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County to honour resident’s induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Judy Kent – Canada Sports Hall of Fame photo

Prince Edward County council will present Judy Kent with a Civic Recognition plaque honouring her induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Nominated by councillor Bill Roberts, the recognition is to be presented when the public is allowed to attend council meetings in person when pandemic restrictions loosen.

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame announced last month that Kent has joined the Class of 2020/21 to receive the Order of Sport award, Canada’s highest sporting honour. Induction celebrations have been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Six athletes and five builders were chosen this year to signify and celebrate Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame’s 65th anniversary year. Selected from more than 260 public nominations and by a committee comprised
of sports broadcasters, writers, academics and athletes, all for their ability to lead and inspire both on and off the field of play, for their sports accomplishments and in recognition of their continuing role in building Canada through sport and the value they return to their communities.

This year’s inductees include:
• John “Jackie” Barrett – Athlete, Powerlifting and Special Olympian
• Sonja Gaudet – Athlete, Wheelchair Curling
• Diane Jones Konihowski – Athlete, Athletics
• Lorie Kane – Athlete, Golf
• Eric Lamaze and Hickstead – Team, Equestrian – Show Jumping
• Steve Nash – Athlete, Basketball
• Duncan Campbell – Builder, Wheelchair Rugby
• Sheldon Kennedy – Builder, Ice Hockey
• Judy Kent – Builder, Sport Administration
• Willie O’Ree – Builder, Ice Hockey
• Ross Powless – Builder, Lacrosse

Kent’s biography, as posted on the Canada Sports Hall of Fame:

A powerful vision of sport as a vehicle for social change has guided Judy Kent throughout her distinguished career as an athlete, coach, prolific author, consultant, and organizational leader.

Judy first became involved in sport as a swimmer and coach at the senior and varsity level. She began working with Commonwealth Games Canada in 1987, and in 1992 became the first female voting delegate to attend an Annual General Assembly of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

From 1994 to 1998, she was the first female president of Commonwealth Games Canada, and served as the movement’s first female Chef de Mission at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria. Determined to clear a path for others to follow, Judy established initiatives to recruit and train more female leaders within the organization, and eventually ensured gender equity became one of five criteria the CGF use when selecting sports for competition.

Even as she was breaking the glass ceiling, Judy led the charge to make the Commonwealth Games the first major international multi-sport event to include athletes with a physical disability in an integrated competition schedule. Thanks to her advocacy, six adaptive sport events were successfully included as demonstration events at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, paving the way for their eventual inclusion as full medal sports in 2002.

She also worked to create better opportunities for Indigenous athletes in Canada, guiding the foundation of the Aboriginal Sport Circle, facilitating joint American-Canadian sessions for the North American Indigenous Games and working with the Iqaluit Organizing Committee in planning to host the Arctic Winter Games.

Internationally, Judy has contributed expertise to many pioneering initiatives that use sport to address poverty, conflict and social issues in developing nations. Notably, she helped establish the Commonwealth Sport Development Program (CSDP), later known as International Development through Sport (IDP), which continues to provide support for children and youth in various parts of the Commonwealth today.

In 2008, Judy also helped build the nascent organization, Generations for Peace based in Amman, Jordan, and trained over 1000 leaders from war-torn regions around the world to promote peace through sport and other community endeavours.

Judy Kent was named one of the Most Influential Women in Sport by Canadian Women & Sport (formerly known as Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport (CAAWS)) in 2003 and 2004. In 2006, she received the Commonwealth Games Canada Award of Merit, and in 2016 became the first recipient of the Order of Merit from the Commonwealth Games Federation. Judy’s collaborative approach to leadership has enabled her to bring together people with very different ideas and agendas, to find common ground and achieve shared goals. Her many years of dedicated service and passionate advocacy have built a truly ground-breaking legacy, reframing the possibilities for sport as a tool for social and community development in Canada and around the world.

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