Four sports achievers inducted into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.

SportsBy Pepper Parr

May 29, 2014


On the night that the Montreal Canadiens were showing North  America that they really knew how to play the game by beating the New York Rangers 7-4 –  175 sports people took part in the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame 2014 Inductee event. (Two night later the Habs lost the game and the semi-final series.)

Mayor Rick Goldring presented a certificate with a pin from Council to Jesse Lumsden in recognition of his participation in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.  

The inductees were – Dr Frank Hayden,  Ken and Elaine Lake – long time track and field officials,  Jesse Lumsden – Olympic Bobsledder – former football player and Nelson grad and  Melanie McKay – Olympic Swimmer

Ken and Elaine Lake photo

Elaine and Ken Lake – tireless workers.

Elaine and Ken officiated in Edmonton at the World Outdoor Championships, at the Vancouver Commonwealth (1994), at the PAN AM Junior in Windsor, at the World Junior in Charlettown, and finally in Toronto at the 2012 World Athletics Deaf Championships.

At the NOC Level, Elaine served as Vice Chair for Human resources for six years, and when she left in 1992, she passed the position on to Ken. Both performances have been excellent and most of their  work is still applied today.  At the provincial Level, Elaine served as the Ontario Officials’ Council Chair for 1977 -78 while Ken covered the same position during 1984-85. In addition, Ken acted as OOC’s Vice Chair, Evaluator and Clinician, and member of the Provincial Test.

Lance Nethery – NHL Hockey Player – is currently CEO of the Cologne Sharks in the German Hockey League.  Centre Lance Nethery played 41 NHL games during the early ’80s. He was a fine goal scorer who put up impressive numbers in college, the minors, and European leagues.

The Toronto native scored 91 goals in four seasons at Cornell University. After scoring 32 times in 29 games, he was chosen 131st overall by the New York Rangers in 1977. He was named to the ECAC first all-star team twice and the second team once and was a two-time selection to NCAA east first all-American team.

During the 1979-80 season Nethery adjusted well to the pros by scoring 62 points for the New Have Nighthawks of the AHL. He was called up by the Rangers in 1980-81 and scored 23 points in 33 games but eventually lost out to centres Mike Rogers, Mark Pavelich, Mike Allison, and Robbie Ftorek.

Nethery began the 1981-82 season on Manhattan but was returned to the minors then traded to the Edmonton Oilers for veteran goalie Eddie Mio. He played three games in Edmonton but spent most of his time with the CHL’s Wichita Wind where he scored 35 goals in only 46 contests. He battled injuries in 1982-83 before joining the HC Davos club of Switzerland the next year. Nethery was a dominant scorer for his new club and led the Swiss League with 46 goals in 1985-86. He retired in 1988 after leading Davos to two Swiss Elite League championships.

Mayor Goldring added in a comment later that he and Lance are the same age – went to school together from Kindergarten or Grade 1 to Grade 13 – two Nelson Grads.   “We played on the same house league team when we were eight.  One of my more vivid memories is scoring my first goals in organized hockey with Lance being the first to congratulate me.”

Jesse Lumsden photo

Jesse Lumsden – set records that have yet to be broken.

 JESSE LUMSDEN: is a hometown boy who loved to play all kinds of sports.  But his passion was football and he was good – so good in fact that in 2004 this former McMaster Marauder was awarded the HEC CRIGHTON trophy recognizing the most outstanding collegiate football player in Canada.   In the same year Jesse was honoured by the CIS as not just the best football player in the country but the best university ATHLETE in the country.

Jesse followed in the footsteps of his father Neil who had an accomplished career at the University of Ottawa and ten remarkable years in the CFL.  2014 is a memorable year for this father-son team. Later this year Neil will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame while his son is recognized now in his hometown as a member of the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.

Jesse earned football prominence very early in his Nelson High School career.  He captained the 1999 Nelson Lords to an undefeated season, earning a trip to the Metro Bowl played in Toronto’s Skydome.  A clear underdog, Nelson defeated a bigger and much older Toronto Central Tech team to win the provincial title. This gifted running back was named the game’s MOST VALUABLE OFFENSIVE PLAYER AWARD and a Greater Toronto Area All-Star.

 Heavily recruited, Jesse selected McMaster where he made an immediate impact.  He electrified spectators (and coaches too) with his speed and elusiveness.  In his third year he broke the single season O.U.A. rushing mark gaining a remarkable 1497 yards and averaging 8.4 yards per carry.  He also tied the single season touchdown record with 20.  His sensational season earned the Nelson grad McMaster’s Male Athlete of the Year. In his senior season he continued to tear up the turf rushing for 1816 yards – averaging 10.2 yards per carry and establishing a record 21 touchdowns.  He was named OUA 1st Team All-Star and CIS All-Canadian and he repeated as Mac’s Athlete of the Year

As a young man Jesse dreamt about playing pro ball in the NFL.  Even though drafted in 2004 in the first round  by the Hamilton Tiger  Cats  he was drawn south of the border where he signed as a free agent with the NFL’s  Seattle Seahawks. The Cats hoped he would return to Tigertown. And he did.  Jesse had an incredible rookie season and earned a spot as an Eastern all-star.  Injuries short-circuited the talented young man’s six year CFL career.

This gifted athlete recently turned his athleticism to bobsledding. Recognized as one of the top brakemen in the world, the Nelson grad has twice worn the Canadian singlet on the world stage at the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Games.  Today we recognize his football talent and welcome “hometown hero” – Jesse Lumsden – to the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.

 DR. FRANK HAYDEN: Frank Hayden had a high school named after him but before that he was a major moving force in the creation of what was first known as the Special Olympics.

 A pioneer sets out to explore and find new territory.  He/she must have vision but along with this rare quality must come perseverance, tenacity and diligence.  Dr. Frank Hayden displayed these qualities and much more in his quest to provide sporting opportunities for those who are developmentally disabled and intellectually challenged.

Hayden with Lt Governor

Frank Hayden with Ontario Lt Governor after receiving the Order of Ontario

In the early sixties, testing of children with intellectual disabilities revealed that they were only half as physically fit as their non-disabled peers.  It was assumed that their low fitness levels were a direct result of their disability.  Dr. Hayden questioned this assumption.  He conducted research which concluded that, given the opportunity, intellectually disabled people could become physically fit, and acquire the physical skills necessary to participate in sport. 

His belief and understanding led him to conceive the idea of Special Olympics, a national sports program for people with an intellectually disability.  His proposal was originally rejected by the Canadian government, however, his research became known to the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation in Washington D.C.  So he went to work with Eunice Kennedy Shriver for the next seven years.    Here he served as Director at the Kennedy Foundation and was the catalyst in establishing federal legislation to assist persons with a disability. 

He returned to Canada and worked to establish a similar program here.  Canada’s first games were held in Toronto in 1969 with 1400 athletes.   In 1975 and assumed the position of Director of the School of Physical Education and Athletics at McMaster.  From there Dr. Hayden persisted with his dream and established the Special Olympics Office of International Development , assisting with the growth of International programs from 15 to 50. 

His list of achievements and awards is remarkable.  Here are a few:  Honorary Member of the Canadian Olympic Association; Officer of the Order of Canada in 1999 and Order of Canada in 2000.  Also, he was recognized recently by the Halton Board of Education as the name of their newest and ‘state of the art’ secondary  school here in Burlington is Frank Hayden  High School.  Dr. Hayden legally incorporated “Special Olympics Inc.” and today the program provides training and competition for more than three million athletes in more than 170 countries. 

Olympic swimmer Melanie McKay was also recognized and inducted into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.  A biography of Ms McKay was not available.


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