Five to join Tillsonburg Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday

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After careful consideration, the list of inductees for the 8th Tillsonburg Sports Hall of Fame has been finalized.

Three individuals and two community sports builders will be added to the Sports Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Tillsonburg Community Centre on Sunday, Oct. 18, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

"Mel Getty is the MC this year," said Janet McCurdy, Recreation Programs and Services Manager at the Tillsonburg Community Centre, and member of the Sports Hall of Fame selection committee.

The induction ceremony will feature a reception in the Lions Auditorium and is a 'by invitation' only event.

"Right now we have 146 people coming," said McCurdy.

No teams or coaches were inducted this year.

"It's a bit different, we've thrown in a bit of twist this year," said McCurdy. "We're going to have the introduction of the selection committee, the Rec Advisory committee, and the Mayor, then the MC is going to introduce the inductee. We're going to ask the nominator to talk about the inductee, then the inductee will have a chance to speak. All of the nominators wanted to speak this year, which is really different – we've never had the nominators speak."

The nominators include Jim Donaldson and Scott Gooding.

"They're going to bring their personal touch," said McCurdy, "which is going to make it a little different than in other years.

"And we'll have our regular slide show."

The three individual athletes are Derek Partlo, Chris Mabee and Taylor Campbell.

From 1995-97, Partlo was an American Collegiate Hockey Association 1st Team All American, a National Tournament MVP in 1995, and a three-time national champion with Ohio University.

In addition to a 2007 silver medal at the Senior Canadian Figure Skating Championships, Mabee competed at the World Championships, the Four Continents Championships, and World Junior Championships, and several international Grand Prix events including Norway and Japan.

Campbell was a National Ringette League Gold Medalist Cambridge Turbos. In 2012 she was the youngest ever drafted and signed to a National Ringette League contract.

Ches Sulkowski and Stan Moore will be inducted in the community sports builder category.

Sulkowski was instrumental in the forming of the Tillsonburg Minor Soccer Association. He served as the first president and was an executive member for 34 years. One of Sulkowski’s greatest accomplishments was his leadership in the building of the Tillsonburg Minor Soccer Park and gazebo, which includes six soccer fields and two mini fields. Sulkowski was involved in all aspects of making this happen. Passionate about soccer, Sulkowski has had a strong impact on our community – thousands of children and adults have benefited.

Inducted posthumously, Moore (1926-2006) instituted the Past President’s Minor Hockey Tournament in 1973, an Olympic style tournament with a seven-game guarantee. The tournament drew teams from Canada, New York and Sweden and was one of the biggest in Canada. By 1975 there were 212 games played during the two-week Christmas Break.

Sulkowski, Partlo, and Campbell are expected to attend. Mabee, currently working out of the country, will be represented by family members.


Ches Sulkowski

Ches Sulkowski has been involved in soccer for most of his life. He played soccer at the varsity level for the University of Western Ontario.

Ches was instrumental in the formation of the Tillsonburg Minor Soccer Association. He served as an executive member for 34 years, many as the president. He developed the foundation for the youth, a series of various levels of play.

He was an instructor for the Ontario Soccer Association and held clinics to improve soccer and coaching skills for the community. In 1980 he developed the local indoor soccer league which is still going strong to this day. He also organized a competitive league called the Southern Counties League. In 2010 he created the local Adult Co-Ed Recreational League.

Ches also coached various sports at Glendale including soccer, volleyball and basketball during his years of teaching at the high school.

Ches was a driving force behind the building of the Tillsonburg Minor Soccer Park, one of the finest facilities in Ontario. The complex features six soccer fields and two mini fields.

Ches has been recognized for his incredible work in soccer receiving the Award of Distinction for Excellence in Teaching in 2001.

His passion for soccer has impacted thousands of adults and children in our community and surrounding area.


Stan Moore

Stan Moore moved to Tillsonburg in 1972 where he started his job with the brand new Tillsonburg Community Centre. He developed and organized recreational activities and opportunities for the community. The Tillsonburg Community Centre continues to draw potential residents to Tillsonburg 40 years later.

In 1973, Stan instituted the Past President's Hockey Tournament (Christmas Tournament) held during the holiday break. It was an Olympic style tournament that guaranteed teams seven games as opposed to three games that other tournaments offered. It was truly an international event drawing teams from all over Canada, Michigan, New York and Sweden. Stan was responsible for all the scheduling, and by 1975 the tournament featured 212 games over the two-week duration of the event.

Stan, in partnership with the Tillsonburg Optimists Club, was the driving forces behind the building of the six tennis courts in 1974.

In 1977, he spearheaded the planning, building and financing of the Colin Campbell Community Arena). The arena was constructed with donations and did not use tax payer’s money.

Stan’s additional endeavors included involvement with various hockey schools and the Tillsonburg International Track and Field Meet.

Stan’s lifelong passion for the game of hockey was evident by his passion and commitment to make the game better for all involved.

Stan passed away in 2006 and is survived by his wife Terry and daughter Helen and son Terry. His daughter Jo Ann passed away in 2011.


Derek Partlo

Derek Partlo played in the Tillsonburg minor hockey system from 1979-1989 capturing an OMHA championship with the Tillsonburg Peewee team.

He went on to play with the Tillsonburg Titans Jr. B (1990-91), Norwich Merchants Jr. C (1992-93, and the Woodstock Navy Vets Jr. C (1993-94). He led the Navy Vets to the Niagara Division Provincial Championships and was the league’s top scorer with 71 points.

Derek accepted a scholarship at Ohio University in the American College Hockey Association and played for their hockey team from 1994-1998. He had an outstanding college career which saw his team capture three national titles. Individually, Derek was named 1st Team All-American on two occasions and was named National Tournament MVP (1996)

Derek returned to Tillsonburg where he turned to coaching hockey at various levels. He coached the Norwich Merchants, Woodstock Navy Vets and Tillsonburg Thunder. He is presently the coach of the highly successful Glendale High School Gemini program.


Christopher Mabee

Christopher began skating at the age of seven with the Tillsonburg Figure Skating Club. He spent a year training in Montreal. In 1998, he moved closer to home to train out of the prestigious Mariposa School of Skating in Barrie under the guidance of Lee Barkell and Doug Leigh.

Christopher’s novice career saw him capture the silver medal in 1998. He competed at the international Triglav Trophy event in Slovenia and placed 5th in the novice division.

In 1999-2000 he moved up to the junior level and was 4th at the 1999 Nationals. Christopher made his debut on Junior Grand Prix circuit, placing 11th in Canada and 9th in Norway.

He won the bronze medal at the 2002 Nationals. He placed an impressive 5th at the World Junior Championships.

In 2005 Mabee moved up to the senior ranks with the hopes of making the Olympic team. His quest to make the team was shown on The Fifth Estate. He placed 4th at the Senior Nationals, just missing a berth on the Olympic team by one place. He was selected to the Canadian team for the Four Continents Championship where he won the silver medal, his first senior medal of his career.

The 2006-2007 season saw Christopher have a career skate at the Nationals placing 2nd and earning a spot on the World Championship team. He returned to Four Continents placing 5th, and followed that with 13th at the World Championships.

Christopher went on to compete in several international events around the world in 2007-08 before announcing his retirement in 2008.

After his retirement, he skated professionally for Disney on Ice’s High School Musical. He is now skating in the ice shows aboard the Royal Caribbean Cruise ships.


Taylor Campbell

Taylor Campbell started her ringette career in the bunny division in 2000 played in Tillsonburg for seven years. She continued to develop her skills in St. Marys (AA Tween), London (AA Junior) and Waterloo (AA Junior).

In 2012, Taylor was drafted by the National Ringette League's Cambridge Turbos. She was the youngest player ever drafted and signed to a NRL contract.

She was a major contributor to her Cambridge team as they won bronze (2012-13) and silver (2013-14) medals in the National Ringette League.

The pinnacle of success for Taylor and the Turbos came in 2014-15 when they captured the NRL Gold Medal, emblematic of the National Championship.

In 2015, she was invited to try out for Team Canada and made it to the final selection camp (Top 30 in Canada). She also signed an additional three-year, no-trade contract with Cambridge.

Taylor is currently attending Mohawk College.


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