For Immediate Release
Sport NL Induct New Members in Provincial Hall of Fame
Sport Newfoundland and Labrador is thrilled to announce six new members into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame. Selected by the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame Board of Governors, these honorable inductees will be celebrated at the Stars and Legends Awards Gala taking place on April 12th.
The 2014 Inductees are:
• Colin Abbott in the “Athlete” category (Softball)
• Lee Churchill in the “Athlete” category (Cross Country Skiing)
• Maxwell “Max” Kirby in the “Athlete/Veteran” category (Track and Field)
• Gerald A. Rideout in the “Builder” category (Cross Country Skiing)
• Andy Sullivan in the “Athlete” category (Ice Hockey)
• Raymond “Ray” Will in the “Athlete/Builder” category (Track and Field)
Biographies for each of the inductees are attached.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame is designed to recognize, honour and pay tribute to individuals on the basis of playing ability, sportsmanship and character and who have achieved extra-ordinary distinction in any sport, whether that distinction be achieved in amateur and/or professional athletics. Furthermore, it encourages the development of all aspects of sport by permanently recording the achievements and history of such individuals.
This year is no exception. All six of these inductees have excelled personally in their sport as well as achieved great success in promoting athletics in the province, garnering recognition and praise nationally and internationally.
“We are very pleased to welcome this group of athletes into our provincial sports Hall of Fame,” said Doug Moores, Chair, Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame. “The Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame is meant to recognize, honour and pay tribute to individuals who have made positive contributions to the sporting community, helping to promote amateur sport in our province. These six inductees certainly represent all that we are looking for in the selection process.”
This year, the inductees will be honored at two separate events. Now in its sixth year, the Stars and Legends Awards Gala will take place at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland in St. John’s on April 12th, 2014 at 6:30 PM. Tickets for this event can be purchased by contacting the Sport Newfoundland and Labrador (709) 576-4932.
As well, on Wednesday April 9, 2014, the St. John’s Ice Caps will be getting in on the celebrations, as this year’s Inductees will be honoured during a pre game ceremony prior to their game against the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Ice Caps Players will be wearing a specially designed Stars and Legends Jersey during the game. After the game, these jerseys will be auctioned off in support of the many programs and services SportNL offers.
Sport Newfoundland and Labrador is a volunteer organization committed to the promotion and advancement of amateur sport throughout the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Hall of Fame Inductees – Biographies
Portugal Cove–St. Philips “Athlete” Colin Abbott may very well go down in history as Newfoundland and Labrador’ most accomplished Softball player. Colin is recognized in the Softball community as one of the most feared hitters in the game and his 28-year Softball career led him to many accomplishments on the field from local to international play. From 1989 − 2009, Colin represented Canada 15 times, winning 2 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal at the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championships and Pan Am Championships. From 1992 − 2009 he participated in 18 International Softball Congress (ISC) Championships, winning 3 gold and 3 silver medals. From 1994 − 2009 he competed in numerous American Softball Association (ASA) Championships winning 2 gold and 2 silver medals. Representing Newfoundland and Labrador provincially, Colin competed 11 times at the Senior Men’s Canadian Fastpitch Championships, capturing 1 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals. He also won 3 gold medals representing three other provinces at the Canadian Fastpitch Nationals. During his junior years he won 2 gold medals at the Junior Men’s Canadian Fastpitch Championships, 1 gold medal at the Midget Boys Canadian Fastpitch Championship and the Eastern Canadian Softball Championships. Colin was also a member of the provincial Softball team that represented Newfoundland and Labrador at the 1989 Canada Summer Games. Locally, Colin had seventeen years of competition in the St. John’s Senior Men’s Softball League from 1985 − 2012 and in 2012 was co-winner of Softball Newfoundland and Labrador’s Most Outstanding Player Award. Overall, Abbott has achieved 16 International Championship and 13 National Championship medals. In international play he captured 3 MVP Awards, 1 Top Batter award, and was an All-World Selection as an outfielder 15 times. Nationally, he received 2 Top Batter awards and 6 All−Tournament Team Selections as an outfielder and 2 MVP awards. He has been a great ambassador for the game through his leadership, success and competition diversity and has paved the way for future Softball players in this province. Colin Abbott’s statistics, team and individual success in the sport of Softball speak to his induction into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.
Hodges Cove “Athlete” Lee Churchill is described as having natural talent partnered with an impressive internal drive and persistence in the sport of Cross Country Skiing. His three gold medals at the 1999 Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook are a stellar highlight in a remarkable athletic career. From 1992 − 1995 Lee won 2 gold medals at the Memorial University Invitational plus 3 gold medals, 5 silver medals and 3 bronze medals in provincial competition. Nationally in 1994 −1995, he received 1 gold medal and 2 bronze medals at the Canadian Junior Championships. In 1996 and 1997 Lee won 3 gold medals, 1 silver medal and 1 bronze medal at the two Continental Cup competitions. At the United States Ski/Snowboard Association (USSA) Junior Trials, Lee won 1 gold medal and 1 silver medal. He won a silver medal at the World Junior Trials in Canmore, Alberta and finished second overall at the Canada Cup Series and placed respectively at the World Junior Championships in the 10km Classic. In 1997 and 1998, Lee skied at the Olympic qualifiers twice in the 15km Classic and the 10km Skate, while also competing at the Eastern Canadian Championships and the Continental Cup. In 1999, following his gold medal finishes at the Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, Lee placed first and third at the Ontario Canada Games Trials, he competed in four events at the Continental Cup and competed in three categories at the Canadian National Championships. The following year, Lee was fifth overall on the Canada Points List for 2000, he skied to a fifth and sixth place finish at the Canadian National Championships, he placed third among Canadians at the US National Championships in Salt Lake City and he won a bronze medal at the Eastern Canadian Championships in the 15km classic. Throughout his highly accomplished career, Lee is described as a true leader and a sportsmanlike athlete who continues to give back by coaching and developing the sport of Cross Country Skiing at the provincial, national and international levels. Lee has been a great model for his sport and to future cross-country skiers in this province through his commitment, drive and diverse athletic career. Lee Churchill’s achievements in the sport of Cross Country Skiing, along with his character, demeanor and dedication speak to his induction into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.
Maxwell “Max” Kirby
St. John’s “Athlete” Maxwell “Max” Kirby took the track and field scene by storm in the 1930’s. Max started his track and field career while attending St. Patrick’s High School and he continued in his sport when he became a member of the Church Lads Brigade (CLB). He excelled in a variety of competitions and recorded more than 40 first place finishes, which include 11 record performances. From 1937 − 1939, Max placed first in 5 NAAA championships and won 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal while setting two indoor and two other records. In 1938 at the NAAA Officials Indoor Track Meet, Max won 5 gold medals and his outstanding performance at the CLB Annual All Brigade Sports Competition earned him the Warren Victor Ludorum Sports Trophy. In the same year he entered 11 CLB Track and Field events and had 8 first place finishes. In 1939 Kirby again entered 11 events and earned 8 first place finishes while setting 6 new records. In 1940 Max won 2 gold medals and 1 silver medal at the NAAA Officials Indoor Track Meet. Max Kirby’s athletic career was not limited to track and field, he also excelled in a number of other sports. In 1940, he was captain of the CLB Intermediate Championship Basketball Team and in 1944 he finished fourth in scoring in the St. John’s Basketball League. In the same year, Max scored a league game record 42 points and in an eight game tournament scored a total of 165 points, holding a record 20.6 point average. In 1945 Max played with St. Pat’s in the St. John’s Basketball League and for his outstanding playing ability during the season he won the Paul Kavanagh Award and was voted league MVP. Max was rewarded for his track and field endeavours in 2012 by being inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Athletics Hall of Fame. A well-rounded athlete competing in amateur sport, playing for charity events while having an outstanding amount of success in his scoring achievements, Max is a true athlete to the athletic community in Newfoundland and Labrador. Max Kirby’s achievements in sport speak to his induction into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame in the “Athlete/ Veteran” category.
Gerald A. Rideout
Labrador City “Builder” Gerald A. Rideout is well known across the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in the sport of Cross Country Skiing. His twenty-eight years as President of the Menihek Nordic Ski Club and ten years as President of Cross Country Newfoundland and Labrador are unprecedented in sport organizations in this province. From 1984 – 1988 Gerry was Chairperson of the Canada Cup Cross Country National Races and in 1985 he was the Assistant Chairperson of the World Cup Races in Labrador City. These competitions attracted and had competitors from sixteen countries including those from the Iron Curtain. From 1989 − 1993 he was Chairperson of the Great Labrador Loppet Odyssey Series and in 1992 he was Chairperson of the Jeep Eagle Senior National Championship. From 1994 − 2012 he was Chair of the Great Labrador Loppet series and in 1997, Gerry was Chair of the Canadian National Masters’ Cross Country Senior Championship. In 1998 Gerry was the Cross Country Skiing Convener for the Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games and then technical representative for Cross Country Skiing at the 1999 Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook. In 2000, Gerry received the Dave Reed Award, a national award for outstanding contribution to sport nationally, provincially and locally. For 22 years Gerry served as Chairperson of the Provincial on Snow Cross Country Training Camp and the Labrador Open Races’ Provincial Team. From 1999 – 2003 and from 2006 − 2011 he chaired the Provincial Cross Country Ski Championships. In recognition of Gerry’s countless hours of dedication and passion for this sport he was the recipient of the 2011 National Volunteer Award from Cross Country Canada Ski Association and in 2012 was awarded the Government of Canada’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his outstanding contribution to sport. Gerry is an acclaimed ambassador for the sport of Cross Country Skiing far and wide and never misses an opportunity to promote and advance the sport. His organization and dedication of ski events have served to provide legacies of infrastructure, equipment and trained officials, exposing provincial athletes to high caliber competition in their home province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Gerald Rideout’s achievements and dedication for the development of his sport speak to his induction into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.
Calvert “Athlete” Andy Sullivan had a 26-year playing career in the sport of Hockey that overflowed with success, leadership and skill. Andy was a tall, shifty forward who displayed exceptional stick handling and play making abilities. From 1980 – 1983 Andy played in the St. John’s Junior Hockey League and in two seasons tallied a total of 74 goals, 64 assists, and he was awarded 2 MVP awards, 2 Gentlemanly Player Awards and 2 scoring titles. In 1987 – 1988 Andy played with the Canadian Men’s Ball Hockey Championship team and shined for the St. John’s Capitals as he scored five goals and assisted 9 times for 14 Allan Cup points. In provincial senior league competition Andy’s regular season points totaled 562 which is the eleventh highest in the league’s history as he added a remarkable 343 assists to his 183 goals in 204 games with only 86 penalty minutes. In addition to this outstanding career Andy added 90 playoff points with 35 goals and 55 assists leading him to five Herder Memorial Trophies, five scoring titles, two Gentlemanly Player awards and on three occasions being voted Most Valuable Player. In the Avalon West Hockey League Andy won 3 scoring titles and 3 regular season MVP Awards, while the Inter City League brought him 2 league titles, 2 MVP Awards and 2 scoring titles. From 1993 – 1996, after declining the opportunity to play junior hockey in Ontario and a tryout with a National Hockey League club, Andy played with the St. John’s Maple Leafs of the American Hockey League and totaled 32 games played, 4 goals and 12 assists. In 1995 he was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame. Sullivan ranks as one of the top hockey players developed within Newfoundland and Labrador and is certainly considered among the best in hockey history of this province. Highly skilled, talented and sportsmanlike, Andy Sullivan’s career should be used as a model for all young athletes as his career was a credit to his sport, province, family and himself. These achievements speak to Andy Sullivan’s induction into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.
Raymond “Ray” Will
Portugal Cove–St. Philips “Athlete/Builder” Raymond “Ray” Will made Newfoundland and Labrador his home in 1977. Originally from Erith in the United Kingdom Ray moved here with the reputation as being a great distance runner and shortly after his arrival he quickly lived up to that status. From 1978 –1982 Ray competed in the masters age group (ages 40 – 44) and was never defeated provincially. During 1978 and 1979 Ray was the top ranked Masters runner in the 1,500 meter, 3,000 meter, 5,000 meter, 10,000 meter and marathon categories in all of North America. For his outstanding achievements Ray was voted as the Newfoundland and Labrador Track and Field Association’s Athlete of the Year in 1979. In 1978, while Ray was still competing successfully, he began his transition into a volunteer coach career that spanned some thirty-five years. This role took on the responsibility of coaching at the local, provincial and national levels of competition. During this time Ray was head coach of the Memorial University Cross Country Team, coach of the Canadian Women’s Cross Country team, and coach of the Newfoundland and Labrador Canada Games entry. These roles lead Ray to several prestigious events including the Olympic Games, the World Track and Field Championships, the Commonwealth Games and the Pan-American games. His influence on track and field in Newfoundland and Labrador was enormous as athletes coached by Ray set almost all current provincial track records between the 400–meter and 10,000–meter categories in all age groups. For his outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the sport Ray was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame in 2009. Ray Will’s achievements speak to his induction into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.