ST. JOHN’S, NL – Sport Newfoundland and Labrador held its annual Stars and Legends Awards Gala Saturday evening amongst athletes, coaches, volunteers and sporting enthusiasts at the Sheraton Hotel in St. John’s. Eight Provincial Annual Awards were presented and six individuals were officially inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.
“The Stars and Legends Awards Gala is an exciting event that celebrates the highest level of sporting achievement in our province,” said Rod Nicholl, President, Sport Newfoundland and Labrador. “Once again this year, all those recognized are dedicated and accomplished group of people who are exceptional role models amongst our sporting community.”
The Provincial Annual Awards recognize the best athletic achievements in the past year. The recipients for 2014 were selected by Sport NL’s Selection Committee from a list of nominees submitted by 55 Provincial Sport Organizations across the province. They are:
• Senior Male Athlete of the Year: Sean Cleary (Softball)
• Senior Female Athlete of the Year: Jillian Forsey (Athletics)
• Junior Male Athlete of the Year: Clark Bishop (Hockey)
• Junior Female Athlete of the Year: Heather Healey (Baseball)
• Coach of the Year: John Hill (Softball)
• Team of the Year: Memorial University Women’s Soccer Team (Soccer)
• Executive of the Year: Mark Healy (Baseball)
• Volunteer of the Year: Mark Healy (Baseball)
The Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony provided formal recognition of the 2014 inductees, who were selected by the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame Board of Governors in January. They are:
• Paul Barron in the “Builder” category (Ball Hockey)
• George Connors in the “Athlete/Veteran” category (Hockey)
• Bill Davis in the “Athlete” category (Softball)
• Carla Edwards in the “Athlete” category (Volleyball)
• Deon Goulding in the “Athlete/Builder” category (Volleyball)
• Trevor O’Brien in the “Athlete” category (Athletics)
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.
“2014 marked another successful year for sport in Newfoundland and Labrador, said Mr. Nicholl. “I’m so proud to be a part of a community that includes such talented and accomplished athletes, and we are honoured to present them with their respective awards.”
Sport Newfoundland and Labrador is a volunteer organization committed to the promotion and advancement of amateur sport throughout the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Provincial Annual Awards Finalists Biographies
Senior Male Athlete of the Year
Harbour Main softball player Sean Cleary continued to shine at the local, provincial, national and international level in 2014. In the St. John’s Senior Men’s Fastpitch League Sean lead his team to the regular season title, playoff title and provincial championship winning the MVP award in all three. As a member of 3Cheers Bud Light team, Sean won his 3rd consecutive national title and was named playoff MVP. Sean also had the privilege of suiting up for Team Canada at the Men’s Pan Am Championships where he was a member of the bronze medal winning squad. In December 2014, Sean was named to the Senior Men’s National Team Athlete Pool for 2015. In recognition of his fine season, Sean was named the Softball Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Male Player of the Year.
Senior Female Athlete of the Year
Kippens runner Jillian Forsey was the first Newfoundland and Labrador woman to ever be selected to compete at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Track and Field event, which was held in Oregon on July 22, 2014 where she placed 9th in the 5000m and currently ranks as the top Canadian runner. Leading her to the Worlds was a stellar performance at the National Cross Country Championships, where she chose to move up and run the 8km senior race, where she placed 6th out of 64 and was named to the Worlds. At the North American Central American Caribbean Cross Country Championships she placed 2nd individually, while helping her team to a gold medal finish. An excelling honors student in her sophomore year at the university of West Virginia, Jillian raced at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Mid Atlantic wining a silver medal individually and lead her team to a second place finish overall. At the NCAA National Cross Country Championships she finished 14th out of 254 runners. Jillian is an exceptional runner who has a tremendous work ethic to achieve and excel in both athletics and education.
Junior Male Athlete of the Year
Hockey Player Clark Bishop of St. John’s had an eventful 2014 that saw him represent Canada on the international stage and be selected in the annual National Hockey League entry draft. As a member of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League he was named “Hardest Working Player” for the 2014 season. During the season he was named to the Quebec league all-star team which competed in an exhibition series against the Russian all-star team and was also named to the Canadian Hockey League’s “Top Prospects Game” which features the top draft eligible players in the CHL. Clark also had the opportunity to play for Team Canada at the U18 World Championships and took home a bronze medal. His year was topped off by being selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 5th round of the 2014 NHL draft.
Junior Female Athlete of the Year Finalists
Conception Bay South baseball player Heather Healey had a historic 2014. Locally, Heather became the first ever female to be drafted and to compete in the St. John’s Amateur Baseball Association’s Intermediate League. Her outstanding play lead to an invitation to play with Team Nova Scotia at the Baseball Canada Senior Women’s Championship where she was one of the team’s top hitters with a .500 average. Following the National championships Heather was invited to the Baseball Canada National Senior Team selection camp with 30 of the top players in the country. Heather was successful in making the team and in the process became the first female from Newfoundland and Labrador to play for Team Canada when she participated in the 2014 World Senior Women’s Championship in Mayazaki, Japan.
Coach of the Year
Softball coach John Hill has seen his share of success in 2014 on the field. As head coach of the 3 Cheers Pub Bud Light Senior A Fastpitch Team, he led them to an 8-1 record at the Canadian Men’s Fastpitch Championships. Hill was also the Field Manager of the Hill United Chiefs where he guided them to a perfect 4-0 record at the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) National Championships and a perfect 6-0 record at the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Tournament. John Hill was named 2014 Softball Canada Coach of the Year, Softball Newfoundland and Labrador Coach of the Year and was named an Assistant Coach to Softball Canada’s Seniors Men’s National Team. John Hill has devoted his life to the game of Softball and through his professionalism and dedication his teams are always well prepared both on and off the field, which has proven him to be a world class coach.
Team of the Year
The Memorial University Women’s Soccer Team had an outstanding 2014 on the field. Finishing second in Atlantic University Sport (AUS) regular season league play earned them a bye to the semi finals. The club defeated the University of New Brunswick in the final, winning its first ever AUS women’s soccer title and earning them the right to represent the Atlantic Conference in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) National Championships. The Ladies Soccer team was also named Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association’s (NLSA) Team of the Year.
Executive of the Year
Baseball executive Mark Healy was influential in the success of St. John’s hosting the 2014 National Senior Men’s Baseball Championships. As Co-Chair of the planning committee, he spent countless hours meeting with Federal, Provincial and Municipal government officials to ensure the fields were prepared and renovated for the tournament. His hard work and dedication has given so much to the sport of baseball from technological advancements at the ball fields to extensive media coverage and fundraising for amateur baseball programming. In addition to his role with the Nationals, Healy also served as president of the St. John’s Amateur Baseball Association as well as its Senior and Intermediate Leagues. He was co-chair and organizer of the Annual Provincial Senior Club Teams Tournament and was the 2014 recipient of the Les Noseworthy Award for outstanding contribution to baseball growth and development in Newfoundland and Labrador. Mark Healy is a pioneer in the sport of baseball as an athlete, advocate, coach and executive.
Volunteer of the Year
Mark Healy of St. John’s has been instrumental in the growth and development of Baseball in the province and has many roles in its community. Along with his role as president of St. John’s Amateur Baseball Association he is also head coach of the Trapper Johns Holy Cross Senior Team and Chief Instructor of St. John’s Minor Baseball’s winter and spring indoor training programs. Healy is a learning facilitator and evaluator with National Coaching Certification Program courses and head instructor for the NL 16 and under Bantam Girls Team Identification Camp. Mark Healey was co-chair of the 2014 National Senior Baseball Championships hosted in St. Johns and head coach of the St. John’s Winmar Capitals that won the provincial Senior A and B Championships and competed in the 2014 Nationals. It is evident that Healy is a vital part of the baseball program in St. John’s and in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and his dedication and commitment to the sport is outstanding.
Backgrounder: Hall of Fame Inductees’ Biographies
Paul Barron – Builder
St. John’s Ball Hockey pioneer Paul Barron served as president of the St. John’s Ball Hockey League from 1988 – 1994. He was responsible for the creation and expansion of the Canadian Eastern Men’s Ball Hockey Championships in 1989, which is currently ongoing and has since added a Men’s Group C Division and a Women’s division. Barron was a strong promoter and technical director for the Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games in ball hockey from 1992 – 2014 and he also initiated and introduced female ball hockey to the NL Summer Games in 2004. Paul Barron was successful in putting together proposals to host the Canadian National Championships for the years 1994, 1997, 2002 and 2010 and served as chairperson of the host committee in all four years. The Newfoundland and Labrador Ball Hockey Association (NLBHA) presented a gift to him in recognition of his outstanding contribution to ball hockey over the past 25 years (1978 – 2002). In addition, he served as president of Ball Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador from 1995 – 2007. Nationally, Paul was the Vice President of the Canadian Ball Hockey Association (CBHA) in 1997 and 1998, while he was the recipient of the CBHA Executive Award in 2002 in recognition of his contribution to the sport. Internationally, in 2005, Barron completed and delivered a bid package and presentation to the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation (ISBHF) in Pittsburgh to 20 countries, securing the winning bid to host the World Junior Ball Hockey Championships in St. John’s in June 2008, where he served as Chairperson of the Host Committee and was also the recipient of the ISBHF Volunteer of the Year Award. In 2010 he organized and initiated the first adult male provincial team selection which won gold at the 2010 National Championships and again, completed a bid package and presentation, which he delivered to the Canadian Ball Hockey Association (CBHA) provincial delegates where he secured the winning bid to host the World Men’s and Women’s Ball Hockey Championships in St. John’s in 2013. Barron served as Chairperson of the Host Committee for that event. In addition to his efforts in 2013, Barron was the recipient of the ISBHF International Development Award. It is because of Paul Barron’s hard work and dedication that the sport of ball hockey has evolved in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and has produced such success over the last decade.
George Connors – Athlete/Veteran
Bell Island native George Connors was a well-rounded athlete who took the Bell Island hockey community by storm in the early 1950’s. In 1950-51, George was the captain of St. Kevin’s High School hockey team, which won two consecutive league championships and he was the top scorer for both series. As well he was a prominent player on the Bell Island Junior team and in 1951 led the team to a convincing victory over Bay Roberts in the East Coast Junior playoffs. Bell Island lost to Grand Falls in the All Newfoundland Junior Championship. In addition, he tied for most points as the youngest player on the Senior Men’s Bell Island Team and in the Junior Series; George scored the most goals for his team and was recognized as the most outstanding player for Bell Island. George started playing senior hockey for the Bell Island Senior Men’s team at the age of 14. In the 1950’s, George scored more important goals in playoff competition than any other player for the Bell Island Men’s Senior hockey team. In the 1953-1954 season, Bell Island won the All Newfoundland Senior B title after a ten year drought. George played a dominant role in Bell Island’s victory over the Gander Flyers in the series’ final. During the 1954- 1955 season, George was the top scorer for the Bell Island Senior B All Stars where he scored 31 goals and 2 assists. During an exhibition game in the new Gander arena, George performed the “Easter Bunny trick”, scoring nine goals in one game against Gander. Bell Island faced Grand Falls in the All Newfoundland Senior B championship that year. In game 2 of the finals, Bell Island won by a score of 7-6. George scored five goals in that game, 3 in 33 seconds at the end of the third period. This record has never been broken in Newfoundland Senior Hockey history. Bell Island won the third game of that series by a score of 5-4. In this game, George scored three goals, the third was the game winner at 33 seconds of sudden death overtime. George was named the most valuable player in that series. During the 1955-1956 season Bell Island again defeated St. John’s in the East Coast Senior Men’s “B” playoffs and faced Grand Falls in the All Newfoundland Senior B championship. Bell Island won the All Newfoundland Senior B championship in two games straight. George won the playoff scoring title. In 1956 – 1957, George was again top scorer for the Bell Island Senior B All Star Team; he tallied 16 goals and 5 assists. It was also during this season that George was offered a tryout with the Montreal Canadians but to the surprise of many, he declined this offer. In 1957-58, George continued to excel scoring another 14 goals and 8 assists while also becoming active in coaching a junior team on Bell Island. Bell Island made the jump to the A Division in 1959 where George scored 3 goals and assisted twice in 5 games. George played with the Bell Island senior team until 1962, playing his last All Newfoundland Championship against Gander. In 1966 George moved to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and dedicated 10 years of coaching and mentoring to the Dartmouth Minor Hockey Association. In 1997 and 1998, George was inducted as a team member of the 1954-56 Bell Island Senior B All Star Team and was inducted as an individual athlete to the Bell Island Sports Hall of Fame. In 2000 he was inducted as an athlete to the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame. George Connors’ skill and determination was an asset to every team for which he played. He is the essence of a great athlete and coach and has left his mark on the record books of Newfoundland hockey history.
Bill Davis – Athlete
Fox Harbour, Placentia Bay native Bill Davis ranks within the finest Canadian softball players with a 22 year career that overflowed with personal and team success. For seventeen seasons, from 1977 – 1995, Davis played in the St. John’s Senior Softball League where he claimed 47 individual awards including six MVP selections, seven all star selections, one batting title, three slugging titles, one most runs scored, three most doubles, four most home runs, one most RBI’s, seven pitching titles, four most strikeouts, three top ERA and seven shutout titles, in addition to holding six league records. He was a member of three teams that represented Newfoundland and Labrador at the National Junior Championships where he was selected as an All Star in 1978. His Eastern Canadian career measured much success as a member of the gold medal team in 1986 where he was selected MVP and top pitcher. He won a bronze and silver medal between 1989 and 1995 at the National Senior Championships, where he tallied 81 games played, 35 hits, 3 home runs, 22 RBI’s, while winning 16 pitched games, with one shut out, 168 strikeouts and a 2.21 ERA. He was also MVP of the 1992 Fredericton Classic, a member of Team Atlantic at the 1992 International Softball Congress (ISC) Championships in Salt Lake City and top pitcher at the 1994 ISC qualifier. Provincially, he was a member of eight Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Men’s Championship Teams, winning four MVP’s, while in his junior year claimed the provincial title of the Newfoundland and Labrador Junior Male Championships, won the junior batting title, provincial Junior MVP, provincial bantam MVP and batting title. Nationally, Davis was a member of 14 teams that represented Newfoundland and Labrador at the Canadian Senior Men’s Championships. As a pitcher, Bill Davis owned the mound with an impressive 342 games pitched, 193 games won, a regular season 1.66 earned run average and a playoff 2.51 earned run average while posting 2208 strikeouts and one no hitter. Davis is a member of the Softball Newfoundland and Labrador Hall of Fame and was a player known for his great personal talent, skill and amazing desire to win.
Carla Edwards – Athlete
Grand Falls – Windsor’s Carla Edwards is an exceptional multisport athlete who competed in numerous sports, including volleyball, basketball, softball, touch football, badminton, floor hockey, ice hockey and kickboxing on local and national levels of competition while maintaining a degree of excellence in the academic field. Volleyball was her sport of highest success where she proceeded from dominating high school athletics to competing and exceling at the university level. In 1988 she was selected to the provincial Canada Games Volleyball Team and competed in Saskatoon in 1989. Upon completion of high school she competed for Mount Allison University from 1991-1996 in the Atlantic Universities Athletic Association (AUAA). Edwards was chosen a Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CIAU) Academic All-Canadian for three consecutive years while a member of the Mount Allison Mounties. In 1994-95, Carla won the Athletic Achievement Award, was chosen Mount Allison’s Female Senior Scholar Athlete, was voted Senior Female Athlete of the Year and was chosen as Mount Allison’s nominee for the James Bayer Memorial Scholarship. In 1995-96 Carla was the winner of the James Bayer Memorial Scholarship – a prestigious scholarship awarded annually to an outstanding student athlete in Atlantic University Sport (AUS) for excellence in academics, athletics, leadership, sportsmanship and citizenship. In addition, she was picked as an AUAA Volleyball First Team All Star and was the TSN Award Winner for the AUAA, which is awarded for scholarly, athletic and community contributions. Edwards also won the Athletic Achievement Award at Mount Allison University, was selected as one of top ten Academic All Canadians, which is awarded to varsity athletes across Canada who obtain excellence in their sports and academics, while again being chosen as Mount Allison’s Senior Female Athlete of the Year. Between 1993 and 1996 Carla was a member of the winning team for the New Brunswick Beach Volleyball Championships three years in a row and represented that province at the National Championships. In 1996 Carla returned to Newfoundland to attend medical school at Memorial University and in the next two years was named MVP twice for Division 1 of the St John’s Senior Ladies Volleyball League. During 1997-98 Carla won the Newfoundland and Labrador Beach Volleyball Championships and represented the province at the Canadian Beach Volleyball Championships in Ontario while continuing to coach, volunteer and deliver various sport development camps in a number of regions in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Following completion of medical school, Carla relocated to Ontario where she completed her psychiatry residency at McMaster University. She coached and played on a senior women’s volleyball team that won the Ontario Volleyball Association provincial championship in 2002. This team obtained a silver medal at the National Championship. Currently Carla plays ice hockey, enjoys kickboxing, and has a thriving practice in Sport Psychiatry at McMaster University. She is hopeful to extend mental health support to varsity athletes in schools across the country. She currently lives in Southern Ontario with her husband and two sons.
Deon Goulding – Athlete/Builder
Gambo volleyball athlete and leader Deon Goulding has seen much success on and off the court throughout his extensive athletic career. In 1987-88 Goulding played on the Newfoundland and Labrador Canada Games Team that competed at the National Team Challenge Cup and the 1989 Canada Summer Games. In 1989-90 his university career started with the Dalhousie Tigers where he won two Atlantic University Sport (AUS) titles and participated in two Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Championships. During this time he was invited to the Team Canada National B Tryouts. From 1992 – 1996 he was a member of the Memorial University Seahawks, where in one injury year he was a member of the coaching staff. Throughout his university career, Goulding was named Dalhousie’s Rookie of the Year, he was a two time MUN MVP, AUS Rookie of the Year, AUS first team All Star, two Time AUS MVP, three time CIS second team All Canadian and CIS Academic All Canadian. He was inducted into Memorial University’s Athletic Honor Society and received MUN Athletics Graham Snow Award in 1996. He was runner-up in 1994 and a nominee in 1996 for the Sport NL Senior Male Athlete of the Year. That same year, Goulding became a member of the Team Canada National B Team and in the following year he played 25 international matches with the Team Canada National A Team. Additionally, he played in the 1995 Pan-American Games in Argentina with Team Canada. Due to an elite career ending injury he retired from the Team Canada Program in 1995. In 2008, Goulding played an exhibition series against the Memorial Seahawks with Team Canada’s Masters Team and in 2012 he played with and helped Team FOG at the 2012 Volleyball Canada Senior National Volleyball Championships claim a bronze medal. He is a member of FOG Canada Masters team who competes in the USA Volleyball Senior Nationals 40-45 category. On the Provincial Senior ‘A’ Men’s scene, he has competed in 20 Senior Championships with 10 titles and numerous MVP and All-Star selections to his credit. He was named NLVA Senior Player of the Year numerous times. Giving back to the sport, Goulding has conducted youth skills camps in the USA, Argentina, Germany, Nova Scotia, Alberta, and Newfoundland/Labrador. He also organized a sport exchange for a Gander Collegiate High School Volleyball Team to train and competed against a Cuban volleyball team. He coached Youth teams who claimed NLVA Provincial Championships at all age categories from 14U to 18U and numerous SSNL Team Sportsmanship Awards. In addition, he was head coach of Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2005 Canada Summer Games, coached at the 1998 Volleyball Canada National Juvenile Championships and provincially coached teams at Eastern Canadian Elite tournaments over the years. Goulding also coached and mentored Central Representatives at the Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games in 2010 and 2014 and was the Volleyball Convener at the 2002 Games. He coached and mentored current Team Canada Members and current and past Professional Volleyball Players. Deon Goulding contributed to the Newfoundland and Labrador Volleyball Association’s Executive for numerous years since 2001 and has been instrumental in the growth and success of the sport’s Elite Development Committee and programming. He was inducted to the NLVA Hall of Fame in 2012.
Trevor O’Brien – Athlete
In a fifteen-year sport career, Paradise’s Trevor O’Brien has achieved outstanding success competing in competitions from the local to the international level in track and field, road race and cross-country running. In 1999, O’Brien was named the Newfoundland and Labrador Athletics’ Association (NLAA) Male Road Runner of the Year. From 1999 to 2002 he won eight St. John’s Athlete of the Month Awards. In his athletic years with Memorial University from 1999 to 2001 he was very successful in his endeavors when he won three consecutive Atlantic University Sport (AUS) Championship Races and was named AUS Male Cross Country Athlete of the Year in each season. In addition he was named Atlantic University athlete of the week on several occasions as well as Canadian University Sport (CIS) athlete of the week in 2001. In 1999 he also won the AUS Championship Team Banner with Memorial University. From 2000 to 2003 he won three consecutive Tely 10 races. At the 2001 Canada Summer Games he claimed a silver medal for Newfoundland and Labrador in the 10,000-meter race. Coinciding with his university career, O’Brien was inducted into Memorial’s Athletic Honor Society in 2002. Nationally, from 2004 to 2006 he competed at the Olympic Trials placing fourth, won bronze at the National Track and Field Championships and placed second at the Victoria International Track Classic, all in the 1500-meter final. Proceeding graduation, his international career was established from 2005 to 2008, when O’Brien became a Sport Canada National Track and Field Carded Athlete crediting him as a member of Team Canada in Track and Field. In 2005 he qualified for the World Cross-Country Championships in France as an alternate for the short course team. As well in 2005 he represented Canada at the Francophone Games in Africa placing sixth in the 1500-meter final and eighth at the Pacific World Cup in Vancouver. In 2006, he represented Canada in the European Track Circuit as part of Athletics Canada’s Select Development Team and in 2007 placed first in the 1500-meter race at the Olympic Qualifiers International Meet in Oregon. Trevor O’Brien who holds some of the fastest middle and long distance track times in Newfoundland history, has demonstrated outstanding skill and ability in the sport of running and is a true icon in the Newfoundland and Labrador sport of Athletics community.