Remembering Sharon Clarke

Sharon Clarke (1963-2022)

The Athletics Ontario Board of Directors, Staff and Officials Executive committee were deeply saddened upon learning of the sudden passing of Sharon Clarke on June 2, 2022. Sharon was an Athletics Ontario Official and a coach with the University of Toronto Track Club and Varsity team.

Sharon’s Celebration of Life Service: Wednesday June 15th at the Mississauga SDA Church 2250 Credit Valley Road. Viewing will be from 9:30-10:30 Please note that the Service will start at 10:40 AM and not 11:00AM as previously stated.

The Service will also be live streamed:

YouTube: Covenant Funeral Homes https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF0xYnyv-9z8e3NVco94fXQ  Facebook: Covenant Funeral Homes https://www.facebook.com/CovenantFH

The following is a message shared by U of T Head Coach, Carl Georgevski:

We all come to a stage in our life where life itself starts to take away our true and precious treasures.

This past while has been tough on our program, our entire track and field community, and me. Yesterday one of our very much loved and cherished individuals passed away much too soon.

Sharon Clarke was a gem, a very warm, gracious, caring coach with great perspective; she was a friend; what you saw is what you got with Sharon. To our student-athletes and young coaches, she was a mentor in the most authentic meaning.

As all of you very well know, there are many different types of coaches with various and sometimes-insensitive coaching styles. There are still coaches who yell, throw tantrums and intentionally abuse (both physically and psychologically) athletes in cruel ways.

And then there was our Sharon Clarke. She was the antithesis of the ranting, bashing, screaming monster-type coaches. Sharon always empowered the student-athletes she worked with; she coached them to achieve on their terms; and achieve they did in every facet of life.

Our dreams begin with individuals who genuinely and truly believe in us as people first. This person tugs, pulls, shoves, pushes, and challenges us while leading us to levels we never imagined possible. This person sometimes even uses a sharp stick called reality/truth to place our athletic accomplishments in perspective. This individual relentlessly reminds us that the process or journey will be the key to our success. Sharon Clarke was that person in our program. Countless times, we sought her knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. She always guided us to the answer, which was always within us. She taught student-athletes that if they were to make a difference in the world, they had to start with their own heart and then work outwards.

Sharon was a pioneer, a trailblazer in the women’s triple jump. She was one of the first women on the continent to contest the event when the then IAAF legitimized it. Her best jump was 13.45m, an outstanding performance back then and still an excellent performance today.

Sharon was one of the most giving individuals I ever knew; she was a treasured gift to our program and community. The University of Toronto track and field program student-athletes, and I miss her precious presents. RIP Sharon

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