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Father-son duo among Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019

May 31, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brock Weir

The father-son hockey duo of Dave and Ryan Gardner are among the individuals honoured as the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019.

The Gardners, recognized in the Athlete category, are joined by long-time golf volunteer Jim Clark, recognized in the Builder/Contributor category, swim coach Reg Chappell, honoured in the Coach category, and gymnast Travis Romagnoli, recognized in the Athlete category.

“I am really honoured to be part of the 2019 Aurora Sports Hall of Fame inductees, along with my son Ryan and other inductees,” said David Gardner, who played over 350 games in the NHL, including stints with the Montreal Canadiens and the St. Louis Blues.

Added Ryan, who has represented Team Canada at the Winter Olympics, “What a great feeling to receive a call from the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame that you are not only being inducted, but with your father. I was totally speechless. I can’t wait for the evening and meeting the other inductees. I’m thrilled.”

The Class of 2019 was announced Tuesday night in Council chambers and they will be celebrated at a special induction dinner this November at St. Andrew’s College.

The Aurora Sports Hall of Fame celebrates excellence in sports and pays tribute to those who have contributed and enriched the sport within Aurora, as well as those who have served as ambassadors for local sport further afield.

“The 2019 slate of inductees continues to exemplify the depth of talent that sport has played in our community,” said David Thom, President of the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame. “The commitment and dedication of these individuals to their sport and their generosity to give back to our community exemplifies Aurora’s rich history of sport. We are proud to include them on our 2019 inductee slate.”

These sentiments were bolstered by Stephen Forsey, Chair of the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame induction committee.

“Not only are they highly distinguished in their respective careers, but more importantly they are outstanding people and longstanding citizens of Aurora,” he said. “They have brought a tremendous spotlight to our community as athletes, coaches and builders and have helped others in their areas through volunteerism. They are role models and the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame is fortunate and proud that they are Aurorans. It will be an honour to recognize and celebrate their achievements.”

A “champion of volunteers,” Jim Clark has leant a helping hand for the Canadian Open for the past 35 years, and has served eleven times as tournament chair. He has been previously recognized with the PGA Volunteer of the Year Award and 2017 and will be back in action this August when Aurora hosts the 2019 Canadian Women’s Open at the Magna Golf Club.

“I am so honoured to be considered by the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame to be part of the 2019 slate of inductees and can’t wait for this coming in November to meet my fellow inductees and enjoy a fabulous evening with my family and friends,” said Mr. Clark.

While Mr. Clark has made his sporting contributions on the greens, Reg Chappell has made his name around the water.

Founder of Ducks Swimming in 1993, he has coached swimmers to new heights, including Paralympian Summer Mortimer to three new world records.

2019 will be a banner year for Mr. Chappell. Before his formal induction into the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame this fall, he will be inducted into the Ontario Aquatic Hall of Fame this September.

“I am truly humbled,” said Mr. Chappell. “It is a great honour and a great privilege to be recognized and I want to thank the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame.”

Travis Romagnoli is familiar with hitting new heights, gaining fame as a gymnast from the age of 13 when he won his first Canadian National Championship in 1989.

By 1994, he was named to the Canadian Commonwealth Gymnastics Team and, following high school and pursuing post-secondary education in the United States, was named All American and Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Year.



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