Kate Beirness, equestrian riders and R.H. Cornish coaches highlight Scugog Sports Hall of Fame


Published March 28, 2022 at 11:10 am

A TSN sports personality, a trio of equestrian athletes and two decades of teacher/coaches at a Port Perry elementary school highlight the induction ceremony for the Scugog Sports Hall of Fame next month.

The Hall will also recognize five volunteers with its new Volunteer Recognition Award, a pair of youth athletes who have doing “great things” in their respective sports and three milestone anniversaries at the ceremony, which will take place April 21 at the Scugog Community Centre.

Kate Beirness

Born and raised in Port Perry and a graduate of R.H. Cornish and Port Perry High School, Beirness pursued a career in sports broadcasting, joining TSN in 2014 where she was paired with Natasha Staniszewski, forming the network’s first female anchor team on the TSN flagship program SportsCentre.

Beirness is currently the host of the CFL and Toronto Raptors broadcasts on TSN. She has hosted many marquee sports events, including TSN Olympic Morning in 2012, CBC Olympic hockey in Pyeong Chang in 2018, NCAA March Madness, the NBA Draft and the Grey Cup.

Kate Beirness

Ian Roberts, Kelly Plitz, Waylon Roberts

A Canadian Olympian (Athens, 2004), Ian Roberts was the 1989 Ontario Horse Trials Association’s Coach of the Year and was named both Male Rider and Male Coach of the Year by the Ontario Equestrian Federation in 1995. In 1996 he won both the Canadian Advanced Championships and the Canadian Intermediate Championships, making him the only rider to win both titles in the same year. He competed as a member of the Canadian Equestrian Team in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and the 2006 World Championships in Germany. He also celebrated a bronze medal win at the Central American games in 2013 as a coach for the Costa Rican Eventing team.

Ian Roberts and Napalm

In 1982 Kelly Plitz joined the Canadian Equestrian Team and that meant she and her horse, Dialadream, got the chance to compete in the world equestrian championships. Her success continued as an eventing rider at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles where she was the top Canadian.

Waylon Roberts first represented Canada at the age of 14 at the 2002 FEI Children’s Final for Show Jumping in Brazil. He then went on to compete at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in eventing on five separate occasions. Waylon is a seven-time winner of the Royal Winter Fair Indoor Eventing Challenge in Toronto in addition to representing Canada at the Pan Am games in 2007 winning a team silver medal, and the 2017 Pan Am games winning a team bronze medal.

R.H.Cornish Coaches

From 1970 through 1989 a team of teachers from RH Cornish Public School inspired Scugog youth and encouraged their love for sports. This team is inducted in recognition of their longevity in coaching. Reg Philip, Clive Roane, Rob and Ken Smart, Darla Thomas, Wayne Addison, Jim Justynski, Graham Hewitt and Dave Brownson have all contributed significantly to developing student athletes at the very young level.

The induction ceremony for this year’s class will take place Thursday, April 21 at 7 pm. Gary Edgar, Tom Longboat Award Winner and long-time Port Perry resident will be the guest speaker. Gary was also one of the first inductees to the Hall in 2007.

The Hall will be recognizing five volunteers from the following organizations: Port Perry Tennis Club, Cartwright Soccer, Durham Rowing Club, Port Perry Minor Softball, and the Scugog Women’s Hockey League.

Local youth athletes Justin Matthews and Alex McDougall will be acknowledged this year and three very special anniverseries will be recognized: Port Perry Snowmobile Club (50 years) and Blackstock Men’s Hockey League (25 years) – both achieved in 2020; and the Port Perry Mojacks hockey club, which achieved 50 years in 2022.

The Hall is accepting donations towards the preservation and display of the artifact collection and for the installation of an interactive kiosk at the visitors could learn more about inductees and their accomplishments as well as view the artifacts in the collection not currently on display. Visit https://www.scugog.ca/shof for more information.

Both the 2020 and 2021 ceremonies were postponed because of the pandemic. Admission to the induction ceremony this year is free and the Hall of the Fame, which is found on the upper level of the arena, will be open to the public that evening.

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