New faces for Barrie’s Sports Hall of Fame

Two Special Olympians and an oustanding coach/mentor

The Barrie Sports Hall of Fame ranks increased Wednesday night with the induction of three new members.

Jeffery Richard Pike has been an active athlete with Special Olympics since 1977 and advanced to the provincial level in snowshoe racing, track and field, bowling, and soccer earning medals in each event.

He was a member of Team Ontario in 2008 and 2012 at the National Games in the sport of snowshoe racing with podium finishes in a variety of distances.

In 2013, Pike was selected to represent Canada in the Special Olympic World Winter Games in Pyeong Chang, South Korea in the event of snowshoeing. He medalled in three events, winning silver in the 4×100 meter relay and the 100-metre race, and gold in the 200-metre race.

Pike has been honoured for his dedication to his athletic abilities and training with the Dale Campbell Memorial Award for sportsmanship in 2006 and the Special Olympics Barrie Athlete of the Year in 2013.

Catherine Elizabeth Smith was born in Barrie in 1963 and has been involved in the Special Olympics program since 1996. She is a year-round athlete who participates in 5 pin bowling, track, snowshoeing and Nordic skiing. Smith has attended Provincial Games as a Nordic skier as well as representing Barrie in 2013 at the York Region Special Olympic Games as a track athlete.

As a member of Team Ontario in 2004, Smith competed as a Nordic Skier in P.E.I. In 2014, she represented Team Ontario at the Special Olympics National Games in Vancouver in Track. She also earned the right to represent Team Canada at the World Games in Los Angeles in 2015. Smith competed in track, winning a silver medal in the 4×100 meter race as well as a gold medal in the 200-meter race. As a member of Team Canada, Smith was very dedicated to her training regimen. She always gives 100% not only at competition but in training as well.

Cathy Smith was also recognized as Special Olympics Barrie Female Athlete of the year in 2007.

Ron Andrews was born in Brampton in 1965. An outstanding multi-sport athlete at Brampton Centennial SS, he was introduced to rugby. A “natural” in the sport, he was selected to the Ontario U19, U21 and U23 rugby teams as a scrumhalf. He attended McMaster University playing varsity rugby from 1984 to 1988. He moved on to Queen’s University in 1989.

After a chronic injury forced him to retire in 1990 he began coaching. At his old alma mater, his teams won three Region of Peel Secondary Schools Athletic Association titles. Andrews relocated to Barrie Central Collegiate in 1992 as a Physical Education teacher. He coached a variety of sports, winning Georgian Bay Secondary Schools Association (GBSSA) tiles in all – 1 football, 4 cross-country and 4 swimming. Andrews’ biggest impact was in rugby. As Head Coach of the Senior Boys Rugby team from 1994 to 2005 and 2007 to 2016 his teams were undefeated in GBSSA, winning an unprecedented 22 GBSSA titles and 19 Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA) Medals – 9 Gold, 5 Silver and 5 Bronze.

The program produced over 60 provincial players and 23 national players. After Barrie Central Collegiate closed Andrews moved to Barrie North. In 2019, his final year of coaching, North won the GBSSA title. The final tally as a coach at Central and North was 403 wins, 36 losses, 6 ties – amassing 14,413 points for versus 2,005 points against.

In 2004, Andrews founded the Barrie Rugby Club Minis program with incredible success. In 2005, Barrie Rugby was U10 Ontario Gold and U8 Silver medal winners. In 2006 they were U10 Gold winners; in 2007 U8 Gold, with U10 and U12 earning Silver. Through Andrews’ initial leadership, the Barrie Rugby Minis now boasts over 200 players and was recently named the top Minis program in Ontario.

Also honoured at this year’s induction ceremony:

2018 BSHoF Coach/Official of the Year
Trevor Cowan epitomizes the term volunteerism. He is a past president of the Barrie Trojan Swim Club. For the past six years he has given his time and expertise to the internal governance of this competitive swim team.

Cowan has served over sixteen years as a volunteer swimming official.

Provincially, he is the chair of Swim Ontario Officials Committee supporting more than 8,000 volunteers.

Nationally, he donates his time to coordinate meet entry, timing and scoring for Swimming Canada National Championships.

This past April, Cowan acted as Meet Manager for the 2019 Canadian Swimming Trials. He was also invited to be National Meet Director for the 2020 Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials.

2018 BSHoF Athlete of the Year
Jessica Brouilette is a wrestler from Barrie. Born in 1995, she began her amateur wrestling in Grade 7 at Prince of Wales School and at the K-Bay Wrestling Club. She wrestled at Barrie Central Collegiate Institute. She won several Georgian Bay Secondary School Association (GBSSA) individual titles and various medals at University, Provincial, National and World Wrestling Championships.

She was the first female wrestler to capture 5 consecutive team National Championships in a career.

Brouilette also organizes an after-school active-play program for young children at the YMCA in St. Catherines, referees local tournaments and runs “Wrestling Clinics” throughout Ontario.

2019 BSHoF John Crawley Local Lifetime Achievement Award
Brad Chestnut was a mainstay in the coaching fraternity at Barrie Central Collegiate Institute. When Central closed, Chestnut moved to Bear Creek S.S. Under his guidance, a number of youths advanced their athletic careers through the sports of rugby and wrestling.
As a rugby coach Chestnut directed the Central Jr. Boys to 5 Georgian Bay Secondary Schools Association (GBSSA) titles. He took over the Barrie Central Girls Rugby Team leading them to 4 GBSSA titles. Three went on to be Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA) medalist. Some of his athletes went on to gain university, national and international recognition. Recent graduates Megan Lukan and Emily Belchos were members of Canada’s National Women’s Rugby Teams.

During the off-seasons the “Chestnut Family barn” would often be used as a practice facility for both Wrestling and Rugby.

Chestnut helped start the very successful “Kempenfelt Bay Wrestling Club” in 2003.

2019 Jean McCann Unsung Hero Award
Len Day has dedicated the last 35 years to the game of rugby in Barrie and Simcoe County. He has been President of the Barrie Rugby Club for 25 years. Volunteering his time he has helped the Barrie Rugby Club become the 2nd largest club in Ontario and the 5th largest in Canada. In the early years of the Club youth programs did not exist. Day helped developed a structure and culture in which the growth of the game flourished. Now the Club runs programs from U7-U13 co-ed Youth through U15-U19 Boys and Girls Junior to +19 Men and +19Women teams. Many of the Girl and Boy teams compete annually for provincial titles.

Day led a team of Club volunteers to secure land at the Barrie Sports Complex to create the Jim Hamilton Memorial Rugby Field. Prior to this space being acquired, he would spend weekends cutting and lining fields to prepare for upcoming matches. He still finds time to actively play the game and coaches a local high school rugby team.

Day’s commitment to Barrie and the surrounding community and compassion for those in need stands out.