Fran Jay

Fran Jay

Fran Jay never played a sport, but it would be impossible to tell the story of Baseball and Hockey in our community without her. In our community and beyond, she played a critical role in the growth and acceptance of woman’s hockey. A lifelong resident of Cobourg, Fran married Ron Jay on October 26, 1963. Ron was heavily involved in Baseball locally, and it didn’t take long for Fran to gravitate towards the administrative side of the sport. Joining the executive of the Cobourg Baseball Association, Fran took on countless tasks; organizing tournaments, running fundraisers, housing and feeding visiting umpires, arranging accommodations for visiting teams, working the canteen to name but a few.

 In 1987, after many years of service, she was awarded the “Curtis Products Award”, given to the person judged to have contributed the most to the Cobourg Baseball Association. While attending a Toronto Blue Jays game, Fran and Ron were featured on the stadium Jumbotron in recognition of their contributions to Baseball and were referred to as “Mr. and Mrs. Blue Jay from Cobourg”. Fran and Ron had two children, Brian and Brenda. When Brian played hockey, Brenda always tagged along. When Brenda was old enough to play in Cobourg, she wasn’t allowed a chance to play with the boys and there was no girls team. So began Fran’s legacy as an advocate for girls’ hockey. 

Although she didn’t start girls’ hockey in Cobourg, she spearheaded the creation of the United Counties Hockey League (later known as the Lakeshore League) which provided girls’ teams a chance to play against girls’ teams in other towns. In 1982, Fran became the first ever Girls Governor on the CCHL executive and brought her administrative talents to her newest passion. Later she would be elected a Life Member of the CCHL in recognition of her efforts. Eventually, Fran would join the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association executive as a Regional Director. A board member from 1993 to 1999, she was the team liaison for international teams and organized the 1997 and 1998 Senior AAA Women’s Provincial Championships that were held in Cobourg. She also helped to organize the 1997 Women’s World Championships, held in Kitchener, and was involved with the Canadian Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. 

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