Collingwood’s Ron Westlake was a prolific ski racer carving the hills on the heels of Crazy Canucks Ken Read and Steve Podborski in the 1970s during the Canadian championships. At one national competition, Westlake finished third, right behind Read and Podborski, who finished first and second, respectively.
At the height of his ski racing career, Westlake finished on the podium in the Pontiac Cup series across Eastern Canada and competed in CanAm races throughout North America. He was also a regular participant at Ontario Championship events.
The runs at Blue Mountain provided the athletic training terrain for Westlake, who started skiing on hand-made skis at the age of two. Numerous pairs of skis later and in various roles as a racer, coach, instructor, and director, Westlake continues to hit the slopes 60 years later as a recreational skier and lifelong member of the Collingwood Ski Club.
Westlake coached the Southern ‘A’ ski team, and started the Jozo Weider Race Club, designed for non-private club members. He holds Level III accreditation in both the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance and the Canadian Coaching Federation. He was a Ski and Snowboard Director for 18 years at Blue Mountain and worked in the ski industry for 34 years. In 2015-16, Westlake received the 40-year member recognition award from the Canadian Ski Alliance.
Sports have played a major role in Westlake’s life. As a youth, he was an active participant in Collingwood hockey and figure skating clubs. Westlake traded in his skis for boats during summer months, winning the Georgian Bay Sailing Regatta and was the Commodore of the Collingwood Yacht Club. He has explored the depths of Georgian Bay as an avid scuba diver and member of PADI. In recognition of his many accomplishments, Westlake was Collingwood’s Athlete of the Year in 1974.
On October 22, 2016, the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame welcomed Ron Westlake as an enshrined member of Collingwood’s sporting history.
John Stephenson was a familiar sight behind the players’ bench and on the ice during the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, at the regal Eddie Bush Memorial Arena on Hurontario Street.
For twenty-six winter seasons, Stephenson coached the fundamentals of hockey to Collingwood’s youngest players. Thousands of hours of dedication and commitment to his teams and the Collingwood Minor Hockey Association were recognized with a 1986 Special Award of Merit, presented in recognition of his generous donation of time and knowledge and promoting minor hockey for the benefit of kids from Collingwood and surrounding area.
Stephenson’s hockey coaching career started in 1960 with a Collingwood local league team. He remained as head coach of local league teams before starting in the ‘rep’ loop in 1967. He remained in rep hockey until 1986. His teams earned international, provincial, regional, and league championships.
The 1972-73 McKean and MacLean Major Novice ‘A’s were a powerhouse team with a stellar list of accomplishments and tournament victories. The Novices were North American and Regional Silver Stick Champions, and won the league title, the Peterborough Invitational, Regional Little NHL, the Ontario Minor Hockey Association championship, and the Georgian Bays. They were also provincial Little NHL finalists.
Stephenson was a Level 2-certified coach through the auspices of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association’s National Program. He was a key organizer and founder of Collingwood Minor Hockey’s annual Huronia Tournament parade of teams.
During summer months, Stephenson hit the baseball diamond as a Collingwood Baseball manager and Collingwood Slo-Pitch player and manager. He was the 1992 Legionnaire of the Year, receiving the John MacPherson Memorial Award and has worked 30 years at the Collingwood Legion, where he is a Life Member.
On October 22, 2016, the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame welcomed John Stephenson as an enshrined member of Collingwood’s sporting history.
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.
Paul Shaw was introduced to trap shooting during a conversation in 1981 while goose hunting with friends. Paul quickly established himself as a force within the sport through pure instinct built from his early years, raised on a farm near Ravenna, when rabbit hunting was considered recreation.
In 1984, he got involved in Olympic style trapshooting. For the past 30 years, his accomplishments in provincial, national and international competition are staggering. He has won every championship event at the Ontario Championships incl. singles, handicap, doubles, High- All Around and High Overall. Paul is a 4x Canadian Champion in Double Trap.
During his career, he has represented Canada as an athlete at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, 4x Pam American Games and 2010 & 2014 Commonwealth Games in both Trap and Double Trap.
In 2014, Paul Shaw is ranked #1 in International Double Trap and #3 in Olympic Trap and involved with the organization of shooting events for the 2015 Pan American games in Toronto.
His trapshooting talents have been recognized in his induction in to the Ontario Provincial Trap Shooting Hall of Fame in 2007.
On Saturday, October 25, 2014, the Collingwood Sports Hall Fame introduced Paul Shaw as one of its newest members.
Jay was introduced to cross country running as an elementary student at Cameron Street Public. Very soon thereafter he began to dominate races with students 4 years his senior.
It was during his high school years at Collingwood Collegiate Institute (CCI) between 2000-2004 that Jay simply dominated the cross country running scene . He was a perfect 20/20 winning every Simcoe County League race and winning 9 GBSSA championships in both cross country and track & field. He was won two OFSAA titles in 2001 & 2002 and further elevated in stature as a 2x National Team Champion ( Canadian Cross Country Running Championships – 2001 and 2002.
His high school success led to an athletic scholarship with Georgian State University where he served as captain – a testament to his commitment to training and leadership skills.
On Saturday, October 25, Jay joins his great-grandfather Bobby Morrill and great uncle Allan Morrill as an enshrined member of the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame.