Athletics Ontario announces 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees

Athletics Ontario is pleased to announce the 2018 Inductees in to the AO Hall of Fame.  The ceremony is tentatively scheduled to take place on Saturday September 29, in conjunction with the Athlete of the Year Awards Banquet, “Celebrating Excellence in Athletics”.

The banquet, in addition to the presentation of awards to Hall of Fame Inductees, will also include the presentations of Athlete of the Year Awards for athletes in most age-groups and event groups.  More details will be available in the coming months.

The following builders and athletes will be inducted into the Athletics Ontario Hall of Fame this September:


Earl & Geordie Farrell:

Earl and Geordie have been involved with the Saugeen Track & Field Club, based in Port Elgin, since its formation in 1983. Having no indoor facilities and only a dirt track in the beginning, they have helped Saugeen establish itself as one of the top clubs in the province. Earl was the Head Coach of the 1996 World Junior Championships team and served as president of the Ontario Track & Field Association (OTFA) from 1967-2002. Geordie has coached many of the Saugeen Cross Country teams to National Championships and was a national coach on the 2000, 2003 and 2004 World Cross Country Championship Teams. She also served as manager and distances coach of the 2001 World Youth Junior Championships Team and as a coach for the 2003 Junior Pan American Championships Team.

In 2008, Earl & Geordie were honoured at the Ontario Sports Award banquet by being presented with the Syl Apps Award for Achievement in the sport of Athletics.

Neil Farrell (Deceased):

Neil was the Meet director for the 91st Highlands Games and served for 30 years on the Organizing Committee. In 1958, he was the Manager at Cardiff Games and in 1960, the Manager of the Canadian Olympic team. Additionally, Neil was the Canadian Commonwealth Games honorary secretary for 23 years and an active member of the Hamilton Olympic Club.

Neil was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1967.

Helen Vasilic:

Helen is a Level 5 Referee, Umpire and Lap Scorer, Timekeeper and Level 4 Finish Line Judge. She has been a volunteer official for over 30 years at outdoor meets ranging from local high school and club meets, through Regionals, OFSAA,  Pan Am Juniors and Olympic Trials. Helen was Vice-Chair of Ontario Officials’ Council for 8 years and from 2012-2015 served on the National Officials Council.

In 2014, Helen was inducted into the University of Windsor Alumni Sports Hall of Fame.


Syl Apps (1915-1998):

Syl was Inducted in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1975 for his accomplishments in sport, ranging from his Toronto Maple Leaf Stanley Cup victories in 1947 and 1948, as well as his performances in the pole vault. He earned an 8th place finish in the pole vault at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany and won the gold medal at the 1934 British Empire Games. Syl was the Canadian Champion in the event from 1934-1936.

Syl was the flag-bearer for Canadian Olympic Team in 1936.

Borys Chambul:

Borys represented Canada at the 1976 Summer Olympics and won the gold medal in the men’s discus throw event at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. Borys set the Canadian discus record of 65.40m in 1976, which lasted until 1984., and was ranked 14th in world. This was also a Commonwealth record. He was the Canadian Champion in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, and 1982.

Borys was also named to the 1980 Olympic team (boycotted by Canada).

Carmen Douma:

Carmen, a middle-distance runner with the Guelph Track & Field Club, won the Silver medal in the 1500m at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary, with a time of 4:08.18. Her performance at the 2008 Olympics included a trip to the final where she placed 9th in the 1500m.

Carmen also placed 17th at the 2004 World Cross Country Championships in Brussels, which helped the Canadian women’s team earn a bronze medal in the short course race.

Cornelius Walsh (1881-1941):

Cornelius represented Canada at the 1908 Olympic Games in London where he won the bronze medal with a throw of 48.50m. He was a Canadian Champion in 1907 in both the 56lb weight and the hammer throw and set a Canadian record in 1910 for the hammer and weight for height events.

Cornelius set a world record of 4.93m in the 56lb weight for height event in 1910.