Wellness, Culture and Sport
Sports hall of fame elects six new inductees01 March 2012
FREDERICTON (CNB) – Six new members will be inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in Fredericton on June 9. The inductees were announced today by John Estabrooks, chair of the hall of fame's board of governors.
The inductees bring the total number of sports hall of fame honoured members to 225. The inductees are:
Sarah Forbes, of Fredericton, began her field hockey career at Fredericton High School. She was a member of the gold medal winning Team New Brunswick at the 1989 Canadian Summer Games. During her 16 years on the national team, she competed in 11 international competitions, including three Commonwealth Games and two Pan-American Games, resulting in one silver and three bronze medals. While playing field hockey for York University, Forbes was named all-star, most valuable player and all-Canadian. Forbes now lives in Ontario and coaches the women's field hockey team at the University of Guelph.
Jacques LeBlanc, of Memramcook, started boxing at age 13 and turned professional at 17. His record of 320 rounds without ever having been knocked down puts him among the most resilient boxers in Canadian boxing history. He is considered a world-class competitor and defensive specialist. LeBlanc earned five boxing titles, including the Commonwealth Eliminator and overall titles for Canadian, Maritime and Eastern. LeBlanc continues to stay involved with boxing and can often be seen at gyms in Moncton helping young boxers.
Hal Merrill, of Fredericton, is an internationally recognized paralympian who has competed at three Paralympics Games (1992, 1996, 2000) for javelin, shotput and discuss. Throughout his 11-year national and international career, Merrill won 16 medals and earned several world records. Merrill is a member of the Fredericton Wall of Fame and has twice been awarded Sport New Brunswick's male athlete of the year. He lives in Fredericton and devotes time to parasport through volunteer work with the Stan Cassidy Rehabilitation Centre, Ability New Brunswick and in New Brunswick schools.
Matthew Stairs, of Fredericton, had an illustrious career in major league baseball that included winning the 2009 World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies. His baseball career has earned him two major league records including: most pinch-hit home runs, at 23; and most teams played for in a career (12). Throughout his 19-year major league career, the longest ever by a New Brunswicker, he was known as a dedicated, hard-working player and a team leader. Stairs has recently accepted a sportscast commentator position with the Boston Red Sox.
Milaine Thériault, of Saint-Quentin, is the first New Brunswick athlete to have competed in three Winter Olympic Games (1998, 2002, 2006). She skied for Team New Brunswick in the 1991 Canadian Winter Games and went on to compete at the national senior level with first place finishes in 1993, 1998, 1999 and 2000. As an international competitor, Thériault has many top-30 finishes, including a second-place showing at the Women's Relay in 2001. Her career has earned her a number of awards, including Sport New Brunswick's female athlete of the year award in 2002. Thériault is the co-chair of the Cross Country Canada's Women's Committee.
William Tracy, of Sackville, began his athletic career in 1939 and continues to remain active at the age of 91. Tracy's accomplishments span a spectrum of sports, but his greatest achievements came in curling. He won the Quebec championship four times (1954, 1965, 1966, 1968) and represented Quebec at the brier in 1965. He is a member of the Sackville Sports Wall of Fame, as well as the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame, and he holds an award for a perfect game, 1-0. Tracy is still an avid curler and can be found on the ice helping young curlers improve their game.
"We are proud to be announcing the election of these six distinguished athletes," said Jamie Wolverton, executive director of the sports hall of fame. "We hope to see a great turnout for this year's event, and we look forward to honouring all the inductees."
Tickets for the induction ceremony may be purchased at sports hall of fame, 503 Queen St., Fredericton, or by calling 506-453-3747.
The hall of fame is a not-for-profit organization located in the Garrison District of downtown Fredericton. It honours achievement in competitive sport and functions as a seasonal museum. It has more than 200 original portraits, an interactive virtual sports system and numerous exhibits.
● New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame: www.nbsportshalloffame.com/en