Ontario Blind Sports Association Hall of Fame


 

 


Inducted in 2016 



Robert Gaunt

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Rob Gaunt found tremendous success as an athlete in both goalball and powerlifting. At the young age of 18, Rob represented Canada as a member of the men’s goalball team during the 1988 Paralymipcs in Seoul, Korea. From here, Rob decided to seriously train and compete in powerlifting. He managed to win a gold medal in the 1992 Powerlifting World Championships in Perth, Australia followed by another gold medal performance in the 1994 Powerlifting World Championships in Ottawa. He then transitioned back to goalball to represent Canada during the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta. His team won the silver medal, which is still the best placement the Canadian men’s goalball team have had in any Paralympics. Rob is a strong believer in transferrable skills and knowledge and is appreciative of what sport has provided him that helped set him on a path for success in life.

 

Tina Jillings

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Tina Jillings was introduced to sport at a young age and was hooked from the beginning. Her consistent friendly and fun demeanor paused once competition began; losing was not an option. She found immediate success on the track, specifically in the sprint distances. Tina competed in the 1976 Paralympics in Toronto winning 1 silver and 2 bronze, the 1978 Pan Am Games in Chicago winning 1 silver and 2 bronze, the 1979 Canada Games in Edmonton winning 7 golds and 1 silver, the 1979 Stoke Mandeville Games in England winning 2 golds and represented Canada at the 1980 Paralympics in Holland. Tina was also a World Record holder in the 60m sprint as well. Tina received the Ontario Sport Achievement award twice during her track career and also won the Best Canadian Female Athlete award in 1979.

 

Elizabeth MacCallum

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Elizabeth MacCallum’s positive influence on blind sports came through her over 30 years of coaching athletes with a visual impairment. Most notable was the work she did specifically involving young females in sport. Beginning her coaching in 1959, Elizabeth recognized a need to empower young female students and used sport as a tool to demonstrate what can be possible with the right attitude and hard work. Through her endless amounts of energy and creativity, she was a pioneer in providing opportunities for young females with a visual impairment in sport that were not currently available. She has coached and impacted the lives of hundreds of athletes with a visual impairment all the way from gym class to multiple high performance international competitions including the very first Paralympics in 1976 in Toronto.

 


Inducted in 2015 



 

Chelsey Gotell

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Chelsey Gotell moved to Ontario from Antigonish, Nova Scotia at the age of 19 to help further her swimming career. This move was certainly beneficial as she is now one of the most decorated Canadian Paralympians ever. Chelsey’s incredible swimming career is highlighted by her performances in 3 World Championships in addition to 3 consecutive Paralympic Games which included the 2000 Sydney Games, 2004 Athens Games and 2008 Beijing Games. Swimming in multiple events she won a combined 12 medals including 7 bronze, 2 silver and 3 gold. Chelsey was also a World Record holder in the 100 m backstroke and 200 m individual medley. Chelsey was named the 2009 Para-Swimmer of the year by Swim Canada and the 2009 Greater Golden Horseshoe athlete of the year. 

 

 Brian Arthur

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Brian Arthur is a true pioneer in the sport of goalball. He competed as a goalball athlete in the first ever Ontario Games, first Canada Games, first Paralympic Games, and first World Goalball Championships. In fact, Brian was the first Canadian to score in an international goalball competition. Brian found success through self-motivation and living by the values he brings in all parts of his life, excellence, consistency and self-improvement. Brian is also a pioneer on the administrative side of blind sports as he was an OBSA board representative for nine years during the association’s beginnings. Brian is a true example of an Active for Life athlete as he still plays goalball to this day.

 

Jacques Pilon

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Jacques Pilon competed in the first Paralympic Games that were open to athletes with a visual impairment in 1976 in Toronto, Canada. Here, Jacques won a bronze medal in Lawn Bowls and a gold medal in the 4x100m medley swimming event. It was in the sport of athletics, however, that Jacques found most of his success. During the 1980 Paralympic Games in Arnhem, Netherlands, Jacques won a gold medal in the 1500m with a world record time of 4:31.60. Jacques later broke his own world record in 1983 while qualifying for the ’84 Games with a time of 4:29.70. Jacques went on to compete during the 1984 Paralympic Games in Long Island, USA and finished just off of the podium during the finals. In 1982, Jacques was awarded the Sam Estwick Memorial Award during its inaugural year for the Most Outstanding Para Athlete in his club. Jacques won the award again the following year in 1983. Jacques was also inducted into the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame in 1992.

 


 Inducted in 2014



Nick Rollings

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Nick Rollings competed in middle distance track throughout high school in Brantford during the late 1970’s and has maintained a lifelong love of running. Through his work at the W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind as an educational assistant, Nick became involved initially with OBSA in the mid 1980’s as a guide runner. In addition to coaching and guiding many students from the school, Nick has spent countless hours of his own time travelling with athletes to competitions throughout Ontario, across Canada and beyond. Notable among the events at which Nick has participated is the World Masters Games where he guided Mike Tyrell, the Canada Summer Games at which he guided both Jon and Jason Dunkerley (who have both gone on to compete in multiple Paralympic games), and numerous provincial and national championships. Nick has also contributed his quiet and sensible perspective to OBSA as the Athletics Advisor for many years. In 2003, Nick received the Ron Foster Award from ParaSport Ontario for his commitment to furthering opportunities for Ontario athletes with a physical disability. Although Nick never pushed any of the athletes with which he worked to continue in running beyond their interest in the sport, his genuine kindness and dedication was instrumental in the development of a number of athletes who would ultimately represent Canada at the world and Paralympic level.

 

Shirley Shelby  

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 For over 30 years, Shirley has devoted countless amounts of time and energy to help the visually impaired and blind community in Ontario realize the benefits that sports and physical activity can bring. She has been steering the ship through program and athlete development all while balancing books and politics. All of her efforts have positively impacted the lives of hundreds of visually impaired and blind Canadians; some that have gone on to win multiple medals at international competitions and others that have simply felt the benefits that sport can provide. Shirley has been able to contribute as the Head of Service Committee for 1981 summer games, as a founding member of sport for disabled Ontario, by sitting on the OBSA board as President in a voluntary role for over thirty years and by re defining the way someone with a disability travels. Shirley is still involved to this day and OBSA is thankful for all she has done and continues to do. 

 


Inducted in 2013


  

John Howe 

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John Howe began teaching at the W Ross Macdonald School for the Blind in 1966, upon starting he wasted no time in introducing a wrestling program that competed against other local high schools.  From this program John brought numerous students to county, district, provincial, and national level competitions. Eventually at the request of the national judo coach, John encouraged a number of his skilled wrestlers to take part in Judo after which John went on to coach at 3 Paralympics and 2 world Championships. John was also very active away from coaching. In 1977 John was a founding member of the Ontario Blind Sports Association and served on its executive committee from 1977 to 2012. John was also a founding member of the Canadian Blind Sports Association and remained a member of its sport technical committee from 1976 – 1989. Throughout his career John presented workshops, seminars and lectures on physical education and sports for athletes with a visual impairment or blindness.

 


The Christy Brothers 

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Rob and Jeff Christy have had a Goalball career few can match. Together they have earned: 3 Eastern Canadian Open gold medals, 7 USABA mid-West regional gold medals, 4 National Capital Invitation gold medals, 4 Montreal Invitational gold medals, and 11 Canadian National Championships that were consecutively 97-07. Furthermore as members of the All Blacks they represented Ontario four times in the prestigious Malmo Open finishing 2nd twice, 3rd once and 4th once.  Malmo is a competition that hosts the best European club teams each year.  Ontario was the first non-European club team to attend. Away from playing the game, Rob continued to give back with coaching and both brothers continue to support the efforts of OBSA in growing the sport of Goalball.

 

Gord Hope 

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Gord Hope has been involved in blind sports both as an athlete and a volunteer. He has an extensive athletic background and shows his diversity as an athlete through his successes in wrestling, goalball, athletics and powerlifting. In wrestling he was the Ontario Champion from 1975 – 1979, National Champion from 1976 – 1980 and 1984 – 1985. Gord represented Canada at the Paralympics for wrestling in 1976 and in 1984. In goalball Gord was an Ontario Champion from 1979 – 1984 and a National Champion in 1976 and 1980 he also represented Canada at the 1978 World Championships in Austria. In athletics Gord found himself winning several Ontario Championships in the 60, 100 and 200 meter sprints as well as in long jump and triple jump. In powerlifting Gord won the Ontario Championships in 1984 and 1985 and represented Canada at the USABA in 1985. As a volunteer Gord also has a lot to be proud of, from helping to organize countless events provincially and nationally, sitting on the OBSA and CBSA board from 1977 – 1982 and as vice president of the Canadian Sport Organization for the Disabled which is now the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

 

Kim Kilpatrick

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Kim started her athletic career at a provincial competition in 1978, after she started she did not miss a competition right through to 1984. Kim swam many events but her favorites were the individual medleys, breast stroke and freestyle. During her time competing Kim was able to set more than a handful of provincial records in the pool. From 1978 to 1983 she also went on to proudly represent Ontario at Nationals winning many medals for her province. From her success nationally, Kim was chosen to represent Canada at 2 Paralympic Games in 1980 and 1984 at those games she won three medals. Kim’s love of swimming brought her more pleasure than the success she was met with. Her ongoing passion and determination will always be remembered and will continue to inspire younger generations of athletes.