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.