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