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CBC Sports article: Lanny McDonald, Klassen, Weir lead Canada's Sports Hall of Fame newcomers

A mix of amateur and professional athletes headline this year's class of nine inductees to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, announced Wednesday morning in Toronto.

Leading the way are former NHL forward Lanny McDonald, speed skating icon Cindy Klassen and golfer Mike Weir, the first Canadian man to win a major tournament on the PGA Tour.

"You never dream of ever being honoured or asked to go into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame," said McDonald. "I thought it was one of the guys pranking me when this came about but all of a sudden today happens and you realize, 'Oh my gosh.'

"It's so cool. I'm so honoured and thrilled. What a great class to go in with."

"It's very very special," added Carol Huynh, the first Canadian to win Olympic gold in women's wrestling in Beijing in 2008. "I don't think I'm finished yet but for sure, this is a huge honour and an achievement I'm super surprised about and happy to accept."

Also named were the Edmonton Grads women's basketball team, while Dr. Robert W. Jackson and Dr. Charles Tator will be inducted in the builders' category on Nov. 9 in Toronto.

Induction into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame is considered one of the country's highest sporting honours.

Founded in 1955, the new Canada's Sports Hall of Fame building opened July 1, 2011. The 40,000-square-foot facility, open to visitors, is on the west side of Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

The class of 2017

Lanny McDonald

Best known for his giant, walrus-style moustache, McDonald also became an iconic figure in the NHL. He capped a 47-goal season in 1978 with the Game 7 overtime winner to help the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New York Islanders and advance to the semifinals. Ranking 13th all time in franchise history in points, he was traded to Colorado two seasons later and went on to score 500 goals and 1,006 points in a Hall of Fame career that ended in a Stanley Cup title with Calgary in 1989.

Cindy Klassen

A speed skating legend, she became the only Canadian athlete to win five medals in a single Olympics, winning one gold, two silver and two bronze in 2006 in Turin, Italy. Klassen, who later received the Lou Marsh Award as Canadian athlete of the year, first came to world prominence in 2002 when she won Olympic bronze in the 3,000 metres at the Salt Lake City Games. She retired in 2015 at age 35.

Mike Weir

Weir became a national hero in 2003 with his improbable and magical Masters victory, the first-ever win by a Canadian man at a major golf tournament. Weir topped the field two more times that season and again in 2004 and 2007 to give him eight wins overall. While he hasn't won since, the 46-year-old from Brights Grove, Ont., has pocketed nearly $28 million US in career earnings and was the first Canadian to play in the Presidents Cup.

Simon Whitfield

One of the most successful athletes in triathlon history, Whitfield won a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and added a silver eight years later in Beijing. In his 16 years racing for Canada, the native of Kingston, Ont., also won gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and recorded 14 World Cup victories and eight top-10 finishes at the world championships. A ferocious competitor, Whitfield retired in 2014 at age 38.

"To be recognized as an Olympian and Canadian [Sports] Hall of Fame member and to know the legacy of the great Canadian athletes that have come before and will come in the future, I'm proud to be part of that legacy," said Whitfield.

Carol Huynh

The Hazelton, B.C., wrestler became the first Canadian woman in her sport to earn an Olympic title in 2008 at Beijing and added a bronze in 2012 in London. Huynh was an 11-time Canadian champion, two-time Pan American champion, Commonwealth champion and four-time medallist at the world championships. Last summer, she served as Canada's assistant chef de mission for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Gaylord Powless

The "Marvellous Mohawk" from Ohsweken, Ont., was a star in both the junior and professional levels of lacrosse. Powless led the Oshawa Green Gaels to four Minto Cup championships from 1964 to 1967 and twice was selected most valuable player.

The legend of Gaylord Powless — lacrosse savant
Named the top Native athlete in Canada at age 17, Powless and his father Ross are members of the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the only father-son tandem to be inducted in the players' category. Gaylord Powless died from cancer on July 28, 2001 at age 54.

Edmonton Grads

Long before the Edmonton Oilers dynasty years in the 1980s, the Grads women's basketball team dominated the competition. A remarkable 25-year run that began in 1915 saw the team become Canadian, North American and world champions while changing the attitude of those who viewed women competing in sports as unhealthy. The Grads won 16 straight world titles and posted a 502-20 record, once beating a French squad 109-20, before disbanding in 1940 because of travel restrictions resulting from World War II.

Robert W. Jackson

A talented surgeon, Dr. Jackson was credited with bringing the practice of arthroscopy to North America from Japan. The Toronto native was also a founding member of the Canadian Paralympic movement in 1967, helping Canada make its debut at the 1968 Paralympic Games in Tel Aviv. In 1976, Dr. Jackson organized the Olympiad for the physically challenged that ran parallel to the Montreal Olympics. He died on Jan. 6, 2010 at age 78.

Dr. Charles Tator

Dr. Tator, 80, is a world renowned expert on sports concussions and spinal cord injury, prevention and treatment research. The Toronto-based neurosurgeon is an advocate for stronger regulations around head shots in hockey and his laboratory was the first in Canada to study acute spinal cord injury. Dr. Tator founded ThinkFirstCanada in 1992, an organization that educates youngsters about safety, and helped develop the Canadian Brain and Nerve Health Coalition in 2002. Two years earlier, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.

Article from Ponoka News: Ponoka's Chidlow recognized by Alberta Sport

Alberta Sport Connection (ASC) has announced its 2016 Athlete and Team of the Year Awards and 2017 Alberta Sport Recognition Awards for coach developers, coaches, officials and volunteers.

Among them is Ponoka's Marilyn Chidlow being recognized in the Sport Recognition Award for her volunteer work in figure skating. Last year Chidlow was also announced as the 2016 Alberta Sports Hall of Fame inductee for her dedication to figure skating in Canada.

"These individuals and teams are Alberta's best. We're proud of what they've achieved and honoured to recognize them for their outstanding contribution to sport in our province," said Andrew Ference, Chair of Alberta Sport Connection. "They have reached higher, dug deeper, led by example, and made our sport system better."

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COLORADO SPINGS, Colo. — Calgary lawyer Doug Mitchell, a former CFL player, commissioner and member of the NHL board of governors, will be inducted into the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame next month.

While Mitchell arrived at the school on a hockey scholarship, he is being honoured for his prowess on the football field.

Known as somebody who doesn't take 'no' for an answer, Mitchell tried out for the football team despite not having permission from his hockey coach.

"He couldn't prevent me from being a walk-on," Mitchell told The Canadian Press in a 2013 interview. "So I took that as an invitation and I walked on and I eventually became a starter on the football team."

The 79-year-old Mitchell, who was a centre and linebacker for the Tigers, graduated in 1959 and went on to study law at the University of British Columbia, where he also played football.

After a pro stint in the CFL, Mitchell went on to a successful career as a lawyer and in the sports world, serving as the CFL's commissioner from 1984-89 and as a member of the NHL board of governors in the early '80s.

Mitchell is also the founder of the BLG Awards, which honour the top athletes in Canadian university sports and are sponsored by his law firm.

"The 2017 Hall of Fame induction class will be remembered as one of the strongest in the college's history," CC director of athletics Ken Ralph said in a statement. "We are celebrating not only students who had great achievements while at Colorado College, but also alumni who had remarkable careers after leaving campus. All of them are great Tigers."

Mitchell is also a member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2004.

Some 47 years after he graduated from UBC law's school, the university renamed its Thunderbird Winter Sports Centre the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in his honour. The Mitchell Bowl, one of the two CIS football semifinals, is also named after him.

The induction ceremony, which will also honour former NHLer Greg Smith, Slovak hockey forward Peter Sejna, lacrosse player Cassie Abel and the 1989 women's soccer team, is set for May 13 in Colorado Springs.

Calgary Sun: Anderson remembered as great person, player

He will always be remembered by the one name – Sugarfoot – and as a significant part of the Calgary football community.

During a celebration of his life Tuesday night at the Red and White Club , Ezzrett Anderson was described by those who knew him best as a quality individual throughout his many years.

He meant so much to so many, as former Calgary Stampeders great John Helton shared.

"He just means a lot to me,'' said an emotional Helton. "He was absolutely real. All he wanted to do was be him and that's who Sugar is. That's what I'll keep in my heart. He's as good a friend as I've ever had.

"He wasn't just a friend. He wasn't my father but he was everything you could hope to have in a man that made a difference in your life. Truly amazing. He was a phenomenal gift to mankind.''

Anderson passed away on Mar. 8 at age 97. He played with the Stamps from 1949 to 1955, and in 1990 was added to the club's Wall of Fame. Twenty years later, he was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Even if you hadn't witnessed his on-field exploits, there was no missing the larger-than-life six-foot-four Anderson around the city and at Stampeders practices, the love of his team evident in his desire to stay close to the players and coaches. For those beside him, there would always be the trademark smile and a 'hello'.

"I feel so strongly that he was a very integral ingredient," said Helton. "When he would sit over there (in the stands) and those kids would come by with their helmets and stop by and he'd have a good word for them, there's not a value on that. He did that because he cared."

The large crowd at the celebration included family, the football fraternity and the general public. His wife Anne English spoke to the gathering.

"He lived and breathed that organization called the Calgary Stampeders," she said. "He thrived on being part of that organization, no matter the ownership. I thank you and he thanks you for always including Sugarfoot."

Stampeders general manager John Hufnagel was also one of those who shared his memories of double-0.

"It's well-documented that Sugar would come to practice," he said. "At the start of practice, we'd have stretch period, I'd go over and say hello, shake that big old mitt of a hand. Most of it was fun and games, but there were times when I sought his opinion and advice on some contentious issues. He was such a good-natured man. Speaking for all the head coaches before me, he didn't change his act no matter who the coach was. That's how much passion he had for the Stampeders.

"Even when he slowed down, he was everywhere. I would speak to the crowd here (at the Red and White Club) before the games and one of my duties was introducing alumni. Anne and Sugar were always here. I would always introduce Sugar last, save the best for last, and he always got the loudest ovation."

Longtime Stampeders executive Stan Schwartz recalled how much Anderson meant to the city and to the team itself.

"He was a true Stampeder ambassador,'' said Schwartz. "He was a real good connection from the past to the present. From the first day he got here in 1949, he maintained that relationship with the players right to the end.

"People were always excited to have him at functions because he always was willing to share a story and we all know he had many, many stories. Sugar would share the past, growing up in the cotton fields of Arkansas, and all the way through to his pro experience in Los Angeles and his association with the movie industry. He kept association with a lot of the players, the Jackie Robinsons and the Woody Strodes.''

A couple of the most heartfelt speeches were given by his two sons, John and Barry Anderson.

Hockey Canada

New policy mandates cross-ice and half-ice hockey

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada wants all of Canada on the same page when it comes to the delivery of its Initiation Program – traditionally a player's first brush with organized hockey at the ages of five and six.

Although the Initiation Program – originally developed more than 35 years ago – always recommended cross-ice or half-ice small-area games, its delivery has varied from community to community. Beginning in the upcoming 2017-18 season, a new Hockey Canada policy now mandates that Initiation-aged players receive age-appropriate programming on cross-ice or half-ice surfaces.

"You would never put a five- or six-year-old child on a full-size soccer pitch, or expect them to play basketball without any adjustments made for their size. Hockey is no different," said Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development for Hockey Canada, who notes that while some provinces and communities already deliver cross-ice programming at the Initiation level, others have always utilized full ice for practices and games.

"The Initiation Program was developed to allow kids to have fun, learn skills, and develop confidence," said Carson. "Re-sizing the playing surface to cross-ice or half-ice means more puck-touches, which result in more chances to practice puck-control and shooting, as well as overall more movement and motor skill-development – twisting, turning, balance, coordination, agility. Their field-of-play matches their size, and these players hone in on their skill-development in a way that larger ice surfaces just aren't conducive to."

The differences in skill-development opportunities with cross-ice or half-ice hockey are significant: players receive five times more passes and take six times more shots. They're called on to have to make more decisions more quickly, and are overall more engaged in the game.

Special boards and bumpers have been developed that allow for quick and easy division of a regular-sized rink into two half-ice surfaces or three cross-ice rinks, with options to create different small-area configurations. Not only does re-sizing the playing surface allow for Initiation-aged players to develop their hockey skills more effectively, it also allows communities to maximize their ice time by safely putting more teams and games on the ice at one time.

Instruction on delivering age-appropriate programming will also be available to coaches trained in the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Coach 1 – Intro Coach. This clinic, delivered by Hockey Canada's 13 members, is geared towards coaches of entry-level players to provide resources that will aid in the implementation of skill-development and game play.

To ensure all members of the Alberta hockey community understand the new mandate for the Initiation Program, Hockey Alberta will be undertaking a multi-faceted communication plan that includes the following opportunities for engagement and updates:
· May 6-7: in-person with Minor Hockey Association (MHA) presidents/executive members during Spring Conference sessions held in Okotoks and Fort Saskatchewan.
· June 17-18: in-person with Development Directors for MHAs, and Provincial Coach 1 Facilitators at the Hockey Alberta Development Seminar in Sylvan Lake.
· September: in-person with Initiation Program Directors for MHAs (date/location TBA)
· October-November 15: in-person as part of Coach 1 Clinic delivery (locations across the province)
· Online at, where Initiation Program and development materials can be accessed by any member of the hockey community.

Resources such as the Hockey Canada Network – a best-in-class skill-development resource geared to coaches – features information on the purpose of cross-ice hockey and how to run effective on-ice sessions for the five- and six-year-old Initiation age group.

Hockey Canada has also produced a video that features renowned sport scientist Dr. Steve Norris; Olympic, World Cup, world, and Stanley Cup champion Sidney Crosby (Cole Harbour, N.S./Pittsburgh, NHL); Memorial Cup, World Cup, and IIHF World Championship-winning coach Bill Peters (Three Hills, Alta./Carolina, NHL); and Olympic gold-medallist and two-time IIHF Women's World Championship silver-medallist Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) describing the importance of small area games and cross-ice/half-ice hockey.

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Initiation Program, please visit, or follow along through social media on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information, please contact:
Lisa Dornan
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada

Medicine Hat News: Hat native Stan Schwartz called to Canadian Football Hall of Fame

Medicine Hat native Stan Schwartz is heading to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

The former Calgary Stampeders president is among six Canadian Football League greats named on Thursday morning as the induction class of 2017.

Schwartz is joined by standout players Kelvin Anderson, Anthony Calvillo, Mike O'Shea and Geroy Simon, as well as University of Saskatchewan Huskies coach Brian Towriss.

The ceremony will take place on Sept. 15 at the Hall of Fame Game in Hamilton and further celebrations will take place prior to the 105th Grey Cup game in Ottawa in November.

Schwartz joined the Stampeders in 1976 where he served as assistant coach, and he eventually became the club's president in 1996. The Stamps appeared in eight Grey Cup games during his time, winning five. He was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 2005, and is a member of the Medicine Hat sports wall of fame.