Shirley Shelby Award

Providing opportunities to have fun, participate and compete.

Upcoming Events

For over 40 years, Shirley had devoted herself through her work with OBSA and ParaSport Ontario to help Canadians with a disability realize the benefits that sports and physical activity can bring. She had steered the ship through program and athlete development in blind sport. Shirley always served and stood up for the needs of persons living with a disability. All of her efforts had positively impacted the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of Canadians with a physical disability; some that have gone on to win multiple medals at international competitions and others that have simply felt the lifelong benefits that sport can provide. All of these successes can be attributed to Shirley’s initiative and influence as a leader.

Shirley received multiple awards for her work; in 1991 she won the Ron Foster Award where she was recognized for her volunteerism at the provincial level; in 2008, she was a King Clancy Award recipient, recognized for her dedication to delivering opportunities for athletes with a physical disability in sport and recreation; and in 2013, Shirley was inducted at the Ontario Blind Sports Association Hall of Fame. Shirley’s accolades expand further, also receiving honours at the Ontario Sport Awards and the Toronto Sports Hall of Honour Lifetime Achievement award. Her last award was given to her in 2017 at the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame. Shirley’s love to serve others had made her a well-deserving recipient of her many awards, and her efforts were recognized at the local, provincial, and national level for the many battles she had fought and won for people with a disability.

The Award

The Shirley Shelby award is awarded once a year to one individual and is to be presented at the OBSA Hall of Fame Gala. The individual being awarded this honour will possess the following attributes:

  • Create positive social and cultural impact
  • Give their time to building blind sports across Ontario
  • Volunteer either on their own or as part of a group
  • Show leadership through volunteering
  • Help strengthen their community through volunteering

To submit a nomination for the Shelby Shelby award, download and complete the nomination form below and email it to

Recipients  of the Shirley Shelby Award:

2023 – John Howe