Sport Orillia would like to thank everyone that attended this years amazing Hall of Fame Gala Dinner. The event hosted by Casino Rama was the fourth annual Hall of Fame Dinner put on by Sport Orillia. This year we were honoured to induct: Jayme Davis, Toben Sutherland, Brittney Fess and Ken “Jiggs” McDonald. View images of the event below.
Sport Orillia donates $10,000 to help outfit Hall of Fame Lounge
- April 28, 2018
- 11:44 pm
Sport Orillia made a $10,000 donation to the City of Orillia Saturday at the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame gala at Casino Rama.
“We started the Hall of Fame four years ago and soon, we’re going to have a home at the new recreation centre,” said Martin di Sabatino, president of Sport Orillia. “We’re very excited to have a home where we can share the stories and pictures of all these great athletes and builders in what will be a fantastic facility for us and the city.”
The money, to be matched by the city, will be used to purchase large, flat-screen monitors and other audio-visual equipment for the Hall of Fame Lounge in the facility being built on West Street. It is expected to be open early next year.
At Saturday night’s event, the Class of 2018 was inducted. As part of the festivities, members of the Sport Orillia board of directors presented a cheque to Coun. Ralph Cipolla, who attended the event on behalf of Mayor Steve Clarke, who was out of town.
“We are happy to be partners with Sport Orillia for the Hall of Fame Lounge which will be located in the upper floor of the new facility,” said Cipolla. “The Sports Hall of Fame will have a cutting-edge display that will be used to (tell the story) behind the great athletes and builders of our community.”
Breakfast of Champions – Spring 2018
- April 28, 2018
- 10:35 am
Twelve students from Orillia’s three secondary schools were feted Thursday at the annual Breakfast of Champions hosted by Sport Orillia.
“This has become an annual event that we’re really proud of,” said Martino di Sabatino, president of Sport Orillia. “It’s really important to us to honour our local student athletes and we hope someday, we’ll see some of these athletes inducted into Orillia’s Sports Hall of Fame.”
The annual breakfast is always held the week of the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame Gala. This year’s annual event is slated for Saturday night at Casino Rama.
Four Orillians – two athletes and two builders – will be inducted into the city’s sports shrine as part of the Class of 2018.
Three of those inductees – Ken ‘Jiggs’ McDonald, Jayme Davis and Brittney Fess – were on hand Thursday morning to help recognize the student athletes.
McDonald, the event’s guest speaker, regaled the audience at the Best Western Mariposa Inn with stories of his legendary NHL broadcasting career and told tales about the legends he rubbed shoulders with on a daily basis over his 50-year TV run that included stints with the New York Islanders, Atlanta Flames, Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
But he also reminded the young athletes about being true to themselves, stressing the value of hard work, dedication and being a team player.
In remembering his radio career at Orillia’s CFOR, he urged the students to remember their roots and to appreciate those who help them along their journey.
Joining McDonald in the builder’s category in this year’s group of inductees is Toben Sutherland, who coached Canada’s slope-style skiers at the Winter Olympics.
Sutherland, a star on the World Cup circuit as a freestyle skier who was Orillia’s athlete of the year in 1992, began coaching in 2002. 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.
Jayme Davis (Beard) and Brittney Fess (Boynton) are local women’s field lacrosse pioneers. They grew up playing the sport together and both played for their country at national and world championships and also shone at the post-secondary level.
The following students were honoured for their athletic and academic achievements:
Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School:
- Jessica Fraser
- Avery Dobson
- Tyler Huxtable
- Anton Van Yzendoorn
Twin Lakes Secondary School
- Zachary Waite
- Lucas Earle
- Dana Long
- Avery Carleton
Orillia Secondary School
- Hunter Murphy
- Jared Merkley
- Morgan Vickers
- Marlee Sanderson
Fast and Female
- April 3, 2018
- 12:24 pm
Fast and Female is an organization that motivates and inspires young girls to stay in sport, leading to strong character development. Girls drop out of sports at much higher rates than boys and we are trying to change this. Champ chats are like a one-day camp where young girls participate in non-sport specific activities lead by elite level volunteer ambassadors from across many sports. There is a also an inspiring Question and Answer session where the high level athletes share their stories to motivate the girls, followed by a yoga session.
In order to hold a Champ Chat we are seeking supporters/sponsors to help cover the cost of a Fast and Female event at Hardwood Hills on June 16, 2018. Since funding for the event is limited we are trying to reach our goal of $5,000. The costs going towards schwag for the girls and volunteer ambassadors (t-shirt, buff, hoodie), posters, website registration organization, organizer payment, and overhead. The cost for each girl to register is $30 like all previous years, but if we surpass the $5,000 minimum, we can offer a lower registration price.
For more information or to become a supporter / sponsor please download the Champ Chat information package below.
Champ Chat Document: 2018 Champ Chat – Sponsorship Information
Soccer Coach Job Position
- April 3, 2018
- 11:40 am
The Orillia and District Soccer Club is looking to fill a part-time position for a Soccer Coach / Mentor for their House League program. For more information please see .pdf job listing below.
Soccer Coach Position Details: Mentor Job Opportunity
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.