Peter Kemp’s ‘field of dreams’ was built in the 1970s with the formation of the upstart Georgian Bay and District Slo Pitch League, one of the province’s oldest and most established slo-pitch organizations. Along with Collingwood Sports Hall of Famer Ron Ralph, he helped construct the foundation for slo pitch in the community and served as an early and dedicated president of the league.
The 72-year-old Toronto-born dentist planted roots in Collingwood during the 1960s and since then has influenced multiple sports –- in addition to slo pitch –- including golf, hockey, and curling as a competitor, leader, and key organizer. He competed provincially and won Ontario Slo Pitch crowns several times as a member of Canadian Mist and Christie’s squads. He competed in the Ontario Winter Games on four occasions. Locally, ‘Kemper’ was active in the popular Summerfest tournaments held each year to celebrate the sport of slo pitch.
An avid golfer, Kemp was President of the Blue Mountain Golf and Country Club in 1974 and during the late ‘70s was deeply involved in the organization’s Junior Development Program. He captained the Blue Mountain Golf and Country Club’s Senior Men’s Division for seven years.
During cold Georgian Bay winters on the ice indoors, Kemp’s other sports loves were hockey and curling. As a lifelong hockey player, he was a central figure in the development of old timers hockey in Collingwood and organized at least 10 Beaver Lumber Tournaments.
Currently, Kemp is a member of the Collingwood Curling Club, where he instructs Juniors, as well as new and existing adult curlers.
Courtesy of Roger Hannon
This evening, the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame welcomes Peter Kemp as an enshrined member of Collingwood’s sporting history.
The incredible growth and overall athlete success of Nordic skiing in the Collingwood region inevitably can be traced to the involvement of the Sinclair family in Duntroon.
On Saturday, October 25, 2014, the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame proudly welcomed Larry Sinclair – Builder to join his father Jim, as an enshrined member.
As a young man, Larry competed on the provincial and national level and parlayed his experience and success into a highly respected coach and mentor to young skiers.
During the 1980’s, Larry coached the Cdn. Junior team travelling to Finland, Russia and Bulgaria for international compeititions. He was also a support coach at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.
Larry brought this experience home and alongside his father – Jim Sinclair – founded the Highlands Trailblazers Cross Country Ski Club. A club that has trained hundreds of youths including a 2x Olympian – Brittany Webster.
As owner of the Nordic Cross Country Ski Centre, the facility has hosted Provincial Ontario Cup races, OFSSA Nordic championships & a National Championships (2003 and 2009).
Larry’s love of the winter outdoors is infectious to the ever growing number of athletes coming to Highlands Nordic. Larry is universally respected across the sport and community.
Sadly, Larry Sinclair died on January 25, 2015 following a lengthy battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Pat Elson, and daughters Kelly and Megan.
In his competitive golfing career, Mike has atop the leader board for more than 50 golf championships spanning the local, provincial, national and international landscape. Mike has played in national events in all ten Canadian provinces at least once.
Jackson is currently ranked in the upper tier out of more than 700 senior golfers by Golf Week Magazine in the United States. And as recently as May 2012, he
won the Ontario Senior Men’s “Champion of Champions” title by two strokes in Peterborough.
His athletic roots run deep in Collingwood. He is the son of Ken “Jeep”’ Jackson, a member of the Sports Hall of Fame. Michael, who played local Junior hockey as a right-winger, tried out for the Guelph CMC’s in 1972. In 1973, he attended the training camp for the Toronto Maple Leafs arranged through local scout Donald ‘Nip’ Spooner. Mike also played a couple of years of Senior “B” Hockey for the Durham Husky’s winning a provincial championship.
An excellent right-handed golfer as a youth, Jackson was Ontario Best Ball Champion with Hugh Fraser in 1976. As an amateur, he competed numerous times at the provincial level. He took part in the 1985 British Amateur at Royal Dornoch in Scotland and was 27th out of 288 golfers before match play. His medal score was ahead of such greats as Duffy Waldorf, Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie. He was the 2003 mid-amateur provincial champion (played at Mad River in Stayner) and won the 2010 Ontario Senior Men’s Amateur crown at the Ambassador Golf Club in Windsor.
Locally, Jackson has been the Blue Mountain Golf and Country Club champion an
unprecedented 15 times, the club’s Senior champ twice and captured the Scenic
Caves Invitational on seven occasions. As a six-time champion with the Midland Golf and Country Club, he holds the course record of 63, shot in the final round of the club championship in 1979. He’s a four-time winner of both the Georgian Bay Club championship and Senior Club championship, along with being Match Play champion for three years.
Jackson, a committed community citizen, owns the GM dealership in Collingwood. A recipient of Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellowship Award, he has been the E-3 Community Living golf tournament chair for many years. He was a board member for the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame committee from 1988 to 2002. Jackson has been on the board of the Canadian Auto Institute (CAI) at Georgian College for several years, and was its chairman of the board from 2005 to 2007.
Jackson is appreciative of the support of his family – wife Doreen, son Ryan and
daughter Courtney – which has allowed him to venture far and wide in his chosen
sport. He credits fellow Sports Hall of Famers Don Cook and Brian Jeffery for giving him the inspiration to compete in golf.
On October 20, 2012, the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame welcomed Mike Jackson as an enshrined ‘Athlete’ from our sporting community.
Brian Bailey is the wind beneath the wings of the Collingwood Sailing School, which has been recognized by the Canadian Yachting Association and teaches the ropes to
more than 100 youth and adults each year. A Collingwood Yacht Club member since
1973, the Manchester, U.K.-born Bailey raced DEIMOS, an Express 30, for 29
years. The long-time sailor has been the club’s Keel Boat Champion three times. He has been commodore of the local yacht club as well as a member of its board of directors for more than 20 years. In Toronto, he was part of a successful racing crew on a custom C & C 34 which won the Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s;Champion of Champions.
Bailey was the catalyst in the history of the successful Collingwood Sailing School. He
channeled his energy, knowledge and pride into a unique educational opportunity
for budding sailors in the region. Bailey’s early involvement in the sailing school resulted when his son, Kyle, was hired by the former Watts Skiff Sailing School in 2001 as its sole instructor. The following season, he became the volunteer course director helping to drive increased enrolment, improved classroom instruction on the second floor of the Collingwood Terminals warehouse, and organized the repair of a collection of cast-off boats.
The Sailing School, in 2011, had close to 120 students and five instructors. (Almost
all of the instructors hired have been former graduates of the program.) The school’s fleet of 20 boats receives heavy use throughout the summer season. Student volunteers earn valuable experience for their instructor certification and community placement hours for high school graduation requirements. The school offers Canadian Yachting Association White Sail I, II, III, and Bronze IV; V courses at the Collingwood Harbour. The school uses a variety of dinghies from 7.5 feet to 14 feet.
Bailey is an avid skier, working as a Blue Mountain patroller from 1995 to 2004. He was a Mosport racer from 1961 to 1967 with his Sunbeam Alpine car. His first race was in front of a crowd of 50,000 people. He is passionate about all three sports; sailing, skiing and racing; describing how participants carve into turns in each of them. “You feel it”, he said. “You slide through it. If you have done all three, you can relate.”
Adrian van den Hoven is a sailing master of the Great Lakes. He is the first Canadian to complete solo racing on all five of the lakes, has won his division in all but one of the lakes, and was our country’s first participant in the Super Mac marathon race. For his outstanding efforts, he was awarded the Collingwood Yacht Club’s James Russell Memorial Trophy in 2011 for Meritorious Navigation skills. He’s proven to be one of the best in his racing division.
Seven years after beginning the sport of sailing, van den Hoven set sail on a racing career in 1997. Three years later, he was racing solo and placed first in the 2003 Collingwood Yacht Club Invitational Race. Three out of the five times that he entered the Georgian Bay Sailing Regatta from 2000 to 2008, he placed first in his division and took overall honours in ’00. As part of the crew aboard the 42-foot Benateau ‘Smokum Too’ out of Thornbury, he worked the foredeck handling sails and spinnaker from 2000 to 2011. In 2006, the boat became the first-ever Canadian entry to win overall honours in the Chicago – Mackinac race.
van den Hoven enjoys working out and training, skis alpine and cross-country during the winter months. He works as a full-time employee with Hydro One as a Hydro One Lines Supervisor in Stayner, Ontario.
It didn’t take McKechnie long to set new benchmarks in swimming as a young member of the Collingwood Clippers. He started swimming at age 9. He holds 60 short-course and long-course club records and five Huronia Regional records. In 1996, he was ranked the nation’s third-fastest 10-year-old swimmer and clocked strong results at the provincials, where he was champion in the 50 and 100 breaststroke.
Ivy League champion swimmer David McKechnie is recognized as one of Cornell University’s all-time best performers, his swimming accomplishments rank among the best results in Ivy League history. He achieved the highest honour a college swimmer can attain as he qualified for the 2007 NCAA Division 1 championship in Minnesota. He placed 24th in the 100 breaststroke. It was a landmark year for the Cornell team, which claimed its first unbeaten dual-meet season in 60 years (10-0) and captured the regular season Ivy League title for the first time in school history. Cornell defeated Princeton and Harvard for the first time in over 20 years. From 2005 to 2007, he was the three-time Ivy League winner in the 100 breaststroke and twice won the league championship in the 200 breaststroke.
He was a member of four championship-winning relays for Cornell at Ivy competition in 2007. He was Cornell’s MVP in 2004-05 and 2006-07 and won the Spirit Award in 2004.
At the 2004 Canadian Olympic trials, McKechnie placed 12th in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. He won the 50 breaststroke championship at the Bell Grand Prix National Meet in Etobicoke in 2006, 3/10th of a second off the national record set by Morgan Knabe. He beat three Canadian Olympians in the process (Mike Brown, Scott Dickens, Matt Huang).
During his years at Cameron Street Public School and Collingwood Collegiate, he was involved in volleyball, basketball, cross-country running, and curling. His 1999-2000 junior volleyball team won the Georgian Bay championship. He also participated in Kids of Steel and Collingwood triathlons.
Twenty-six-year-old McKechnie is employed with Deutsche Bank and lives in Singapore. He says he owes a huge thank you to his local coaches, including Barb Richmire, Cheryl Blay and Todd Funston with the Collingwood Clippers.