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It was while growing up in North Bay that this builder first began his involvement in sports. Pursuing a degree in Physical & Health Education from the University of Western Ontario, he continued his playing career on the ice and on the football field with the UWO varsity Mustangs.

Moving to Port Arthur in 1965, he signed on as a teacher with Hammarskjold High School, and set upon close to a 40 year building career that included contributions from the local to the international level.

A well-respected and highly successful high school coach, he led athletes in track and field, cross country, wrestling, football, basketball and volleyball, claiming numerous NWOSSAA titles and taking teams to a number of OFSAA championships.

Showing a special interest in the sport of wrestling, a number of his athletes went on to obtain national and international success.  Involved with the Northwestern Ontario Wrestling Association, he served as a coach and manager of teams attending provincial and national events.  President of the local association, he also served on the Board of the Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association and as a convener for various CAWA events.

Away from the high school arena and wrestling mats, he served his community in a number of volunteer capacities. His contributions to hockey were made within the Port Arthur Minor Hockey Association and as a hockey school instructor. Winter months also saw him volunteering for the Sibley Ski Tour and as an organizer for Thunder Bay’s hosting of the 1974 Ontario Winter Games, the 1995 Nordic World Ski Championships and the CIAU National Women’s Basketball tournaments from 1997-99. The 1981 Jeux Canada Summer Games benefited from his expertise as Vice-Chairman for track and field events.

For his outstanding contributions to the youth of his community this dedicated builder was named the northwestern Ontario recipient of the 2005 OFSAA Pete Beach Award. His greatest reward, however, is no doubt the thousands of athletes whose lives he has influenced, thanks to his leadership and commitment over so many years.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 24, 2005

Don Sutherland

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