they can experience a fulfilling life after breast cancer.
Kathy Levy is described by all who know her as “an amazing, passionate and dedicated person” who has made a tremendous difference in the lives and health of many women in our community. She is a sportswoman in the broadest sense of the word: she is an athlete, team builder, manager, motivator, and visionary. Very few athletes put aside a life-and-death struggle to participate in their sport and infuse others with the same passion and determination.
Each of the team members has, at some time in their life, received the disheartening message that they have cancer. Kathy has heard those words more than twice and she chose never to give up or to give in. She has faced other devastating health challenges including a diagnosis of lupus at eleven years of age. In her twenties the lupus flared again and her spleen was removed but, soon she was back to work as a nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, an example to all of her indomitable strength and courage.
In 1998 she borrowed a boat from the local Chinese Community, found a coach and learned to paddle. Soon, Knot A Breast was on the water. She became a very good paddler but as the team grew and the competitions became more challenging she learned how to steer. In spite of her size, (less than 100 pounds), she became a master at steering the 1500 pound boat. The team progressed from women with breast cancer to real athletes who formed a competitive Dragon Boat racing team. Successes culminated In June 2010 when Knot A Breast won the International Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Challenge (held every four years) defeating 73 teams from around the world.
Because of her prowess at the helm she was asked to join the Canadian National Dragon Boat Team in Germany for the World Championships. She steered the women’s Grand masters boat and the Grand Masters Mixed boat to Gold Medals. None of the teams knew she was living with cancer. Kathy has taken her expertise internationally providing coaching and assistance to several American teams who are beginning Dragon Boat Teams. She always makes it known that she comes from Burlington Ontario and is no doubt one of our city’s finest ambassadors.
Kathy Levy is that rare, indeed exceptional individual who took a negative event in life and turned into something wonderfully positive. The team continues to thrive. It was the first in the world to have a male member join. They work in the community providing guidance and support to others facing the challenges of cancer. Kathy has been recognized for her tremendous community service having been awarded the Queen’s ‘Golden Jubilee Award’. Kathy Levy and her inspiring efforts have left a legacy to which all of us can aspire: to meet life’s challenges with grace, dignity and hope, and to “never give in”.
NORM MARSHALL – BUILDER
Norm Marshall was a broadcasting ‘legend’ who passed away at his Burlington home on November 5, 2008, just shy of his 90th birthday. He and his wife Helen lived in Aldershot for over 55 years where they raised their daughter Janice. Norm had two sons by a previous marriage – Michael and Bill.
Norm began his career in radio as a singer at CKTB in St. Catharines at the age of 13. Back then recorded music was often difficult to find so radio stations sometimes relied on local talent to entertain listeners. While working as a writer with Associated Broadcasting in Toronto, he was discovered by Ken Soble who hired him in 1940 to work at CHML radio in Hamilton. Early in his time there he hosted a live Saturday night CBC coast-to-coast broadcast from Burlington’s own Brant Inn. He blossomed into a consummate professional who masterfully delivered sports and broadcast news across the airwaves In the Greater Hamilton/Burlington area.
It was at CHML where Norm became a huge part of the area sports scene as a play-by-play announcer for the Hamilton Cardinals PONY League baseball team, and the voice of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for almost three decades. Norm made his TV debut calling the play-by-play on the first-ever televised Grey Cup game in 1952 on the CBC Network. The game was later viewed overseas by Canadian troops stationed around the world.
His TV career really began when he joined CHCH-TV in 1954 beginning the night the station officially opened. Sports commentator, play-by-play announcer, evening news anchor for 33 years, Norm did it all. He was everywhere in the area covering sports including Ontario University football, professional lacrosse and soccer. His secret to success was his incredible wit and humour, preparation and strict use of proper diction and grammar. Of course he also had a voice perfectly suited to announcing. One of his peers at CHML once said that Norm had “the greatest radio voice in this part of the world”. He was a natural broadcasting talent who became one of the most respected broadcasters in the country. In 1987 Norm retired as evening news anchor at CHCH and concluded his college football play-by-play television broadcasts with the Yates Cup the following year.
Norm was passionate about all of his pursuits, including teaching and golfing. He shared his enthusiasm and his knowledge of the broadcast industry by mentoring a host of younger generation media students as their radio broadcasting instructor at Mohawk College for 12 years. An avid golfer, Norm was the creative force behind the Christmas Calcutta at Burlington Springs Golf Club, an annual winter golf tournament often played on a snow-covered course.
Norm received numerous awards in his wonderful career but perhaps none more special than the Fred Sgambati Media Award in 1985 where he was recognized for his wonderful contributions to youth sport. He donated thousands of hours while hosting and acting as Master of Ceremonies for hundreds of events, many of them sporting dinners and award ceremonies. What better way to recognize what Norm Marshall offered to local sport than to induct him into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
1981 Burlington Cougars Junior B Hockey Team: TEAMSports
1. Grant Blair 11. Peter Donaldson Coach : Phil Cameron
30. Rob Bryson 12. Bryan Grigsby “A” GM : Mike McCauley
2. Noble Carlton 14. Steve Short President : Harvey Ryan
3. Urban Jakobsson 15. Doug McCallion Equipment Manager : Paul Killingbeck ( deceased)
4. Grant Ziliotto 16. Peter Flood Stick Boy : John Killingbeck
5. Mike Halstead 17. Derek Murphy Trainer : Brian Christie
6. Scott MacLellan 18. Jeff Ward
7. Bill Kirk 19. Dave Conacher “A”
8. Mike Knowlton 20. Marty Prowse “C”
10. Jay Lemay 99. Deron Ellsworth
The Sutherland Cup was the pinnacle of Junior “B” Hockey in the province of Ontario and is the championship trophy of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. As there is no national championship for Junior “B”, the Sutherland trophy is the highest attainable achievement for teams competing at this level.
The trophy was first awarded in 1934 and continues to this day to be goal for all teams in Ontario who compete in Junior “B”. Burlington has always had strong developmental and competitive hockey at the minor league level but rarely before 1981 did they put together a team strong enough and sufficiently talented enough to challenge the powerhouses of Junior “B” hockey in the province. In fact this is the only Junior team from Burlington that has ever competed for and won the coveted Sutherland Cup.
In 1981 all the pieces came together and the Cougars presented a formidable force in the rinks of Southern Ontario including our own Burlington Central arena. They finished first in the Central Division of the Ontario Junior “B” league and entered the playoffs as prohibitive favourites. Just to arrive at the championship, the Cougars would have to succeed in what were a gruelling stretch of five play-off series. In the very first round against the 5th place Acton Sabres, they were extended to 7 games. Round 2 also required 7 games but they knew they were really destined to make a strong bid for the trophy when they defeated their arch rivals, the Oakville Blades in 4 games. They went on to defeat the St. Michaels Buzzers in 5 games and then prevail in the championship series against a very talented Stratford Cullitans team in 6 games.
The team members were: Grant Blair, Noble Carlton, Urban Jakobsson, Grant Ziliotto,
Mike Halstead, Scott MacLellan, Bill Kirk, Mike Knowlton, Jay LeMay, Peter Donaldson, Bryan Grigsby, Steve Short, Doug McCallion,
Peter Flood, Derek Murphy, Jeff Ward, Dave Conacher, Marty Prowse, Deron Ellsworth, Rob Bryson COACH: Phil Cameron
The Cougars of 1981 were the talk of the town in Burlington. They captured the interest and support of thousands of Burlingtonians who got caught up in their grit, determination and skill. Congratulations 1981 Cougars and welcome to the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame 2011 Members:
In the world of golf, one spends many, many hours hitting balls and practicing, generally alone, often into the dark, sometimes in raw weather in an attempt to 'sharpen the game' and prepare for competition. There exists among golfers an inner urge to get better, to improve, and always the belief that tomorrow's score will be better than today's.
Jackie Rosart has paid this price and today stands out as one of Canada's premier golfers of all time, male or female. She has been a prominent Canadian Ladies Amateur golfer for over 55 years and her list of achievements is truly noteworthy.
Jackie was born and raised In Burlington and except for three years when the family moved to Hamilton, remained here her entire life. She has been a member of the Burlington Golf and Country Club since 1954. She has won the Ladies Club Championship at Burlington in every year that she has entered it —33 times since 1955. Currently, at the age of 70, she continues to compete in Provincial, National and International events.
Among her innumerable accomplishments are:
Winner of Ontario Junior Championship
Twice member of Ontario Junior Provincial Team
Runner-up Ontario Amateur Championship
Three time member of Ontario Amateur Provincial Team
Winner of Ontario Amateur Match-Play
Winner of Ontario Senior Championship 1997
Three time Runner-up Ontario Senior Championship
Ten time member of Ontario Provincial Senior Team
Three times the #1 Ranked Senior in Ontario
Twice the #1 Ranked Senior in Canada
Third in the British Senior Championship of 1998
Ten times a U.S. Senior qualifier
Three time winner of Hamilton District Senior Championships
Three time winner of Champion of Champions Tournament
Ten year sponsor of the Hamilton District Junior Competitions
The list goes on but suffice to say that the hours of practice Jackie has committed, coupled with the incredible dedication she has given to her game and the game of golf, exceed that of most competitors and explain why she is one of Canada's all-time best and a deserving Inductee into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Don McFarlane and his family moved to Burlington in 1939 when Don was only eight years of age. He attended school here and became an outstanding multi-sport athlete. While at Burlington Central High School Don played half-back on both the Junior and Senior Football teams and was a member of the 1948 Championship Senior Team. However, his ﬁrst love was track and ﬁeld. He was a highly acclaimed high school runner and excelled in both the 100 and 220 yard sprints. He won many races at both distances and during his time at Burlington Central he was undefeated in both distances. In fact he established a local record of 10.0 seconds in the 100 yard dash that stood for many years. Don is a member of the Burlington Central High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Don went on to star at McMaster University. In his four years at Mac he went undefeated in the 100 and 220 yard sprints at all intercollegiate competitions. In 1951 he established a Senior Intercollegiate record of 9.9 seconds in the 100 and was awarded the prestigious Hec Phillips Memorial Trophy for establishing himself as the most outstanding athlete in the Senior Intercollegiate Track and Field Championships. In turn Don was awarded the Chancellor’s Gold Medal at McMaster and in 1991 inducted into the McMaster University Sports Hall of Fame.
Even before his years at McMaster, at the age of 15, Don joined the Hamilton Olympic Track Club competing both nationally and internationally. Nationally he won numerous sprint events in both Junior and Senior competitions and was at one point ranked #1 in Canada.
On the International scene Don was selected to represent Canada in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki running the 100, 200 and the 4 x 100 relay. It is worth noting that the Town of Burlington held a parade in his honour and also presented him with a beautiful set of luggage. Don was also a member of the Canadian team in the 1954 British Empire Games in Vancouver where he won a Silver medal in the 100 in a remarkable time of 9.7 seconds. He also anchored the 4 x 110 relay team which set a new Empire Games record time of 41 .3 seconds ‘resulting in Canada’s only Gold Medal in Track and Field at these Games.
In 1974 Don was recognized by the Province of Ontario, receiving a ‘Provincial Sport Citation’ in recognition of his “Gold Medal Performance in the ﬁeld of amateur sport”. It noted that “achievements of this caliber in competition at the International level, set an outstanding example for the people of Ontario”. The Burlington Sports Hall of Fame totally agree and are honoured to add the name of Don McFarlane to its’ list of prestigious Burlington athletes.
When one looks at the career of Harry Clark and his 40 plus years of exceptional commitment to Curling it is clear that he is a sportsman worthy of entry into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame. Born in Hamilton Harry and family moved to Burlington in 1954. He immersed himself in Curling, pursuing his passion at the Burlington Curling Club beginning in 1966. He ‘retired’ from the sport in 2004 but continued to stay connected as a social member until his passing in 2005.
Harry identiﬁed the need to support and recognize curling activity and achievements in the local area. So, he became the curling columnist for the Burlington Gazette and the Hamilton Spectator, promoting the sport and the hundreds of participants in this great Canadian game. Curlers from all over the Golden Horseshoe looked forward to Harry's regular updates on all aspects of local, provincial and national curling news. Harry was awarded the Ontario Media Award by the Ontario Curling Association for the "excellence in coverage he gave the sport".
He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Burlington Curling Club for many years. He was the key ﬁgure in Burlington's successful bid to host the 1983 Ontario Men's Provincial Championship at Central Arena and he was the Chairman of this event. The overwhelming success of this bonspiel resulted in Harry being honoured by the OOA again, this time with the Seagram's Five Star Achievement Award. On the national level, Harry was Vice-President of the 1991 Brier and the 1996 World Curling Championships, both held at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton.
Harry was Chairman of the Men's Hamilton and District Bonspiel for many years. Harry worked year round to ensure this week long event was an untarnished success and it was, every year. In 1997 Harry was named the President of the newly formed Hamilton and Area Curling Association. He remained President until 2002. Perhaps his greatest achievement in this role was the formation of the Little Rock Bonspiel. He really believed in getting children interested in curling at an early age, ensuring that the sport would continue to grow. In 2006, the Hamilton Area Curling Association honoured Harry by naming the event the "Harry Clark Memorial Little Rock Bonspiel”. This event is now the largest Little Rock Bonspiel in Canada.
Harry was a humble man but it is worth noting that he has received numerous other accolades. Two of the more noteworthy are: in 2006 he was posthumously presented with an Honorary Life Membership to the Ontario Curling Association for his "decades of commitment to the sport of curling" and in 2007 Harry was named the Honorary Chair of the 2007 Hamilton Tim Horton's Brier. Also in 2007 the Burlington Curling Club introduced the ‘Harry Clark Award of Excellence’ to be awarded each year to an ‘extraordinary volunteer’ as “an everlasting tribute to a great ambassador of curling". The Burlington Sports Hall of Fame wholeheartedly agrees.
Sports Hall of Fame Members 2010:
RON ANGUS - Athlete/Builder
To quote Ron Angus: "Judo is known as the gentle martial art" but you would never know it when Ron and an opponent engage in battle. Having competed all over the world on every continent, in more than 15 countries, in a career spanning more than 42 years, Ron to many is the face of Judo in Canada.
Not only has he competed and continues to compete, but he has taught, coached, authored a comprehensive book on Judo, administered in many aspects of the sport, and above all, inspired each and every individual that knows him and have had the good fortune to be associated with him.
His list of accomplishments and credentials is outstanding. Here is an abbreviated list:
• Canadian Junior and Senior Judo Champion
• 10 time world Masters Champion and as recently as last year Ron competed in the World
Masters in Germany placing 2nd.
• 8 times Canadian National Exhibition Champion
• competed in 22 Canadian National Championships
• represented Canada at the 1986 Commonwealth, 1989 Francophone Games and 1989 World
• World Kubudo Grappling Champion
• World Games and World Championships Bronze Sambo Wrestling
• Diploma in High Performance Sport and NCCP Level 5 Certified
• 1996 Atlanta Olympic Coach - New Zealand
• Canadian Team Coach - 1997 Francophone Games
• Head Coach of Judo Canada National Team Developmental Centre
• 2010 Ontario Coaching Excellence Award Ontario Coaching Ass.
• Burlington Athlete of the Year
• Burlington Master Athlete of the Year 2006
While committing to a rigorous training and practice schedule, as well as demanding coaching responsibilities, Ron found time to write a book on the fundamentals of competitive judo. As well, he is the founder of the Full Circle Judo Club which opened in 1992, where he coaches novice children and adults, recreational participants, provincial and national team athletes. The Full Circle Judo Club has produced National Team members for 15 consecutive years.
As well, Ron is the founder and developer of the Active Aldershot Society whose mandate is to bring more grassroots community sport and recreation to the Aldershot community. He has linked the organization and its' activities to the Children's Aid Society and the United Way, running affordable and accessible multi-sports camps for children that have little or no experience in sport.
As you can see, Ron Angus is a very unique and special individual. He had a goal for himself and dreams for our City. To any young person he is a shining example of what will be achieved with hard work and perseverance. Congratulations Ron.
DAVID ARNOLD - Builder
Gymnastics is a demanding sport and when involved at international and world competitive levels it requires the guidance and direction of an inspired coach and leader. These are the hallmark qualities of David Allan Arnold.
He came to Burlington in 1986 as the Head Coach of the Burlington Boy's Gymnastics Club and remained in that role for 15 demanding years, finally retiring in 2001. Prior to arriving here he had already established himself as being pre-eminent in the field, competing as a member of the Canadian Gymnastics Team from 1977 to 1983 and coaching the Canadian Men's Gymnastics National Team from 1984 to 2001.
He led our National Men's Gym Team into three Olympics including 1988 in Seoul, 1992 in Barcelona and in 1996 in Atlanta. As well he coached the Canadian Team in seven World Championships on three continents in seven different countries.
On top of this he was the Men's Gymnastics Team Coach in the 1990 Commonwealth Games where the Canadian team won a Gold Medal; again in 1994 in Victoria where they again won a Gold Medal; finally in 1998 in Malaysia where the team won bronze. In between he managed to squeeze in enough time to coach the Men's Canadian Team in the 1987 and 1995 Pan American Games.
David has received innumerable awards, but perhaps none is more noteworthy than that bestowed on him by his peers, the Canadian Gymnastics Coach of the Year, and four times no less.
What this level of intense involvement requires is not only a high level of knowledge, both technical and artistic, but also a very high level of organization, discipline, diligence and energy. What results is inspired instruction and leadership that, in turn, provides young athletes with the direction and support they need to compete on the world stage. We in Burlington and many across this country owe a huge debt of gratitude to David Arnold for his unparalleled commitment to excellence.
BRIAN GOTO - Athlete/Builder
Growing up in Burlington in the 1970's few young people would have heard of handball and even fewer would have either seen a game or played this demanding game. To play it at the most competitive level one had to go to Hamilton, to the downtown Y.M.C.A. and that's just what Brian Goto did when at a very young age he became consumed by the game of handball.
Brian moved to Burlington in 1968 when he accepted an elementary teaching position. Around this time his prowess in the sport was becoming well known. He won the Hamilton 'Y' Club singles championship 17 times from 1978 through to 1999.
He entered tournaments outside Hamilton as well and perhaps his crowning achievements were winning the Canadian Masters Championships in different age categories for 17 national titles between 1983 and 2009. At the World Open Championships, he placed 3rd in 1986, 2nd in 1991 and 2nd again in 1997 in the masters divisions.
Beside the hours spent inside the four walls of a handball court, Brian made another indelible mark on the game of handball. He provided dedicated support and involvement in the developmental side of the sport through coaching, teaching and administration.
He first began to get involved in junior development work way back in 1977 when he became the Ontario Handball Association Development Director. As well as instructing, offering clinics and coaching, he wrote a number of manuals, and produced a coaching video, all of which contributed to putting Ontario in the enviable position of having a leading edge program for young players. In 1983 the Canadian Handball Association appointed him Junior Development Director for Canada which in turn earned him the Canadian Handball Association President's Award of Merit. Since 2002 Brian has been the President of this organization.
Brian never forgot the local youth. Students at his school thirsted for his instruction and games he organized. He structured tournaments here in Burlington, providing innumerable opportunities for young people in Burlington to play and develop their skills. For over 20 years Brian organized the Golden Horseshoe Handball Tournament. It attracted youngsters as young as 11 and adults from throughout the province and states bordering the Great Lakes. Many Burlington players participated and won their divisions , gratefully acknowledging the outstanding teaching and support given by Brian. Some of his protégés accepted handball scholarships at Memphis State University and achieved All-American status in handball.
His commitment is as intense today as it was back in the 70's. As recently as 2005 Brian was the Chairman of the National Handball Championships that were held right here in Burlington. He is also committed to playing a role in organizing the Nationals which will again be held in Burlington in May of 2010.
Intense competitor; winner of innumerable tournaments; honoured on numerous occasions for commitment and dedication to his sport; a supporter of youth development; Brian Goto exemplifies all that is intended by the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
PAULA SCHNURR — Athlete
In his 1959 novel, ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’, author Alan Sillitoe paints the picture of an isolated athlete running alone for miles and miles, pushing through pain and fatigue to build the endurance required to compete.
And like, the central ﬁgure in this book, Paula Schnurr committed herself to hours of lonely training and ‘pounding pavement’ to become one of Canada's leading cross-country and track athletes in the 1980's and ‘90's. Unlike the runner in the book, Paula was one of the most popular and sociable members of the runner’s fraternity.
Born in Kirkland Lake Ontario Paula and her family moved to Burlington when she was 6 years of age. At an early age Paula joined the Burlington Legion Track Club and became an ardent runner. Her prowess in the school system was exceptional and from local and provincial competitors she went on to an outstanding career at McMaster University.
A winner of 28 Ontario Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship medals, 18 of which are gold, Paula was named the McMaster University Female Athlete of the Year on four separate occasions.
In 1988 she set three competitive records all of which stand to this day, a remarkable 22 years later. One is the Ontario Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Association 1000 metre record and the others are the Canadian Intercollegiate Schools 1000 metres (2:42:81) and the 1500 metres in a truly outstanding 4:16:41. She was named a C.I.A.U. All-Canadian Athlete of the Year ﬁve times.
At the international level Paula represented Canada in Track in 1992 at the Barcelona Olympics where she ran a personal best of 4:04:80 in the 1500 and 1996 in Atlanta where she competed in the 1500 metre event. It is worth noting that rather than drop out in Atlanta, she completed this gruelling race with a partially torn Achilles tendon, which she had incurred three weeks earlier. She is a Silver medallist from the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, once again in the 1500.
The running career of Paul Schnurr is a testimony to perseverance over physical talent. Though blessed with great physical abilities, Paula readily admits that she didn't possess as much natural talent as some of her competitors. However, what she did have in large doses was courage, determination, strength and toughness. She “knew how to win races" and she did, often.
Today, Paula works with young, aspiring track stars through coaching and clinics. She works with youth of all ages, always encouraging them to be the best they can be, while also stressing the pure enjoyment of the sport she loves. What a wonderful legacy she has left our community. It is an honour to install Paula Schnurr in the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
NICK WESLOCK - Athlete
One of Canada's most prolific golfers of all time, Nick Weslock represented this country with dignity and pride in countless competitions locally, nationally and around the world. A steadfast amateur throughout his career, he contested and beat both amateurs and professionals well into his fifties.
It all began in 1939 when using a set of borrowed clubs Nick won his first championship at the Southern Ontario Amateur tournament at the age of 21. Over the next three decades he won eight Ontario amateur titles, four Canadian amateur titles and was low amateur at the Canadian Open a record 11 times.
He was a student of the game and a relentless player who seemingly never got too excited or rattled, remaining calm and in control at all times. He realized that a sound technical approach to the game was not enough to succeed, saying: "you have to think about it and put everything in place". He loved competing and he considered his greatest accomplishment to be his seven victories in the Ontario Open because, as he told Golf Canada in 2000: "Being an amateur and beating all the top pros seven times gave me a lot of satisfaction".
Nick Weslock represented Canada numerous times on World Cup, America's Cup and Commonwealth Teams. He was a member of the Ontario Willingdon Cup team an incredible 25 times and he received four invitations to participate in the Masters.
It looked like his career would come to a crashing end when in 1973 he underwent hip replacement surgery. However, just a few months later he was back on the course, competing and going 12 under par on one occasion. He continued to play well into his eighties, claiming 11 Ontario and four Canadian Senior titles.
According to Nick it was his love of the sport and the game of golf that was the key to his success. An engineer by profession, Weslock never left golf's amateur ranks. Balancing the demands of a professional career and the rigours of competitive golf, he set amateur standards that may never be equalled. For his superb record in golf he was inducted into The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1972 and proudly welcomed into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame in June of 2010.
Member of the Canadian CanSports Hall of Fame.
Sports Hall of Fame Members 2009:
Jake Gaudaur BUILDER Football (CFL)
Where does one begin to describe the imposing presence and impressive career of this distinguished Canadian? Born in October of 1920, Jake settled in Burlington in 1950 where he raised his family and set about serving the sports community both locally as well as nationally.
Jacob Gill “Jake” Gaudaur was a superb athlete excelling in rowing and lacrosse long before he made his mark on the gridiron. In 1936 Jake helped lead the Orillia Terriers to win the Minto Cup, the trophy awarded to Canada’s national junior lacrosse champions. In 1938 this multi-talented athlete followed in his father’s footsteps and won a national rowing championship.
Between 1940 and 1953 Jake played football for the Hamilton Tigers, the Toronto Argonauts, the Montreal Alouettes and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats During the Second World War Jake served Canada as a pilot, but managed to “suit up” for the Royal Canadian Air Force Team that captured the 30th edition of the Grey Cup (1942).
Jake had a passion for football and obvious strengths as a businessman. In 1952 he left the playing field and became a Director of the Tiger-Cats, but an opportunity to capture the Grey Cup whetted his appetite and he un-retired in 1953 suiting up for the Tiger-Cats for one final season. Mission accomplished, the Tiger-Cats won the 1953 Cop.
Jake retired for good in 1954 and moved into the front office of the storied Cat franchise becoming the President and from 1956 through 1967 held the dual position of President and General Manager. Under his stewardship the Tiger-Cats appeared in nine Grey Cups, winning four (1957, 1963,1965, 1967).
Mary considered Jake’s era as “the glory years” of the Tiger-Cats and the CFL. He was so respected by his CFL peers that in 1962 he was appointed to the CFL Presidency. In 1968 Jake was named CFL Commissioner, a position he held for 16 years. During his tenure as commissioner he had an enormous impact on the growth of the CFL.. Television revenue increased six-fold and attendance nearly doubled. He was a champion of the founding of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and instrumental establishing a CFL Player’s Pension Plan. Above all, This Canadian born athlete worked tirelessly to keep the game Canadian.
In 1981 Jake was appointed a Governor of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. His peers selected him as the Chairman of the Board in 1984. His fundraising efforts resulted in a $1.25 million renovation program for the Hall resulting in a unique and innovative facility. Jake was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
Other honours include: member of the Toronto Argonauts Hall of Fame (builder 1984), Canadian Football Hall of Fame (builder 1984) and Officer of the Order of Canada (1985).
Jake Gaudaur’s lifetime achievements clearly reflect a dedication and commitment to sport. His legacy is a gift to all true sport enthusiasts.
RON FOXCROFT BUILDER
The scope and impact of Ron Foxcroft`s sporting achievements are difficult to measure. They are innumerable and are only exceeded by his generous contributions to charity and sport in our community.
Born right here in the west end Aldershot community of Burlington in 1945, Ron played numerous sports as a young boy. With no high school in his area, he attended Waterdown High School where he excelled in basketball and football.
However, as a 16 year old Ron developed an interest - and eventually a passion - for officiating. He umpired baseball and refereed basketball, and soon basketball became his focus. His energy, professionalism and deportment on the court did not go unnoticed. He rose rapidly to become one of the top basketball officials in the area and Canada, under the tutelage of Kitch MacPherson, the dean of basketball officiating in Canada. In 1976 at the age of 30 he refereed the Gold medal game at the Montreal Olympics, a coup for a Canadian. His celebrated career included university basketball officiating in both Canada (CIAU) and the United States (NCAA) and numerous international matches. Presently he is an evaluator of officials for the NBA.
In the magazine - Referee, 2007 - ``the bible of North American game officials`` - Ron was named one of the top 52 officials of all time. He was one of four Canadians named - but, the only basketball official. The other three were National Hockey League officials. Included in the citation was reference to Ron s invention of the pea-less FOX40 whistle, an invaluable addition to the equipment of officials.
Today the FOX40 is the whistle of choice for most major sports throughout the world including the NFL, CFL, NHL, NCAA, NBA, FIFA, FINA, and you can add the Summer and Winter Olympics to this list. The whistle is also widely used outside of the sports arena by Police, Fire and Search and Rescue teams throughout the world.
Ron has received a host of honours and accolades. Profit Magazine named him one of the top ten entrepreneurs of the decade. He has been inducted into seven other Halls of Fame including the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame. What makes Ron particularly special is the fact that he dedicates a significant portion of his resources - including time and energy - to the local community, giving generously to a variety of sports and charities in the area.
Ron resides in his hometown of Burlington with wife Marie and his youngest son, Ron Junior. His two eldest boys have moved on. Son Steve, an NCAA and CIAU basketball official was awarded the A.J. Dunn Burlington Sportsman of the Year Award in 2007, and son Dave, also following in father Ron’s footsteps is a nine year CFL referee and officiated the 2008 Grey Cup Game.
Ron’s outstanding achievements in sport along with his untiring efforts to support local initiatives merit his inclusion in the Burlington Sport Hall of Fame. It is a most fitting tribute to a local hero who has never forgotten his roots.
RON SEDLBAUER ATHLETE
Ron Sedlbauer grew up in Burlington and played numerous sports as a youngster but his first love was hockey. He played all his minor hockey in Burlington and advanced to the Rep level representing the City of Burlington.
He attended Burlington Central High School where he was a member of their Championship Junior Football team in 1971. He also participated in Track and Field at Central and represented the school in the Provincial (O.F.S.A.A.) Track and Field Championships in the shot put.
While playing for the Burlington Midget Rep Team, Ron excelled and at the conclusion of the season in 1971, he was drafted by the Hamilton Red wings Jr. A Hockey Team. Ron played in 129 games with Hamilton over two seasons, scoring 31 goals and 28 assists. In 1974 Hamilton traded Ron to the Kitchener Rangers to help them with their run for the Memorial Cup. Ron tallied 29 goals and 25 assists in his 54 games in Kitchener.
Ron was the Vancouver Canuck’s first pick and 23rd overall NHL draft pick in 1974, the highest draft pick in Burlington’s hockey history. Ron began his professional career with the Canuck’s farm team, the Seattle Totems and enjoyed 26 games with the Canuck’s in his first pro season scoring his NHL goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ron progressed well and soon became a full time regular on the Canuck’s roster. During the 1978-79 season Ron set a Canuck’s goal scoring record with 40 goals and 16 assists that season. Ron won the Cyrus McLean trophy as the Canuck’s leading scorer that season and established a club goal scoring record that stood up for many seasons.
During the 1979-80 season Ron was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks and scored his 100th NHL goal that season against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The following season Ron was traded to the Leafs where he played his final season before retiring to join the family business in his hometown of Burlington. Ron still resides here with his wife Sue and son Brendon.
Through Ron’s business, Cougar Shoes, Ron has Chaired the company’s annual Charity Golf Tournament that has raised in excess of $1 Million dollars for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada. Ron remains active in hockey and is currently the sponsor and President of the Burlington Cougar Junior A Hockey Team, a true home town boy and gave back to his community.
Ron has received many awards for his athletic accomplishments. At the same time Ron is very proud of his contributions to Burlington and the local community. Most recently, in February 2009, Ron was honoured at a gala dinner at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto as Canadian “Shoe Person of the Year” in recognition of his career in the footwear industry and his life of charitable work.
Alan Nolet ATHLETE Gymnastics (Olympics)
Achieving excellence in any endeavour requires intense dedication and commitment. Alan Nolet displayed these qualities and much more in his 22 year quest to become a world class gymnast.
Born in Toronto Alan was introduced to the rigorous demands of gymnastics at the tender age of eight when he joined the Mississauga Gymnastics Club. He loved the challenge of this highly competitive sport. He trained relentless in pursuit of excellence and with one goal in mind - to be the
best in his sport.
Soon Alan moved to Burlington Gymnastics Club to receive the quality training and discipline necessary to achieve elite status. For more than ten years for the Burlington Club where he represented Burlington and Canada at numerous international competitions.
The Burlington gym club was the Canadian of high level gymnastics training in the late 1980's and early '90's and many of our national team competitors were active here during this period of time. His dream to compete on the international stage came to fruition in 1987 when he selected to the Canadian Team to compete at the Pan-American Games in Indianapolis, Indiana (USA).
His celebrated career included proudly wearing the Canadian Emblem at the following major international events:
World Championship: 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997
Olympics: Soeul, Korea 1988, Barcelona, Spain 1992, Atlanta, USA 1996
Commonwealth Games: 1990, Auckland, New Zealand, Silver on Floors, Silver All-round, Gold - Team
1994 Victoria, B.C. : Gold on Horizontal Bars, Bronze on Floor, Gold - Team
Other Honours include: Canadian Gymnastics Federation Athlete of the Year (1994), and induction into the McMaster Sports Hall of Fame (2006).
Currently Alan resides in Oakville with his wife, Tamara. Together they own and operate two physiotherapy clinics. Life continues to be for the distinguished as they raise two daughters, Abbey, eight and Briar, ten years of age.
For his outstanding accomplishments on the international stage of sport Alan is indeed an athlete worthy of distinction in the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.
Sports Hall of Fame Members 2008:
BERNIE CUSTIS - ATHLETE/BUILDER
In outstanding student athlete growing up in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Bernie excelled in a number of sports. He was a first team city high school all-star in football in 1946 and won the 100 yard dash in the city-wide track meet in 1947. As well, he loved basketball.
Upon graduation Bernie received a scholarship to attend Syracuse University to play football. He set numerous records as a quarterback, being named an All-American in the process. When he graduated from Syracuse, he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, but not to play quarterback, the position he loved. African-Americans were not considered ‘right’ for this position back then. After a short stay with them, he decided to pursue his dream of playing quarterback and that decision brought him to Hamilton in 1951.
In the Canadian Football League he again endured his share of taunts and racial epithets but he was never discouraged. He excelled in Hamilton and had an illustrious career. Bernie was the first black quarterback in the C.F.L. but he proved, both on and off the field, to be an equal and an exciting new force in professional football. His courage helped pave the way for other black athletes to follow in his footsteps here in Canada.
He wasn’t finished with football when he retired from the C.F.L. in 1959. He quickly began an outstanding coaching career that lasted 31 years. He coached the Oakville Black Knights, the East York Argonauts, the Burlington Braves Junior Football Team, the Sheridan College Bruins and finally the McMaster University Marauders. He had success wherever he went, not just because his teams won, but also because of the profound influence he had on the hundreds of young men who were led by him. Without exception his former players admire and respect him while expressing true affection for him.
Bernie is consistently recognized as a wonderful ambassador for the game of football, but more importantly as a true gentleman and model of integrity and honesty. He never compromised his principles to win a game. This very special person is an inspiration to the sporting community of not just Burlington but to Canada as a whole.
Born in London England in October of 1952 and arriving in Burlington in 1959, this graduate of M.M. Robinson High School was a swimming prodigy as a young child although she almost drowned at the age of two. Angela fell unnoticed into a public pool and the lifeguards did not see her. Her father came frantically to her rescue.
At the age of nine Angela won all the swimming events at a summer camp. The counsellors suggested that she consider competitive swimming. So, in 1963, at the age of 11, Angela joined the Hamilton Aquatic Club and was coached by the legendary Jimmy Thompson. Training and preparing for competition in the early 60’s was challenging. There were no adequate facilities in Burlington and Angela would travel to Hamilton, often early in the morning, complete her workout and then return to school for the day.
To this day Angela is a World Record Holder in the freestyle 1650 yard (mile) event, but because it was held in a 25yard pool the record was deleted in 1969 by the International Aquatic Federation because the pool was too short. She was the Canadian freestyle champion in all distances (100, 200, 400, 800 metres) from 1968 to 1971, a feat unmatched in Canadian swimming history.
In the 1967 Pan American Games Angela won 3 individual Bronze medals and silver as a member of the 4 x 100 relay team. In the 1968 Olympics Angela was ill and could not compete individually but she pulled herself out of sick bay to be part of the Canadian 4 x 100 Free Style team that earned a Bronze medal. . In the 1970 Commonwealth Games Angela won Gold in the 100 Free style and Silver in the 200 freestyle as well as Silver in 2 relays. In the ’71 Pan Americans she won 2 silver medals and a bronze individually, as well as Gold in the 4 x 100 medley relay.
Some of her other achievements and awards include being named:
1971 ~ City of Burlington dedicates the Angela Coughlan Swimming Pool and named Canadian Female Swimmer of the Year
1976 ~ Elected to the Canadian Swimming Hall of Fame
1978 ~ Elected to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame
1995 ~ Invested with the Order of Ontario
TONY GABRIEL ATHLETE
Born in Burlington in 1948, Tony was one of 12 children and as a result, he learned at an early age the value of being competitive. Attending school in Burlington it wasn’t until his last few years at Burlington Central High School that he began to shine as an athlete and school citizen.
He didn’t make the school football team in his grade ten year but that didn’t deter him.
He went on to excel at basketball and scored 48 points in a senior basketball game to outscore the entire Nelson High School team. He became Student Council President in his senior year as well.
After being released by the Central football team Tony joined the Burlington Braves Junior Football Team which was coached at the time by Bernie Custis. His admiration and respect for Bernie combined with his outstanding athletic ability enable him to excel with the Braves and eventually earn a scholarship to Syracuse University.
Tony graduated from Syracuse with an Engineering degree and shunned the National Football League to come home and play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1971. After a somewhat quiet first year Tony went on to star in the Canadian Football League and helped the Cats with the Grey Cup in 1972. In 1975 Tony was traded to the Ottawa Roughriders. In Ottawa he gained national recognition which endures to this day.
Perhaps his greatest game was the 1976 Grey Cup when he caught a touchdown pass in the last minute of the game to help Ottawa overcome almost certain defeat and win the Grey Cup. He was the recipient of the Schenley Award as the Most Valuable Player in the C.F.L. that year. No Canadian has won it since. As well, he was named the top Canadian Player in the C.F.L. this same year.
Tony was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1984 and in 1986 he was voted one f the C.F.L.’s Top 50 players of all time (#18). He is also a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
GORD DICKSON - ATHLETE/BUILDER
Gord was bom in Calgary on January 2, 1932. As a young man he had a passion for running and was very successful at it as well. In 1956 Gord moved to Hamilton to pursue his running career with the Hamilton Olympic Club. His prowess earned him a scholarship to Drake University in Des Moines Iowa and then another to New York University in 1959. In this same year Gord received the Jack Davies Award as the top Distance Runner in Canada and was named the nation's top male amateur athlete, receiving the Norton N Crow Award.
Gord’s list of accomplishments in running is truly noteworthy. In total Gord earned 10 Canadian Championships in his career. He is a six time Canadian marathon champion and he set a national record in 1958 with a personal best time of 2:21:50. He represented Canada in the Rome Olympics of 1960. In Commonwealth Games he was 5th in the Marathon in 1958 and 12th in 1962. It is worth noting that Gord was chosen as the Canadian Team ﬂag bearer in the Opening Ceremonies for the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Gord is also a bronze medallist from the 1959 Pan American Games. As well he is three time champion at the Canadian Cross Country Championships; placed in the top 7 three times in the prestigious Boston Marathon and is a 5 time winner of the Hamilton Around the Bay 30 kilometre Road Race, twice setting course records.
Gord moved to Burlington in 1970, assuming a job with the Halton Board of Education, all the while continuing his running and supporting young, up and coming runners. For the past ten years he has spent two evenings a week coaching at the indoor tracks at McMaster University and at the Mississauga Y. Twice a week outdoors you can ﬁnd him coaching at the tracks at M.M. Robinson High School and the Mississauga Y. Gord has also done his part internationally. He has been a mentor, coach and friend to Kenyan runners who train locally. He is a liaison with the New Balance Kenyan team arranging transportation, training facilities, and housing in addition to his coaching.
Gord is described as selﬂess by all who know him and he continues to consistently give back to the sport in such generous proportions that he has earned the total respect of the running community in Burlington.
M. M. ROBINSON - BUILDER
Melville Marks Robinson was a native of Peterborough Ontario. Born in 1888 he was known to most everyone as M. M. or Bobby.
He left school at the age of 13 and took a job as office boy at the Toronto News. He loved the newspaper industry and in 1910 joined the Sports staff of the Hamilton Spectator, soon becoming the Sports Editor and eventually the City Editor for the Spec.
He deplored the fact that Canadian runners did not have the competition necessary to develop into world class runners. When he learned of the Empire Festival, a track and field event to be held in England in 1911, he began a campaign to establish the British Empire Games, which he want to hold in Hamilton.
Soon he moved to Burlington. In 1920 he bought a 23 acre farm on Maple avenue and became immersed in agriculture. All the while he pursued his dream of the Empire Games. He went to Amsterdam as Manager of the Canadian Olympic Track and Field Team in 1928 and vigorously attempted to sell his idea to anyone who would listen. He went overseas many times, and eventually convince Great Britain to get involved.
Returning to Canada he began to promote his goal locally while convincing authorities in Hamilton that with an adequate stadium and indoor pool they could host the Games. As a result, both Civic Stadium (Ivor Wynne Stadium today) and the Municipal Pool were built at a cost of $160,000. Finally, in 1930, the first ever British Empire Games were held in Hamilton and were the forerunner to what today are the Commonwealth Games.
For many years M.M. also served as Chairman of the Burlington High School Board and in 1959, with the amalgamation that formed the City of Burlington, he became the first Chair of the newly organized Board of Education. He also had a part to play in founding the Burlington Braves Football Team.
Bobby Robinson passed away in 1974 at the age of 86 but he continued to receive honours, including induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame the year he passed away. The first public high school north of the Queen Elizabeth Highway was named in his honour, a fitting tribute to one who taught us so much about living and about life.
Member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
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