Huntsville’s top male and female sports people of the year will be honoured Saturday June 3 when they officially receive their special awards at the Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at the Active Living Centre.
The Mike Greaves award will go to Bill Kennedy and the Jen Glenn Award will go to Justine Brown and Melissa Key.
The Mike Greaves award
Bill Kennedy, an 86 year old Oxgtongue Lake resident, is being recognized for his contribution to old timers hockey in Huntsville. He admits he was not a great player but has had a lifetime interest in the sport.
Kennedy played for the GreyOwls oldtimers’ team for a time in 1994 after retiring to Oxtongue Lake and in 1996 he went out to play noon-hour shinny at the Jack Bionda arena. There he found the players too young and too fast so he approached the Recreation Director to see if there was any available ice time.
Once a week, he, Doug Barnes and Watt Parsons would take to the ice to pass the puck around a bit. This very slowly attracted others, and created a need for more ice time.
It wasn’t until the Summit Centre was built in 2008 that they were able to get Monday, Wednesday and Friday ice from from 8 am to 10. This drew over 100 players to the roster and created a new problem. Many new 55-plus players started coming out, and the speed and skill levels skyrocketed, so once again the group, lead by Bill, formed a second Super Seniors group age 65 and over. They also invited women of this age group to come out once a month. The roster now ices 100 – 150 players.
Kennedy was inducted into the Canadian 80-plus Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015 along with Watt Parsons.
The Jen Glenn Award
Melissa Key and Justine Brown are being recognized for their role in creating the Band on the Run event in Huntsville, which has grown to become one of the Province’s most popular racing events.
Key thought for years that Huntsville would be an ideal location for a half Marathon given the beautiful scenery and challenging terrain. She teamed with Justine Brown and their vision took shape. Music, and its motivational power, kept creeping into their thoughts and it seemed only logical to integrate music with the event.
In 2012 there were 300 participants and today it has grown to over 2000. In addition to the original half marathon, a kids one kilometre event and a very popular five kilometre walk have been added.
Key and Brown are also busy organizing the Muskoka Kids Triathlon event, their third year at the helm. That event has raised $1000 for the YWCA’s Girlz Unplugged program.
The list of inductees include the 1987 Huntsville Taylor Floor Covering Jr B lacrosse team, athletes Larry Ireland and Ken Thompson, manager Roy Oke and builder Dave Russell.
The President’s award will be shared by Tracy and Randy Robinson and Bessie and Dino Georges for dedication and continued general support of sport and recreation in Huntsville.
Wendy McConnell, chair of the selection committee described this year’s choices as special. “We are quite excited about our selections,” she said, “true legends of our sporting community, each of them.”
Tickets are available at Treasures and Trophies, 30 Main St. E., Huntsville, for $20.
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