Inducted in 2018
As a child and adolescent, Cheryl attended the W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind in Brantford. While there, Cheryl took full advantage of the variety of sports offered to her. She grew into a competitive athlete who dedicated herself to various sports, including but not limited to Goalball and Track and Field. Through Cheryl’s dedication, determination and natural prowess in sport, she qualified for and participated in two Paralympic Games. In 1980, Cheryl represented Canada in Arnhem, Netherlands, where she earned Gold in the 3000-metre walk and a Bronze in High-Jump. In 1984, Cheryl again competed for Canada in the New York Paralympics. There, she again earned Gold in the 3000-metre walk and a Silver in the 1500-metre. During her time as an athlete, Cheryl approached sport with a passion for learning and high achievement on the international platform. She earned respect as an athlete in helping put Canada on the map in terms of Paralympic success. Cheryl’s story is without doubt one of great success. Congratulations, Cheryl!
Rod discovered a passion and natural ability in sport while attending W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind in Brantford. He grew quickly into an all-round athlete, competing in Wrestling, Track and Field, Goalball, Baseball, Hockey, and Football. Rod learned many valuable lessons through sport and utilized this knowledge to an end of much success in his personal and professional life after school. Some of his accolades include several provincial and national championships, competition in the Paralympics, 1984-New York, and a multitude of World Championship medals in Powerlifting, as well as earning a gold medal in 1997-Colorado Springs. Rod continues his sport successes today, actively competing in Goalball and setting an example for younger visually impaired athletes in his home town of Kitchener.
Judi has contributed to blind sport in so many ways as a builder and athlete and while she could be inducted in either category, tonight, we recognize her incredible contributions as a builder. Judy has volunteered with OBSA as a member of our board for 10 years, and has competed in Bowling and Lawn Bowling.
Judi has served on a number of other boards of sport organizations, including the Heritage Blind Lawn Bowlers, Waterloo Blind Bowlers and the Ontario Division of 5-pin Bowlers.
Through competing, Judi discovered how much sport offered her in a positive way and she became determined to facilitate others gaining the same experience and growth. It is because of this drive that she became a staunch advocate and leader in the blind community!
Inducted in 2017
Eric has shown great dedication to sport from an early age, engaging actively in wrestling and track & field from the age of twelve. His accomplishments include Paralympic Wrestling, to which he won silver at the 1980 Paralympics in Holland, the setting of a new world record in High Jump and competing in Goalball at the international level. From over 40 athletes in the 100-metre sprint, Eric Lambier made the Top 10 in the international event.
Following these accomplishments in sport, Eric decided to concentrate on his music career. Through his great talents and independence, Eric has paved way for a comprehensive approach to sport for the blind and it is through examples like his that we emphasize the importance of multisport athletes, encouraging our athletes to participate in as many sports as possible.
Bill Morgan has achieved great success as a multisport athlete. At the age of 15, Bill was a member of the Canadian Blind Wrestling Team in Holland, where he finished 4th in the World Championships. It was after this that he decided to pursue Judo and Goalball, to which he won gold at the 1998 Canadian National Goalball Championships and gold at the 1999 Para Pan-American Judo Competition. This was followed by a 5th place finish at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games, and his second bronze medal at the 2006 World Championships in France.
Bill retired from competition in Judo in 2010. He holds the distinction of the first OBSA athlete to win a World Championship medal in Judo and to represent Canada at the Paralympics in the sport of Judo.
W. Ross Macdonald School
WRMS was the hub and foundation of blind sports in Ontario long before OBSA was even incorporated. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the institution, they were originally named the Ontario School for the Blind and have been providing support to blind and visually impaired athletes through the ongoing development of opportunities to learn, become more fit, and hone sport-specific skills.
Over the years, their amazing staff have given freely and generously their time and expertise to help create and support programs that all students may benefit from, many of which were open to those who didn’t even attend the school. The school has always been on the leading edge of growing blind sports in Ontario and is home to many excellent programs for the blind.
Helena is an extraordinarily dedicated individual and has contributed greatly to the growth of Goalball in Canada and around the world. She was a twelve-time member of the Ontario provincial women’s Goalball team, winning gold at the National Championships five times. Selected twice as a member of the Canadian national team, Helena is a true leader and role model for athletes of the sport, winning two bronze medals in Seoul (1988) and Barcelona (1992). Throughout her extensive Goalball career, Helena has been a leader on and off the court.
She is also a talented musician, serving as music director with various church organizations while actively teaching guitar, piano, and percussion. She has developed and taught a music program for toddlers and their parents – Tunes for Tots – and has taught and delivered the power of music to adults living with disability.
From all of her hard work as an athlete, she is a champion of Goalball and has worked for 20 years to educate and support deaf-blind individuals in Brantford.
Inducted in 2016
Rob Gaunt found tremendous success as an athlete in both Goalball and Powerlifting. At the ripe age of 18, Rob represented Canada as a member of the men’s goalball team during the 1988 Paralympics in Seoul, Korea. From there, he decided to seriously train and compete in the sport of Powerlifting. He managed to win a gold medal in the 1992 Powerlifting World Championships in Perth, Australia followed by another gold medal 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 ever had in any Paralympic Games.
Rob is a strong believer in transferrable skills and knowledge and is appreciative of what sport has provided him, leading him on a path of success in life.
Tina Jillings was introduced to sport at a young age and was hooked on the prospect from the very beginning. Her friendly and fun demeanor paused once competition began, as losing was simply not an option. She found immediate success on the track, primarily 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.
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’s positive influence on blind sports came about through over 30 years of experience coaching athletes with a visual impairment. Perhaps 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 girls with a visual impairment in sport that were not currently available.
Through coaching she has positively 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 moved to Ontario from Antigonish, Nova Scotia at the age of nineteen 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 is a true pioneer in the sport of Goalball. He competed as an 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. He is also a mogul on the administrative side of blind sports as he was an OBSA board representative for nine years during our natal beginnings. Brian is a true example of an Active for Life athlete as he still plays with his local club to this day.
Inducted in 2014
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. He 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 and, in addition, was inducted into the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame in 1992.
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 initially became involved 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. Nick’s 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.
Inducted in 2013
For over 30 years, Shirley Shelby has devoted countless hours and massive amounts of energy to help the visually impaired and blind community in Ontario realize the benefits of sport and physical activity. 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 contributed as the Head of Service Committee for 1981 Summer Games, as a founding member of Sport for Disabled Ontario, by presiding on the OBSA Board of Directors as President for over thirty years, and by redefining the way someone with a disability travels. Shirley is still involved to this day and OBSA is grateful for all she has done and continues to do for us.
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. Through this program, John brought numerous students to district, provincial, and national level competitions.
Eventually, at the request of the national coach for Judo in Canada, John coached and 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, he helped found the Ontario Blind Sports Association and served on our 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
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. As members of the All Blacks team, they represented Ontario four times in the prestigious Malmö Open, a competition that hosts the best European club teams each year, finishing second twice. Ontario was the first non-European club team to attend, and Rob and Jeff were a large part of this team.
Rob continues to give back in his role as Goalball Director for OBSA and coaching our elite athletes, and both brothers continue to support the efforts of OBSA in growing the sport of Goalball throughout Ontario.
Mr. Gord Hope was involved in blind sports both as an athlete and a volunteer. He had an extensive athletic background and showed his diversity as an athlete through his successes in wrestling, goalball, athletics and powerlifting. In wrestling, he was the Ontario Champion from 1975 – 1979 and 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 won 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 started her athletic career at a provincial competition in 1978 and did not miss a competition right through to 1984. Kim swam many events, but her favourites were the individual medleys, breast stroke and freestyle. During her time competing, Kim was able to set 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, winning three medals at those international competitions. Her ongoing passion and determination will always be remembered and will continue to inspire younger generations of athletes.