Ontario Winter Games Come to Orillia
- February 28, 2018
- 4:04 pm
Sport Orillia is a proud sponsor of the Orillia 2018 Ontario Winter Games. Supported by the Ontario Government, through its Games Ontario program. This program delivers or supports multi-sport events, including the Ontario Winter and Summer Games for youth, the Ontario 55+ Summer and Winter Games, the Ontario ParaSport Games, the 2017 North American Indigenous Games and the 2017 Invictus Games.
Supporting Ontario sporting events is part of Game ON – The Ontario Government’s Sport Plan, which is encouraging as many people as possible to play organized sports, helping Ontario’s high-performance athletes pursue excellence and promoting increased tourism and economic development.
The Winter Games games which are held over four days will bring over 3000 athletes and 600+ volunteers to the area. The athletes aged from 12 to 18 will compete in events comprised of 25 different sports, spread over 20 facilities. It is estimated that the event will produce around $6 million dollars in economic activity for the surrounding area.
Visit their website: http://www.orillia2018.ca
2018 Hall of Fame Inductees Announced
- February 7, 2018
- 7:38 pm
Guess who’s heading into Orillia’s Sports Hall of Fame?
As young girls, Jayme Davis (Beard) and Brittney Fess (Boynton) fell in love with what was then a new sport in Orillia: field lacrosse. They grew up together playing in the fledgling Orillia Lady Kings house league program on a makeshift baseball field at the Lion’s Oval and, using a blend of natural athleticism, determination and hard work, became two of Canada’s best.
So, it is perhaps fitting that these dynamic two athletes, trailblazers in their sport, will go into the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame together in April.
At a press conference Friday morning, Sport Orillia announced Davis and Fess have been selected to enter the city’s sports shrine at its April Gala. Two ‘builders’ will join them: NHL Hall of Fame broadcaster Ken ‘Jiggs’ McDonald and slope ski pioneer Toben Sutherland, who will be coaching in his second straight Winter Olympics later this month.
Davis was the lone inductee able to attend the media event. “I am honoured to join some really great athletes and individuals,” she said, adding she was glad to be joining 2015 inductee Elaine Thompson, the only other woman in the hall. “It’s neat because she was my swim coach when I was young. And to have this honour with one of my best friends … it’s pretty neat.”
Davis, who played several sports going growing up, said she was thankful for how sports, and especially lacrosse, opened doors for her. She played for Canada at the 2003 and 2007 World Field Lacrosse Championships and went on to play one season of women’s field lacrosse (2007) at Wilfrid Laurier University. That season, she won OUA rookie-of-the-year honours and was also named a first-team all-star. She earned the 2017 Orillia Athlete of the Year Award.
She earned a scholarship to play at Ohio State University, where she was a star player. With Fess, she helped raise more than $50,000 locally through Lax for a Cure, a fundraiser they started. Her love of sports has also shaped her career; she helps administer high school sports for the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board.
Right now, however, she is on maternity leave, caring for her first child. “I’m working on my career, working on being a mom, but when I got the call (about being inducted) it was really nice,” she said. “I think this might top things. I’ve had a lot of different experiences and different successes, but this maybe sums up everything. It’s hard to find words … it’s very special.”
Fess followed a similar path. In 2002, she won the Joanne Stanga Award as the outstanding lacrosse player in Orillia and then played for Canada at the 2003 world championship. She, too, went to Laurier and was team captain in 2007 and 2008. She was a starting defender and midfielder from 2005 to 2008. In 2007, she was the OUA’s most valuable defensive player and was named a first-team all-star twice.
She worked with Davis on the Lax for a Cure fundraiser, started the senior women’s program in Orillia and then started the Little Lady Kings program in 2014.
John Mayo, who helped start the women’s field lacrosse program in Orillia and is now the sport’s provincial commissioner, said both are deserving of the call to the hall. “Jayme and Britney are two elite athletes that have been participants, coaches and builders for the sport of women’s field lacrosse,” said Mayo. “They are both truly outstanding candidates to enter the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame.”
Joining the duo is Sutherland, who is busy preparing for the Winter Olympics. The former aerial skiing star is now the head coach of Canada’s slope style team and spoke to press conference participants via FaceTime.
“It means a lot to me,” Sutherland said of being inducted. “I’m honoured and really appreciate all the support from the city over the years.”
Sutherland, a star on the World Cup circuit as a freestyle skier, who was named Orillia’s athlete of the year in 1992, turned to coaching in 2002 when he worked with the national development aerial team. He was the head coach of the Ontario Park and Pipe Team from 2008 to 2011. In 2011, he co-founded the Canadian slope style ski team and was head coach of the team that won gold and bronze in Sochi. He also has high hopes for this year’s team.
While he would have loved to represent Canada as an athlete – the sport wasn’t recognized when he competed – he is happy he can go as a coach. “I’m proud of being a builder and being able to pass on my experience as an athlete to my athletes,” he said. “And as a coach, I have seven chances at winning a medal. As an athlete you only have one.”
Sutherland said being inducted into Orillia’s sports shrine is comparable to the memorable moment in Sochi when his athlete, Huntsville’s Dara Howell, won Olympic gold. “It’s up there with the gold,” he said. “For me, personally, it’s a professional accomplishment and something I’m very proud of.”
McDonald came to Orillia in 1958 to work at CFOR, where he became a popular sports announcer. When the NHL expanded, he was hired by the Los Angeles Kings as their play-by- play man (1967-72) and then went on to work for the New York Islanders, Atlanta Flames, Florida Panthers and Toronto Maples Leafs. He won the Foster Hewitt Award in 1990 and is in the NHL Hall of Fame.
“Having never had any athletic ability to speak of, I am humbled by this honour,” McDonald told OrilliaMatters from Florida. “It was people like Pete McGarvey and Gordon E. Smith who allowed me to be as creative as possible during my years at CFOR. Without their support and the air time provided, my play-by-play career would never have happened. I owe it all to those nine years working in Orillia radio.“
The four new honourees will be officially inducted at the 2018 Orillia Sports Hall of Fame Gala, which will be held April 21 at Casino Rama. Tickets are $75.
For more information, visit sportorillia.com
Hall of Fame Inductees Named For 2018
- February 6, 2018
- 1:52 pm
You may think that a world-class Olympic coach, an NHL Hall of Famer and a pair of field lacrosse stars may have pursued varied paths, but they all share common roots in this community.
Toben Sutherland, Ken (Jiggs) McDonald, Jayme Davis and Brittney Fess now share the added distinction of being named to the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame.
“The body of the work that the inductees had is quite extraordinary,” said Sport Orillia’s Martino Di Sabatino, chair of the Hall of Fame selection committee, in announcing the 2018 honorees.
“When you go into the Orillia (Sports) Hall of Fame, it means something.”
Davis (Beard) and Fess (Boynton) played in the Orillia Lady Kings lacrosse program, both of them going on to excel on the provincial, national and world stages.
Davis represented Canada at the 2003 and 2007 World Field Lacrosse Championships, and while playing women’s field lacrosse at Wilfrid Laurier University, she garnered Ontario University Athletics rookie of the year honours in 2007.
Davis, who was a star player at Ohio State University, was on hand for the announcement, telling those gathered she was honoured to be recognized along with Fess, her best friend.
“When we were young, she was like my idol,” she added.
Fess’s path was a similar one.
In 2002, she scored the Joanne Stanga Award as Orillia’s outstanding lacrosse player. The following year, she played for Canada at the 2003 world championship.
Like Davis, Fess attended Laurier, where she was team captain for two years. In 2007, she was named Ontario University Athletics’ most valuable defensive player, twice claiming the title of first-team all-star.
Fess worked with Davis on the Lax For a Cure fundraiser, initiated the senior women’s program in Orillia and started the Little Lady Kings program in 2014.
Honoured in the builders category this year are Toben Sutherland and Ken (Jiggs) McDonald.
Sutherland, who rose to prominence as a freestyle skier on the World Cup circuit, took up coaching in 2002 while working with the national development aerial team.
He was head coach of the Ontario Park and Pipe team from 2008 to 2011 and co-founded the Canadian slopestyle ski team, serving as head coach of the team that won gold and bronze in Sochi.
Sutherland is head coach for Canada at the Winter Olympics in South Korea this month and told Simcoe.com he was “honoured and flattered” by his inclusion in the Hall of Fame.
McDonald arrived in Orillia in 1958 for a job at CFOR, where he established himself as a popular sports announcer before going on to work as the Los Angeles Kings’ play-by-play man from 1967 to 1972.
He would also work for the New York Islanders, the Atlanta Flames and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He won the Foster Hewitt Award in 1990 and was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame.
The four honorees will be inducted into the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame during an April 21 gala at Casino Rama. Tickets are $75.
Orillia Sports Hall of Fame Inductees Being Revealed Tomorrow
- February 1, 2018
- 1:42 pm
Two amazing athletes and two trail-blazing builders will be enshrined into the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame later this year.
“We are thrilled to add two incredibly talented female lacrosse players and two men who were pioneers in two very different fields,” said Martino DiSabatino, chair of the Hall of Fame Committee. “These four individuals are proud Orillians and we are proud to have the opportunity to recognize their achievements.”
The Orillia Sports Hall of Fame was created by Sport Orillia, a grass-roots, volunteer-led organization that originated in 2013. Sport Orillia is a hub for all things sport whose mission is to enhance the economic, social and personal health of Orillia residents through sport and active living.
The inaugural class of Hall of Fame inductees – Walter Henry, Cam Devine, Elaine Thompson, Jake Gaudaur Jr. and Walter Knox – were welcomed into the city’s sports shrine in 2015.
The following year, Brian Orser, Rick Ley, Jake Gaudaur Sr. and Harry Gill joined the hall and, in 2017, Lawrence Mervyn McKenzie, Rob Town, Terry Bullen and Jerry Udell became members of Orillia’s Sports Hall of Fame.
To find out who will join them, we invite you to a media conference at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 2 at Rotary Place. You can meet the athlete(s) and learn what makes these four Orillians deserving members of the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame.
The four new honourees will be officially inducted at the 2018 Orillia Sports Hall of Fame Gala, which will be held Apr. 21 at Casino Rama. Tickets are $75.
Original Article by: By Dave Dawson, Orillia Matters
Link to Article: 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees Being Announced Tomorrow
Photo By: Orillia Matters
Date: February 1st, 2018
2018 Hall of Fame Nominations – Extended
- December 27, 2017
- 11:36 pm
Our Hall of Fame nomination period has been extended until January 10th, 2018. Get your nominations in before it’s to late!
Do you know an outstanding athlete, coach or individual that contributes to sporting excellence in the Orillia area? We are now accepting nominations for inductees to the 2018 Orillia Sport Council – Hall of Fame. Download the 2018 Orillia Sport Council Hall of Fame Nomination Form below or from the 2018 Nominations Form link under the Hall of Fame tab in the navigation bar.
All forms must be returned no later than January 10th, 2017. Please mail completed forms to:
Please mail completed forms to:
Orillia Sport Council
P.O.Box 2525 – 22 Peter Street S., Orillia L3V 5A0
2017 Breakfast of Champions
- December 8, 2017
- 7:00 pm
Sport Orillia hosted its 2017 Breakfast of Champions event Thursday morning at the Bayside Restaurant at the Barnfield Point Recreation Centre.
Gill Tillmann, chair of the committee organizing the 2018 Ontario Winter Games, hosted by Orillia, spoke at the event and urged athletes to not only be champions in their chosen sports but to champion important causes that can result in positive change.
Orillia City Councillor Jeff Clark and Sport Orillia President Martino di Sabatino presented 12 Orillia students – three from each of the local high schools – with Breakfast of Champion certificates. The student athletes were chosen by their respective school’s coaches for their athleticism and sportsmanship; the winners also received custom hoodies courtesy of Artech.
“It’s important to us, at Sport Orillia, to celebrate youth in sport,” said di Sabatino. “This event is a great way to recognize the amazing things youth in our community are doing.”
The goal of Sport Orillia, a non-profit, volunteer-run organization formed in 2013, is to enhance the economic, social and personal health of Orillia residents through sport and active living. One of its marquee events each year is the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will be held this year at Casino Rama on April 21. Deadline to nominate athletes, coaches or builders is Dec. 15. Applications can be downloaded from the website, sportorillia.com.
2017 Breakfast of Champions
- November 26, 2017
- 8:40 pm
Successful, hard-working local high school athletes were celebrated by the Orillia Sport Council at its fourth annual Breakfast of Champions Thursday morning at Bayside Restaurant. The students were also schooled about Orillia’s rich sports heritage by one of this city’s pre-eminent athletes, Rob Town.
The only two-time winner of Orillia’s Athlete of the Year Award, Town, who is being inducted into the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame Saturday night, exhorted the local athletes to work hard and to be thankful for their opportunities.
“I think when you’re an athlete you never really appreciate your coaches enough,” said Town. “When I was thinking of a message for you guys, it was this: Cherish your coaches because they don’t have to do it. They give you advice, they help you achieve success and that experience, as a young athlete, can help you in the future with whatever you do. That experience as an athlete can be life changing.”
Town speaks from experience. After discovering hockey was not his sport – though he still remembers the two goals he scored when he played at the all-star level as a 10-year-old – Town turned to swimming and has fond memories of training at the old Peter Street YMCA and its 50-foot pool now home to Pauline Barratt Aquatics.
“It was a tiny little tub of a pool,” recalled Town, noting 20 swimmers completing laps in its narrow six lanes often had to turn sideways to avoid contact. “But out of that little pool, as a 12-year-old, I became an Ontario champion and set three Canadian records.”
But Town found swimming boring and as he hit his teen years, he did not relish 6 a.m. practices. So, when he started high school at ODCVI, he tried other sports, excelling in both volleyball and basketball before really hitting his stride as a member of the track and field team. He became a thrower of renown, hurtling the javelin, shot put and discus further than any of his vintage. In fact, 45 years later, he still holds a provincial high-school discus record.
During this time, he fell in love with the decathlon and became one of the world’s best in the grueling 10-sport event. He finished sixth at his first Canada Games in 1976, improved the following year in Newfoundland and then represented his country at the Commonwealth Games in 1978. When he went to the University of Waterloo, he focused on getting into its optometry program in Year 1 but after that, much of his focus was on his athletic pursuits and his goal of competing at the Olympics.
“I thought maybe I had what it takes to get to the Olympics, so I took a year off from school and moved to Toronto to train,” said Town. But fate was not in his favour. Canada and other western nations opted to boycott the Moscow Olympics of 1980. As the reigning national indoor champion, the news was devastating. It got worse. At the national championship, with an insurmountable lead, the decathlete tore the cartilage in his knee.
After recovering, he set his sights on qualifying for the 1984 Olympics. He soon broke his elbow training for the pole vault and later tore his hamstring. At the Olympic-qualifier, however, he felt he had regained his form but in the final event, he knew he needed to run his fastest-ever time and fell agonizingly short. “But I was the Canadian champ and there was lots to be proud of,” Town said.
He told the local students he credited his success to hard work, good genes and the help he received along the way from various coaches. “I had a swim coach as a 10-year-old who introduced us to interval training which was innovative at that time,” said Town. “In high school, I had a track coach that motivated me to break records and encouraged me to get in the weight room… and a basketball coach that developed in us an attitude that even though we were a team from small-town Orillia, we could beat anyone. I had a hurdles coach at university who introduced us to a speed ball, circuit training and running sand hills.”
Town encouraged the local athletes to take time to thank their coaches. “I appreciate the quality coaches that helped me along the way,” he said. “I appreciate all that Orillia has done for me. I’m proud to be an Orillia boy.”
Orillia mayor Steve Clarke, who lamented his many track and field defeats against Town when the two were student rivals, said Town is an example of perseverance and a worthy role model.
“When you participate in athletics in high school and university, you learn to be competitive in a healthy way: to win and lose gracefully,” said Clarke. “I have often used that in business and family situations to overcome adversity and to prepare for the next challenge. As (Town shared), when you get knocked down, don’t quit — that’s a lesson that will put you in great stead the rest of your life.”
Clarke presented certificates to 12 students – three from each of the local high schools – who were chosen by their schools to be recognized at the Breakfast of Champions. The students also received custom hoodies courtesy of Artech and, thanks to a donation from Casino Rama Cares and Sport Orillia, the students can attend Saturday night’s sold-out Hall of Fame Gala for free.
“We organize the Breakfast of Champions because we want to celebrate youth in sport,” said Jeff Marchildon, president of the Orillia Sport Council. “We want to make sport better in Orillia, we want to make it more accessible for everybody and we want to celebrate our successes and our past.”
Original Article by: By Dave Dawson, Orillia Packet & Times
email@example.com – twitter.com/davedawson67
Link to Article: 2017 Breakfast of Champions
Photo By: Orillia Packet & Times
Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017