Community Involvement

Toronto Sport Hall of Honour

image of able bodied and para athletes racing across the Humber river pedestrian bridge with the city of Toronto skyline in background

The Toronto Sport Hall of Honour celebrates the exceptional contributions and accomplishments of those who have inspired and/or brought recognition to the City of Toronto through sport. Nominations from all levels of performance and ability are welcome.

 Toronto Sport Hall of Honour nominations are now open to Nominate.

This initiative is made possible by Toronto’s Host City Showcase Program, which builds upon the success of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, ensuring a legacy of long-term community benefits for Toronto.

Mayor John Tory and members of Toronto City Council welcome 14 new Inductees into the Toronto Sport Hall of Honour.

The 2016 Inductees:

Rosie MacLennan, Athlete of the Year

Rosie MacLennanRosie MacLennan
Athlete of the Year

Trampoline

Rosannagh 'Rosie' MacLennan is the youngest of four in a family of competitive trampolinists. She began competing internationally at eleven and was Canadian National Women’s Champion in 2005, 2009 and 2011.

In 2006, she paired with Karen Cockburn in synchronized trampoline. Beginning with the 2006 World Cup Finals in Birmingham, they dominated the event internationally, winning eight consecutive World Cup events.

At the 2007 World Championships in Quebec City, Rosie earned a spot for Canada at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing where she qualified for the finals, finishing in seventh place. Rosie surpassed her Pan Am silver win of 2007 by reaching gold at the 2011 Games in Guadalajara. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, she received a score of 57.305 for her final routine, achieving a new personal best and earning Canada’s only gold medal of the Games. She went on to successfully defend the gold at the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games. At Rio 2016, she defended the title once again, becoming the first trampolinist to win Olympic gold twice.

Rosie is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto and is currently continuing her studies towards a Master’s Degree in Exercise Sciences.

Andre De Grasse, Athlete of the Year

Andre De GrasseAndre De Grasse
Athlete of the Year

Track & Field

Andre De Grasse's life changed in 10.9 seconds—the time of his first 100m race at the York Region High School Championships in May 2012. Without the use of starting blocks or the benefit of coaching, and wearing borrowed track spikes, he came in second place his first time out.

Andre made headlines when he placed first in both the 100m and 200m sprints at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships in June 2015. With wind-aided times of 9.75 seconds in the 100m and 19.58 seconds in the 200m, he was the first Canadian to break both the 10-second and 20-second barriers in these events. Returning home to Toronto, Andre won gold in both the 100m and 200m sprints at the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games. At 19.88 seconds, he broke his own Canadian record for the 200m sprint. Later that summer, Andre tied for bronze in the 100m at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Beijing.

While 2015 was a year of tremendous accomplishments for Andre, he continued to excel. At the 2016 Olympics, he became the first Canadian to win medals in all three sprint events. Andre will receive his degree from the University of Southern California in spring 2017.

Victoria Nolan, Para-Athlete of the Year

Victoria NolanVictoria Nolan
Para-Athlete of the Year

Para-Rowing

Until being diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition, Retinitis Pigmentosa, Victoria Nolan had viewed herself as clumsy. After her vision deteriorated to three per cent, she was driven to regain her independence and confidence in order to be a strong role model for her children. Victoria took her husband's advice to find something that she was passionate about - for her it was rowing. Out on the water, Victoria felt strong, fast and graceful.

Victoria has competed for Canada since 2007, earning seven medals including gold at the World Rowing Championships in New Zealand for a record-breaking performance. She is a three-time Paralympian, placing sixth in Beijing (2008) and seventh in London (2012). Victoria emerged from retirement in 2015 to help her team achieve bronze at the World Championships, qualifying for Rio in 2016 where they achieved bronze once again.

She has been named the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Clubs' Oarswoman of the Year (2011) and Rowing Canada's Adaptive Athlete of the Year (2007). Victoria holds a Master’s Degree in Child Study and Education and a Bachelor of Science (Specialist in Cognitive Science).

Adam Lancia, Para-Athlete of the Year

Adam LanciaAdam Lancia
Para-Athlete of the Year

Wheelchair Basketball

Adam Lancia's path to international competition began in Toronto at Variety Village, where he first played wheelchair basketball. He joined Team Canada in 1997 and won gold at the first Junior Men’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in front of a hometown crowd. They defended this title at the next championship in 2001. Adam went on to play for the Senior Men's National Team. He is a four time Paralympian; achieving gold in Athens (2004), silver in Beijing (2008), and gold in London (2012).

Adam has also been a prominent figure in the national wheelchair basketball scene. He played a vital role in helping Ontario win five consecutive National Championships from 2002 to 2006 and received the tournament's most valuable player honours in 2010 and 2011. During the Team Canada off-season, Adam continued to play professionally in Europe.

Adam earned a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois and completed the Prosthetics and Orthotics Technician program at George Brown College in Toronto. He was also awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). Adam has retired from international competition, but is now head coach of the women's program at the University of Alabama.

Nerissa Pooran, Special Olympics Athlete of the Year

Nerissa PooranNerissa Pooran
Special Olympics Athlete of the Year

Track & Field, Swimming

Nerissa Pooran demonstrates the true spirit of commitment and determination. She began her training at the age of eight and worked diligently on her co-ordination, endurance and technique. Competing in Special Olympics events has provided her the support and encouragement to work continuously at improving her skills, personal goals and physical excellence.

Nerissa has been a team member of Variety Village Sunshine Swim Team and North York Jets Track Clubsince 2007. In 2015, she joined the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre Swim Program. She had a successful competitive year with achievements in both swimming and track and field. At the GTA Swimming Provincial Qualifier, Nerissa placed first in 100m Butterfly; second in 50m butterfly and 100m freestyle; and third in 200m freestyle. At the Toronto Track and Field Centre meet, she placed first in shot put and 200m, as well as second in 100m and long jump.

Nerissa is a dedicated athletic ambassador who donates her time to events and raising awareness of Special Olympics. In 2015, she was one of seven athletes featured in Special Olympics Canada's 'No Special Treatment' promotional campaign.

U of T Varsity Blues Women's Volleyball, Team of the Year

University of Toronto Varsity Blues Women's VolleyballUniversity of Toronto Varsity Blues
Team of the Year

Volleyball

The Varsity Blues Women's Volleyball team had a perfect regular season in 2015 with a 19-0 record, dropping only three sets.

The team went 2-0 to win their second straight Ontario University Athletics (OUA) title. After defeating the Ottawa Gee-Gees in the OUA quarter-final actions, the Blues topped the McMaster Marauders and Ryerson Rams to win their 10th provincial championship. They went on to win 3-0 in their first Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) Championships since 1976, defeating McGill in the national quarter-finals and British Columbia-Okanagan in the semifinals to earn their first-ever U SPORTS final appearance. There, the Blues routed defending champions Trinity Western to claim the national title.

Alina Dormann was named the OUA East Rookie and Player of the Year, an OUA First Team All-Star Honours and a member of the OUA All-Rookie Team. She went on to be named the U SPORTS Rookie of the Year, a member of the U SPORTS All-Rookie Team and a Second Team All-Canadian. Denise Wooding, Bojana Radan and Madelyn Mandryk earned OUA First Team All-Star Honours, while Tessa Davis was named a Second Team All-Star. Tessa also earned OUA Championship MVP Honours, while Caleigh Cruickshank was named the National Championship MVP.

Kristine Drakich, Coach of the Year

Kristine DrakichKristine Drakich
Coach of the Year

Volleyball

Kristine Drakich is a former captain and all-Canadian with the Varsity Blues, as well as a member of Canada's national volleyball and beach volleyball teams. She is highly qualified through the National Coach Certification Program with a Level 4 certification for indoor volleyball and a Level 3 on the beach. She has been the head coach of the women's volleyball program at the University of Toronto since 1989. Under her direction, the Blues have qualified for 22 consecutive OUA final-four appearances, winning the OUA championship banner seven times. She led the Blues to a perfect season (25-0) in 2015-16, claiming their second straight OUA banner, and first CIS championship.

She has coached and volunteered at both the national and international level and was the Sport Organizing Chair for indoor volleyball at the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games. In addition to various coach of the year awards, Kristine's accomplishments have been widely recognized and celebrated, including Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport Marion Lay ”Herstorical” Breakthrough Award for her positive contributions to equity in sport from the local to the international level.

Chris Rudge, Builder

Chris RudgeChris Rudge
Builder

Multi-sport

A tirelessly committed sport professional and volunteer, Chris Rudge has had a profound impact on Toronto and Canada's sport landscape. He served as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Canadian Olympic Committee leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. From 2008 to 2010, he was Chairman of the Steering Committee for the 'Own the Podium' program. He led this initiative supporting high performance athletes in winter sports which was integral to Canada's unprecedented Winter Games success of 14 gold medals.

Chris went on to become Chairman and CEO of the 2012 Grey Cup Festival awarded to the City of Toronto, followed by Executive Chairman & CEO of the Toronto Argonauts. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Organizing Committee for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. In this role, Chris furthered his commitment to ensuring Canadian athletes and coaches have access to world class training and competition facilities

Chris holds a teaching certificate from Queen's University and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education from the University of Toronto. He is currently the Chairman of the Board for the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario.

CIBC, Corporate Builder

CIBC's Canada 150 logo - we stand for canadaCanadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
Corporate Builder

CIBC invests in initiatives that are important to its clients, employees and clients with the goal of building stronger communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and by supporting the passionate volunteer efforts of its employees. In October 2011, CIBC was the first sponsor to commit to the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games and continues to support legacy initiatives.

Highlights of CIBC's contributions as Lead Partner of the Games include:

  • Created the CIBC PanAmazing Square at CIBC Pan Am Park,a 10,000 square foot complimentary family-friendly area with a range of amenities and activities.
  • First major corporate partner of the PrideHouse movement through which CIBC worked with The 519 Community Centre to broaden awareness of LGBTQ+ inclusion during the Games to catalyze change.
  • Partnered with Games Official Broadcaster CBC to reach sport fans as they experienced events through television.
  • Over 350 CIBC employees volunteered at the Games.
  • Community Partner of the Torch Relay.
  • Presenting Sponsor of Panamania – Arts and Culture Festival, as well as Victory Celebrations, that featured 450 unique performances and hosted 350,000 visitors at Nathan Phillips Square.

Archie Allison, Spirit of Sport

Archie AllisonArchie Allison
Spirit of Sport

Inclusive Recreation

Archie Allison's experience at Variety Village has encompassed every level of program delivery and development—from his beginning as a program instructor in 1984, to his current role as Director of Access and Awareness. He is a sought-after educator in the area of inclusive recreation and teaches at the University of Toronto, Humber College and Centennial College. He has worked on many special sporting events, including organizing the Variety Village Lieutenant Governor's Games for over 30 years, and is an active volunteer on several committees dedicated to inclusion and advocacy for those with disabilities. In his current role at Variety Village, Archie leads a team who deliver inclusive outreach and adapted physical education programs to over 10,000 students in Ontario annually.

Archie's achievements and dedication have been recognized through numerous honours, including the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame (2011) and the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame (2017). He is an inaugural inductee of the Toronto Sport Hall of Honour, recognized for commitment to inclusion and his efforts in building the sport system for athletes with a disability.

Bobby Baun, Sport Legend

Bobby BaunBobby Baun
Sport Legend

Hockey

Born in Lanigan, Saskatchewan Robert 'Bobby' Neil Baun joined the Ontario Hockey Association with the Toronto Marlboros in 1952. He was called up to the National Hockey League by the Leafs during the 1956-57 season and played in Toronto for the next 11 seasons, contributing to the team's Stanley Cup successes in 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1967. Bobby played for the Oakland Seals (1967-68) and the Detroit Red Wings (1968 -70), before returning to Toronto (1970-73).

Bobby is remembered as a hard-hitting defenceman and for his historic performance in game six of the 1964 Stanley Cup Finals against the Red Wings. After fracturing his ankle, he returned to the game in overtime to score the winning goal. The Leafs won the next game 4-0 to win the best of seven series and secure their third consecutive Stanley Cup.

Since retiring as a player, Bobby has pursued a number of diverse careers including roles as a farmer, coach, and insurance broker. He established a scholarship for Ridgeback athletes at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the university for his contributions both on and off the ice and has been inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame (2010).

Bobbie Rosenfeld, Sport Legend

Bobbie RosenfeldBobbie Rosenfeld
Sport Legend

Multi-sport

After moving from Barrie to Toronto in 1923, Fanny 'Bobbie' Rosenfeld joined Toronto's Young Woman's Hebrew Association. She was a centre on their basketball team, contributing to team wins at both the Toronto and Ontario championships. Later that same year, Bobbie unexpectedly defeated Canadian champion Rosa Grosse in the 100 yard dash at a picnic.

During the course of a single day at the Ontario Ladies Track and Field championships in 1925, she placed first in discus, shot put, 200m, low hurdles, and long jump, as well as second in javelin and 100-yard dash. She went on to earn gold (4X100m relay) and silver (100m race) at the 1928 Olympics.

Throughout her athletic career, Bobbie also competed in tennis, ice hockey, fast ball, softball, lacrosse, golf and speed skating. After retiring from competition, she was active as both a coach and administrator in sport. In 1937, Bobbie introduced the column 'Feminine Sports Reel' in The Globe and Mail, through which she covered and advocated for women's sports for 18 years. Bobbie was named Canada's Female Athlete of the First Half-Century and was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. She passed away in 1969.

Ellen Burka, Sport Legend

Ellen BurkaEllen Burka
Sport Legend

Figure Skating

Ellen Burka (nee Danby) was born in the Netherlands in 1921 and learned to skate on the open-air rinks of Amsterdam. In 1943, when she and her family were sent to Westerbrook Transit Camp, Ellen registered herself as the 'Dutch National Figure Skating Champion.' As the camp commander was a figure skating enthusiast, she was to practice on the frozen pond. After liberation, Ellen returned to Amsterdam to become Dutch Champion for women's singles in 1946 and 1947. In 1951, she moved to Toronto with her husband, Jan Burka, and daughters, Astra and Petra.

Ellen began coaching at the Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club in the early 1960s. Throughout her career, she attended seven Olympics and 24 World Championships. Her daughter Petra became World Champion in 1964. Ellen trained other world medalists including Elvis Stoyko, Patrick Chan and Dorothy Hamill. Her work with six-time Canadian Senior Men's Champion Toller Cranston is considered to have revolutionized figure skating, fully incorporating music with choreography and raising the sport to the level of 'Theatre on Ice.'

Ellen is a member of the Order of Canada (1978), Canada's Sports Hall of Fame (1996) and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (2013). She passed away in 2016.

Jerry Tonello, City of Sport Lifetime Achievement

Jerry TonelloJerry Tonello
City of Sport Lifetime Achievement

Wheelchair Basketball

An all-around athlete, Jerry Tonello was introduced to wheelchair basketball through his friendships with athletes with a disability. He is recognized as the first able-bodied player to compete at the National Championships in 1992. Jerry began coaching in 1982, paying particular attention to the technical aspect of the game through video analysis and feedback. He is known as a dedicated coach who inspired athletes from the grassroots to the international level.

Jerry was an integral part of Team Canada's successes over the past 20 years. After he joined the program as an assistant coach in 1991, Team Canada captured back-to-back gold medals at the Paralympic Games in 2000 and 2004, followed by a World Championship title in 2006. In 2008, Jerry became associate head coach and helped guide the team to a silver medal in Beijing. Jerry became the head coach in 2009; and in London 2012, he led Team Canada to its third gold medal in four Paralympic Games.

He graduated from the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University and earned a Bachelor of Education at the University of Toronto. A proud father to his sons, Matthew and Zachary, and devoted husband to Anne-Louise, Jerry passed away in 2016.

2015 Inductees

Download the 2015 Induction Ceremony Program (PDF)

  • Vaune Davis, Female Athlete of the Year
  • Shelley Gautier, Female Athlete of the Year with a Disability
  • Milos Raonic, Male Athlete of the Year
  • Anthony Gale, Male Athlete of the Year with a Disability
  • Jennifer Yiu Yiu Lee, Coach of the Year
  • York Lions Men's Soccer Team, Team of the Year
  • Archie Allison, Builder
  • Alan Brookes, Builder
  • Marilyn Bell DiLascio, Sport Legend
  • Angela James, Sport Legend
  • Marina van der Merwe, Sport Legend
  • Johnny Bower, Sport Legend
  • George Seymour Lyon, Sport Legend
  • Herb Carnegie, Spirit of Sport
  • Glenn Tarver, Lifetime Achievement

Accessible formats and communications supports are available upon request, by contacting tshh@toronto.ca

The Toronto Sport Hall of Honour awards feature fourteen distinct categories of recognition:

Athlete of the Year

Note: Two athletes will be selected in each category, only one of which will be male identified

Nominations close Friday June 30, 2017

Athlete of the Year is awarded to an individual who has achieved outstanding and extraordinary success, demonstrated exemplary values and/or personal characteristics, and made a defining contribution to their sport and/or community.

Selections are based on the nominee's achievements during 2016.

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must:

  • have been born in or lived in Toronto for two consecutive years
  • have represented and brought honour to Toronto
  • have demonstrated an outstanding level of achievement or a single remarkable achievement of note in 2016
  • have been outstanding in their field even if not reaching the top level in any one sport
  • demonstrated significant competitive accomplishments for 2016
  • be recognized for local, provincial, national or international achievement(s)
  • demonstrated off the field of play contributions to the community

Note: any exemplary displays of sportsmanship will be considered with athletic endeavours

Para-Athlete of the Year

Note: Two athletes will be selected in each category, only one of which will be male identified

Nominations close Friday June 30, 2017

Athlete of the Year is awarded to an individual who has achieved outstanding and extraordinary success, demonstrated exemplary values and/or personal characteristics, and made a defining contribution to their sport and/or community.

Selections are based on the nominee's achievements during 2016.

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must:

  • have been born in or lived in Toronto for two consecutive years
  • have represented and brought honour to Toronto
  • have demonstrated an outstanding level of achievement or a single remarkable achievement of note in 2016
  • have been outstanding in their field even if not reaching the top level in any one sport
  • demonstrated significant competitive accomplishments for 2016
  • be recognized for local, provincial, national or international achievement(s)
  • demonstrated off the field of play contributions to the community

Note: any exemplary displays of sportsmanship will be considered with athletic endeavours

Special Olympics Athlete of the Year

Note: Two athletes will be selected in each category, only one of which will be male identified

Nominations close Friday June 30, 2017

Athlete of the Year is awarded to an individual who has achieved outstanding and extraordinary success, demonstrated exemplary values and/or personal characteristics, and made a defining contribution to their sport and/or community.

Selections are based on the nominee's achievements during 2016.

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must:

  • have been born in or lived in Toronto for two consecutive years
  • have represented and brought honour to Toronto
  • have demonstrated an outstanding level of achievement or a single remarkable achievement of note in 2016
  • have been outstanding in their field even if not reaching the top level in any one sport
  • demonstrated significant competitive accomplishments for 2016
  • be recognized for local, provincial, national or international achievement(s)
  • demonstrated off the field of play contributions to the community

Note: any exemplary displays of sportsmanship will be considered with athletic endeavours

Team of the Year

Team of the Year is awarded to any two or more individuals competing as a single entry in amateur sport who have achieved outstanding and extraordinary success, demonstrated exemplary values and/or admirable characteristics, and made a defining contribution to their sport and/or community.

Selections are based on the team's achievements during the season beginning in 2016.

Nominations close Friday June 30, 2017

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must:

  • must have been born and/or lived in Toronto for two consecutive years (minimum 50% of the team members)
  • have represented and brought honour to Toronto
  • have demonstrated an outstanding level of achievement or a single remarkable achievement of note in 2016
  • have been outstanding in their field even if not reaching the top level in any one sport
  • have demonstrated significant competitive accomplishments in 2016
  • recognized for local, provincial, national or international achievement(s)
  • have demonstrated off the field of play contributions to the community

Note: any exemplary display of sportsmanship will be considered with athletic endeavours

Coach of the Year

Coach of the Year is awarded to a coach in amateur sport who has achieved outstanding and extraordinary success, demonstrates exemplary values and/or personal characteristics, and makes a defining contribution to their sport and/or community. This person possesses the qualities associated with performance excellence and sport achievement.

Selections are based on the nominee's achievements during 2016.

Nominations close Friday June 30, 2017

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must:

  • have been born in or lived in Toronto for two consecutive years
  • have represented and brought honour to Toronto
  • have demonstrated an outstanding level of achievement or a single remarkable achievement of note in 2016
  • be outstanding in their field even if not reaching the top level in any one sport
  • have demonstrated significant coaching accomplishments for 2016
  • be recognized for local, provincial, national or international achievement(s)
  • demonstrated off the field of play contributions to the community

Builder - Individual

The Builder award recognizes an individual or organization who has made a meaningful contribution to amateur sport as a leader, advocate or agent of change.

A Builder may be an administrator, executive, sport volunteer or a grassroots supporter.

This award may be presented to an individual only once in a lifetime.

Nominations close Friday June 30, 2017

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must:

  • have been born in OR lived in Toronto for two consecutive years OR have made a significant contribution to sport in Toronto
  • have shown commitment of leadership to sport development
  • have demonstrated contributions to the establishment of sport from its infancy to mature state within the community
  • have kept sport alive within Toronto's communities
  • have enhanced or improved sport development
  • have demonstrated commitment to sport over a minimum of five years

Note: An individual can be nominated in multiple categories as long as each submission is by a different nominator.

Corporate Builder

The Corporate Builder award recognizes an organization/corporation that has made a meaningful contribution to amateur sport as a leader, advocate, change agent or builder.

A Corporate Builder may be an organization/corporation, executive board, media outlet or member thereof.

Nominations close Friday June 30, 2017

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must:

  • have a made a significant contribution to sport in Toronto
  • have kept sport alive within Toronto's communities through promotion and awareness
  • have enhanced or improved sport development
  • have encouraged employee engagement and/or promote social responsibility through sport

Note: An individual can be nominated in multiple categories as long as each submission is by a different nominator.

"City of Sport" - Lifetime Achievement

"City of Sport" - Lifetime Achievement recognizes the outstanding contribution of a sport leader or organization who exemplifies sport values as demonstrated by ground breaking organizational leadership, innovative practices, influential communications, cutting edge sport marketing or positioning of the sport sector. This award is granted for a performance that is very special and destined to be of extraordinary significance for Toronto, Ontario or Canada and may be presented only once in a lifetime.

Nominations close Friday June 30, 2017

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must:

  • have been born in OR lived in Toronto for two consecutive years OR have made a significant contribution to sport in Toronto
  • have made significant contributions to sport beyond athletic endeavours over a minimum of ten years
  • be recognized for local, provincial, national or international achievement(s)
  • have played multiple roles in sport such as coach, administrator, volunteer, official or board member
  • be a game changer; have made a non-playing impact on sport (e.g. rule or policy change; playing surface change; way sport is viewed

Note: An individual can be nominated in multiple categories as long as each submission is by a different nominator.

Sport Legend

Sport Legend recognizes an individual who, by their achievement and example are considered to have had the capacity to inspire Torontonians. An individual, who through extraordinary sporting accomplishments, has left an indelible mark on the fabric of sport in Toronto. This award is granted for a performance that is very special and destined to be of extraordinary significance for Toronto, Ontario or Canada and may be presented only once in a lifetime.

Nominations close Friday June 30, 2017

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must:

  • have been born in OR lived in Toronto for two consecutive years OR have made a significant contribution to sport in Toronto
  • be retired from competition a minimum of three years
  • have achieved extraordinary accomplishments in sport over a number of years
  • be noted for significant career highlights
  • have demonstrated commitment to sport for a minimum of five years
  • be recognized for local, provincial, national or international achievement(s)

Note: An individual can be nominated in multiple categories as long as each submission is by a different nominator.

Spirit of Sport Diversity and Inclusion Award

This award recognizes the accomplishments of an individual, group, organization or volunteer that has made a significant impact in sport by fostering an inclusive culture and/or creating opportunities for Toronto's diverse communities. This award is granted for contributions in the areas of capacity building, policy development, partnerships and engagement with under-served communities that use sport to advance the principles of access and equity.

The City of Toronto defines diversity, access, equity and inclusion as follows:

Diversity: Diversity is about a person’s unique dimensions, qualities, and characteristics which we all possess. While physical characteristics are easily identifiable differences, and therefore, the most apparent aspects of diversity, there are many dimensions of diversity that are protected by legislation or policies such as age, gender, physical ability, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, to name a few.

Access: The ability for everyone, regardless of their status in society, to use or receive resources, goods and services in an equitable manner and fully participate in all aspects of society. Ensuring access requires the removal of barriers associated with literacy, language, culture, geography, education, socio-economic status as well as mental and physical ability.

Equity: Equity is distributing opportunities and resources equally, accommodating different needs and removing barriers in order to level out unfair and unjust outcomes so that individuals can benefit equally

Inclusion: Collectively, inclusion entails creating a culture that strives for equity and embraces, respects, accepts, and values the range of difference. In the City of Toronto, inclusion is the state of achieving equal results and participation in the City. A Diversity and Inclusion approach captures the uniqueness of the individual, creating an environment that values and respects individuals for their talents, skills and abilities to the benefit of the collective. Disability inclusion means understanding the relationship between the way people function and how they participate in society, and making sure everybody has the same opportunities to participate in every aspect of life to the best of their abilities and desires

Nominations close Friday June 30, 2017

The nominee must:

  • have been born in OR lived in Toronto for two consecutive years OR have made a significant contribution to sport in Toronto
  • have demonstrated exemplary leadership in advancing access and equity in sport
  • have inspired and empowered others in their endeavours to advance inclusion in sport

Note: any exemplary display of sportsmanship will be considered with athletic endeavours

Each year, the Selection Committee will review all nominations received, assess them and provide guidance to the City of Toronto in naming the annual award recipients. Members of the Selection Committee represent leaders of the Toronto sports community.

The 2016 Selection Committee is:

Scott Russell

Scott RussellA Gemini Award-winning broadcaster and acclaimed author, Scott Russell brings vast experience, passion and knowledge to his role as host of CBC’s primetime and late night coverage of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. The CBC veteran’s unparalleled enthusiasm for amateur sport shines through in every aspect of his work for the network.

A CBC Sports veteran of more than 25 years, Russell has covered 12 Olympic Games including the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.  In 2014, Russell was also the network’s on-site host for coverage of the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland – his sixth Commonwealth Games with CBC as well as hosting CBC's prime time coverage of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. He has also hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa and the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Germany. In addition, Russell was a host and rinkside reporter for CBC's Hockey Night in Canada for 14 years. Outside of his hosting duties, Russell authors the insightful Field of Play blog at cbcsports.ca where he discusses the world of sport from all angles.

After joining CBC Charlottetown in 1985 as a reporter, Russell turned to sports in 1986 and quickly established himself as a talent. From 1988 to 1992, he was a sports reporter and anchor for CBMT in Montreal until he moved to Toronto as a network sports commentator.

Russell has penned two books on hockey, Ice Time: A Canadian Hockey Journey and The Rink - Stories from Hockey's Home Towns, which he co-wrote with Chris Cuthbert. Russell's third book, Open House: Canada and the Magic of Curling, a grassroots look at one of this country's favourite sports.

In addition to his roles at CBC, Russell teaches a course in Canadian Sports History at Toronto's Centennial College. He is also a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee's Education Committee as well as a member of the Ambassador's Council for the Amici camping charity. Russell is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and holds an M.A. in Journalism. In 2014, he was honoured by Sports Media Canada with the George Gross Award for Outstanding Broadcasting. In 2013, he was presented with a CBC President's Award in the Brand Champion category for his dedication and enthusiasm for his work covering amateur athletics for the network.

An active runner, Russell completed the Boston Marathon in 2005 and in 2012, was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to sports in Canada. He currently lives in Toronto with his wife, Catherine, and their two children.

Follow Scott Russell on Twitter: @SportsWkndScott

Debbie Low

Debbie LowDebbie is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO), and has served in this position since November 2005.  As CEO, she is responsible for the daily operation of the Sport Institute and was responsible for leading the transition to Ontario’s first facility-based sport institute as a legacy from the TO 2015 Pan/Para Pan American Games.  

Debbie leads the development and delivery of provincial and national high performance sport programs for the Province of Ontario.  She has spent the majority of her time and efforts over the past number of years re-establishing Ontario as leader in high performance sport.

Before joining the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, Debbie was the Executive Director of ParaSport Ontario; Director of Sport for Toronto’s 2008 Olympic Bid; and spent ten years with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s Multi-Sport Games Program.

As a volunteer, Debbie has served on a number of Boards and Committees in leadership positions including the Toronto 2015 Pan/Para Pan Am Games Bid Committee; Canadian Paralympic Committee Board of Directors; Association of Sport Performance Centres Board;

Sport Alliance of Ontario Board; the International Paralympic Committee’s Paralympic Games Committee; and member Canadian Disability Hall of Fame Selection Committee,

Debbie was Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games: Assistant Chef de Mission for the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games, and involved in 9 sets of Canada Games as part of Team Ontario in various roles including Team Ontario’s Chef de Mission.

Debbie holds a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education from the University of Toronto and a Diploma in Sport Management from Durham College.  And she is currently enrolled in Queen’s University’s Executive Leadership Program.  In 2014, Debbie was acknowledged by Durham College with an Alumnus of Distinction Award, and recognized with a Premier’s Award for Community Service in 2015.   

Debbie was selected to take part in Rick Hansen’s 25th Anniversary of Difference Makers; was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in June 2012, and the King Clancy Award in February 2010, in recognition of her contribution to advance the cause of Canadians who live with a disability.  In 2014, she was recognized by CAAWS as one of the Most Influential Women of the Year in Canadian Sport.

Blair McIntosh

Blair McIntoshBlair's career has included more than 33 years in amateur Sport in various leadership roles including Manager of Sport Programs at the Province of Ontario, Director of Games at Sport Alliance Ontario (SAO), CEO of SAO, Director of Sport Tourism at City of London and Director of Sport at the 2015 Pan and Para Pan Am Games in Toronto.  He is currently the VP of Sport at Special Olympics Canada.  He was the Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the 2010 Paralympic Games and has been a lead Games Consultant or Mission Staff to more than 175 Major Multi-sport Games including 15 sets of Canada Games where he was Chef de Mission for Team Ontario 8 times.  He played leadership roles in numberous major national and international events including the 1997 World Special Olympics, the 2000 World Women’s Hockey Championships and Project Manager for World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto.

He has been responsible for Chairing and evaluating more than 150 bids for major sporting events at the Provincial, National and International level.  While he was in his role as the Director of Sport Tourism for the City of London for 2 years he was successful in securing more than 15 major sporting events for the City of London including the 2005 Memorial Cup, 2005 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships, 2006 Scott Tournament of Hearts and the 2007 World Synchronized Skating Championships and the 2010 National Special Olympic Games to name a few.  These events generated approximately $90M in economic impact to the City of London.

He also served as a member of Canada Games Council Sport Committee for 10 years and currently serves as the High Performance Director on the Board for the Canadian Paralympic Committee as well as being a Board member for the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance. 

As a private consultant, Blair has also developed Sport Tourism Strategies for many comminities/provinces/territories across the country.  As well, Blair speaks annually at major conferences on the business of sport tourism, bidding and hosting and developing sport tourism strategies.

Paul Rosen

In 1975, while playing hockey in an AAA midget game, Paul caught his skate in a rut breaking his leg in 14 places. In the following years he faced many physical challenges, surgeries, and chronic pain until his leg was amputated above the right knee in 1999. Paul will tell you that this is the year his life began. Shortly afterwards, he began to play sledge hockey with the Markham Islanders. Two years later, Paul made the Canada Sledge Hockey Team. He was the oldest rookie in the history of the Paralympic Winter Games when he played in Salt Lake City (2002). The quintessential team player, Paul led Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2006 Paralympic Games in Torino.

While teaching sledge hockey during the Canadian Paralympic Committee's "Soldier On Paralympic Sport Summit" Paul unexpectedly joined in a sitting volleyball session. This lead to Paul becoming a member of Canada's sitting-volleyball team and representing Canada at the 2007 Parapan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Paul retired from his athletic career following the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver. However, he remains active in the sport community as a motivational speaker and volunteer. Paul has received two Paul Harris Fellow Recognition Awards from the Rotary Club, was featured in "Sled Head", a documentary about Sledge Hockey, serves as an ambassador for numerous causes, and was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Sheilagh Croxon

Sheilagh CroxonFor over twenty five years Sheilagh has been one of this country’s top synchronized swimming coaches. A visionary leader, Sheilagh coached the 1996 Canadian Olympic synchro team to a silver medal finish in Atlanta. Four years later, as the team’s Head Coach, she led Canada to a memorable Olympic bronze medal performance. In 2008 at the Beijing Games, she coached New Zealand’s pair to qualify for their first Games since 1984. A chartered professional coach, Sheilagh’s coaching resume includes dozens of international podium successes at major competitions. Sheilagh’s coaching expertise is sought out by synchro federations and clubs around the world, and she regularly mentors other coaches and shares her knowledge through workshops and clinics.

Shawn Sheridan

Shawn SheridanShawn Sheridan is the Chair of OUTSPORT TORONTO, a not-for-profit umbrella organisation with over 20 member groups that deliver programming in amateur sport and recreation to the LGBT community.  With its member organisations, allies, and partners, OUTSPORT TORONTO works to create safe, welcoming spaces where everyone can get out and play!  

Shawn has been involved in amateur sport in various capacities for more than 25 years. He spent over 15 years actively involved in aquatics as an instructor, lifeguard, swimmer, and examiner for the National Lifeguard Service, over 14 years as an avid rock climber, ten years as a horseman, picked up cross-country skiing a few years ago, is a sailor, and has dabbled in running, squash, and other sports activities.  He was involved in the formation of OUTSPORT TORONTO as a member of the governance committee, and was appointed its Chair in June of 2010.

Outside of sport, Shawn has held a number of executive-level information technology positions with national and international financial services firms, and has worked as well in consumer packaged goods, retail, insurance, and consulting industries, and runs his own information technology consultancy.  He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Mathematic in Computer Science.

Mary Cicinelli

Mary CicinelliMary was has been a sport volunteer for over 30 years.   She served as the President of Field Hockey Canada (FHC).  Currently, Mary sits on the Board of Directors for the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) and a member of the Executive Board of Federation International Hockey (FIH).  Mary sits on many international committees and was the Chair of the Sport Organizing Committee for Field Hockey at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.   Mary has also been a Canadian level umpire and a National Team Manager.

Molly Killingbeck

Molly KillingbeckMolly Killingbeck is a two-time Olympian (1984, 1988), winning a silver medal in  the 4 x 400m relay in Los Angeles in 1984.  Her extensive sport background includes, Sport Manager – TO2015 PanAm/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee, National Team Coach/High Performance Centre Lead Coach – Athletics Canada; Event Manager – Post Olympic Excellence Series (Canadian Olympic Committee); Athlete Services Manager – Canadian Sport Centre Ontario; Varsity Coach, Track and Field – York University and University of Windsor.

Killingbeck is an active public speaker, devotes much of her free time to community outreach programs, and is a member of the Board of Directors for Pencils for Kids and the Toronto Sports Council. 

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