Former Senators’ Defenseman Chris Phillips one of five to be honoured
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame announced today that Chantal Benoit, Chris Phillips, Rick Desclouds, John Halvorsen, along with the 1968 and 1969 Ottawa Rough Riders will be its 2019 inductees. They will be honoured at the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will take place on Friday, May 31 in the Horticultural Building (Lansdowne).
“The selection process is always extremely difficult and this year was no exception”, says Dave Best, chair of the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame. “Once again, we received a large number of very strong nominations from the community, a reminder of the broad range of sporting achievement and commitment to excellence that exists in the nation’s capital. This year’s class is exceptional, not just for their contribution to sport, but what they have done for our city.”
Former Ottawa Senators’ defenseman and alternate captain Chris Phillips, enjoyed an 18-year career in the NHL. In that time he played in 1,179 games, and holds the team record for longevity with the same club. He was selected first overall by the Senators in 1997 entry draft, and represented Canada twice at both the World Championships and the World Junior tournaments. Along with his wife Erin, Phillips is well known for his outstanding volunteer and philanthropic efforts in the community.
Chantal Benoit is a trailblazer in the sport of wheelchair basketball. A member of the Canadian National Team from 1984-2011, she is widely considered to be the best player in history. She represented Canada at six Paralympic Games, winning two Gold Medals. She received the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation ‘s highest honour, the Gold Medal Triad Award, for contributing to the growth of wheelchair basketball domestically and internationally.
Rick Desclouds is truly an icon on the amateur sports scene. He has coached championship teams in baseball, track and field, cross-country, and basketball to name but a few. But some of his most storied accomplishments involve the sport of volleyball. Across 35 years as a teacher at Glashan Public School, he coached the Spikers to an astounding 32 Elementary School Championships, and 10 Ontario Cups. His career win-loss record is estimated at 1,500 – 35. Rick also has an unparalleled track record of community service, engaging ‘at–risk’ and underprivileged youth by facilitating access to community sport.
John Halvorsen has enjoyed an outstanding career as a middle distance runner. Born in Norway, he was Norwegian National Champion at 5,000 and 10,000 metres before moving to Canada, and settling in Ottawa. He has competed in two Olympic Games, and is a four time winner of the Canadian Intra-University Cross- Country Championships, and countless other honours in middle distance running. His time of 28:12 in Ottawa 10k was a course record that endured for 20 years. As the volunteer Race Director, John was instrumental in leveraging the growth of the Ottawa Race Weekend from a small race series, into one of a very few IIAF Gold Standard events, with 40,000 + participants and millions of dollars raised for local charities.
1968 and 1969 Ottawa Rough Riders
The Ottawa Rough Riders teams of 1968 and 1969 were powerhouses in the CFL, as they won Grey Cups in consecutive years. Led by Hall of Fame quarterback Russ Jackson, 29 of 36 players were on BOTH teams. The 1969 team was named “Canada’s Team of the Year” by the Canadian Press. Jackson’s four touchdown passes in the 1969 game, remains a record to this day. Of the 29 players who played on both teams, eight are in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, in addition to legendary head coach, Frank Clair.
Comprehensive biographical information for each of the inductees along with photos can be found at: ottawasporthalloffame.ca
Tickets for the 2019 Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, to be held May 31, can be purchased online here. Early bird tickets are $125.
About the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame
Officially founded in 1968, the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization, which documents, curates and celebrates outstanding achievement in local sport heritage. The Sport Hall of Fame is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors which works in close partnership with the City of Ottawa to maintain and preserve our rich sporting legacies. Each year, the Hall of Fame Board receives nominations from the public, and selects new inductees to be represented in the Hall. The Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame is located at City Hall. It contains artifacts, photographs and memorabilia honouring our sporting heritage, as well as commemorative plaques honouring more than 275 inductees.
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