Burlington Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Announced!

Four new members of the Burlington Sports Hall of FameGary Jeffries, Helen Nichol, Colin Russell, Jamie Russell join 33 others

New additions

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Burlington Post HOF LogoBy Kevin Nagel
The selection committee of the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame has selected four new members for the class of 2016.

Joining 33 other inductees (and one team) in the Hall are Vanier Cup-winning coach Gary Jeffries for both his coaching and athletic accomplishments, and three Olympic Games athletes — badminton player Helen Nichol, swimmer Colin Russell and national basketball star Jamie Russell.

The four were voted in Tuesday. The BSHF induction and cocktail reception is scheduled for the Burlington Golf and Country Club on Tuesday, May 31 from 6-8:30 p.m. Tickets (contact Ron Lambert at bshoftickets@gmail.com or 289-962-1254) cost $50 each.

Jeffries, 69, was an all-around athlete before he entered coaching, playing Jr. B hockey for the Burlington Mohawks and baseball for three years in the Detroit Tigers organization. He was also signed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts of the CFL.

As a longtime university football coach, the highlight was winning the 2005 Vanier Cup during a 12-year head coaching stint at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.

Nichol, 35, was born, raised and educated in Burlington, participating in a variety of sports, including 13 years at the Burlington Gymnastics Club. Her focus eventually turned to badminton while competing on varsity basketball, volleyball, tennis and badminton teams at M.M. Robinson High School.

Nichol joined the Brantford Badminton Club, competing provincially and nationally under elite head coach Edith Hayman.

Nichol joined the national training team after her high school graduation year, attending the University of Calgary. Her dream of representing Canada at an Olympic Games was realized in 2004 in Athens.

During her career playing doubles with various partners, Nichol won five provincial championships, five national championships and earned three gold medals at Pan Am badminton championship tournaments.

Colin Russell, 31, has been around the world competing in the pool for Canada. He’s a seven-time Canadian record setter in the 200-metre freestyle, set four Canadian Interuniversity Sport records in the 100- and 200m free and 50m breast and 16 times set Ontario records in freestyle races.

His success allowed Russell to compete at a pair of Olympic Games, in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. He helped  relay teams to fifth- and sixth-place finishes  and was an individual semifinalist in the 200m free in Beijing.

He has also competed at three world championship meets from 2005-11, earning a silver medal with the Canadian 4x200m free relay team in Montreal.

Jamie Russell’s OFSAA basketball win with Nelson was just the start of a productive athletic career. He won a grant-in-aid scholarship to Colgate University in 1971, becoming team captain of the Raiders team in his final year.

In one season at the University of Waterloo — 1975-76 — he helped the Warriors finish third at national championships and was the Canadian University Player of the Year.

A mainstay on the men’s national team for eight years, he played in numerous international tournaments, highlighted by a fourth-place finish by Canada at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

Russell, 63, is currently a surgeon and clinical assistant professor of surgery at the University of Arizona.

The first members of the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame were inducted in 2008.

Burlington Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

Name    Sport    Inducted

Gary Jeffries    Football    2016

Helen Nichol    Badminton    2016

Colin Russell    Swimming    2016

Jamie Russell    Basketball    2016

Graham Hood    Track    2015

Steve Mitruk    Gymnastics    2015

John Priestner    Football    2015

Chris Schultz    Football    2015

Mike Torsney    Swimming    2015

Frank Hayden    Special Olympics    2014

Ken*, Elaine Lake    Officiating    2014

Jesse Lumsden    Football    2014

Melanie McKay    Swimming    2014

Lance Nethery    Hockey    2014

Lee Knight    Football    2013

Michael Moir     CanoeKayak    2013

John Wallace    Rowing    2013

1980-81 Cougars    Hockey    2012

Frank Buchanan    Builder    2012

Don Green    Sailor    2012

Kathy Levy    Dragon boat racing    2012

Norm Marshall*    Media    2012

Harry Clark*    Curling    2011

Don McFarlane    Track    2011

Jackie Rosart    Golf    2011

Ron Angus    Judo    2010

Dave Arnold    Gymnastics    2010

Brian Goto    Handball    2010

Paula Schnurr    Track    2010

Nick Weslock*    Golf    2010

Ron Foxcroft    Officiating    2009

Jake Gaudaur*    Football    2009

Alan Nolet    Gymnastics    2009

Ron Sedlbauer    Hockey    2009

Angela Coughlan    Swimming    2008

Bernie Custis    Football    2008

Gord Dickson    Marathon    2008

Tony Gabriel    Football    2008

M.M. Robinson*    Builder    2008

*honoured posthumously