Art Ravensdale

Art Ravensdale

Art Ravensdale was born on January 5th, 1911 in Bolton, a town in Greater Manchester in England. At some point, Art made his way to Cobourg, attending the Cobourg Collegiate Institute (CCI), where he was an academic and athletic standout. His name appeared regularly in results from track meets at CCI and other schools. The Ravensdale Trophy was created in his honour and was presented to the top all-round male athlete each year until 1960. In 1929 Art won the 120-yard hurdles at the Canadian Championships in Banff. He won again in 1930 in Toronto, 1931 in Winnipeg, 1932 in Hamilton, 1933 in Fort William and 1934 in Montreal. 

Art's career was almost tragically derailed when he broke his hip while playing rugby at CCI, but with a combination of determination and hard work, he recovered completely. In 1930, in addition to winning the Provincial and Dominion Interscholastic Championships Art competed for Team Canada at the British Empire Games, held in Hamilton. Art graduated CCI in 1929 and took up studies at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Representing Marquette, he ran the 120-yard low hurdles in 13.2 seconds, giving him a share of the World Record. The Milwaukee Journal stated “Ravensdale, a hurdler… set municipal records that will probably stand for years.” He also set a new Canadian record at the Dominion Championships, beating the previous record by 4/10’s of a second in the 120-yard low hurdles. 

In 1932, Art took home first place at the Canadian Track and Field Olympic Trials in the 100-meter hurdles and with that, he went on to represent Canada at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics later that year. In 1934, Art once again represented Canada at the British Empire Games in London, finishing fourth in the 120-yard hurdles. One year later, Art retired after being recognized as the Canadian Hurdling Champion for seven consecutive years (1928 to 1934) and returned to where it all began, CCI, where he coached the next generation of track and field youngsters. Years later, Art received a very special honour from the Town of Cobourg, when Ravensdale Road was named after him. 

Larry O'Connor

Larry O'Connor

In his 1990 induction to the University of Toronto Sports Hall of Fame Larry O’Connor was cited as “the outstanding hurdler in Canada during the 1930’s setting many Canadian records”. “Larry” was born in Toronto on September 22, 1916. When Larry was 13, his father was appointed to the bench as County Court Judge of Northumberland and the family moved to Cobourg where Larry enrolled at Cobourg Collegiate Institute (CCI). Larry’s reputation as an extremely talented athlete preceded him and he immediately began training with fellow Cobourg resident Art Ravensdale – a hurdler already setting records. Larry was chosen for further training at the Ontario Athletic Commission Camp on Lake Couchiching where he distinguished himself by being the first boy to swim to an island one mile away. He competed at track meets in the area. 

After graduating from CCI in 1934 Larry attended the University of Toronto. He joined the Toronto West End YMCA Club and the Varsity Blues Intercollegiate Track and Field Championship Team where he trained alongside Jim Worrall. Both competed at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Summer Games. In the 110m hurdles Olympic final Larry would finish in sixth-place establishing a personal best time of 14.8 seconds. After the Olympics, Larry’s career took off as he went on to set Canadian records in the 110-meter-high hurdles, the 120-yard-high hurdles, and the 220-yard low hurdles. In 1937, at the annual Maple Leaf Gardens Track Meet, Larry set a new world indoor record in the 60-yard-high hurdles. At the 1938 British Empire Games, held in Sydney, Australia, Larry was a gold-winning member of the 4x110 yard relay team and a silver medalist in the 120-yard-high hurdles with a time of 14.2 seconds, the third-fastest in the world that year and a Canadian record that stood until 1963. 

A year later, Larry raced to a time of 14.8 seconds in the 110-metre-high hurdles, setting a new Canadian record that stood until 1964. Larry was awarded the Norton Crow Memorial Trophy (for the Canadian Amateur Athlete of the Year) and the John W. Davies Trophy (for the Outstanding Track Athlete of the Year). He was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Athletic Hall of Fame in 1967, Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1968, University of Toronto Sports Hall of Fame in 1991, and Athletics Ontario Hall of Fame in 2013.

Team or Principal Name

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. 

Team or Principal Name

Kristen Dajia (Fawcett)

Kristen (Fawcett) Dajia

Growing up in Colborne, Kristen Fawcett came from a sporting family. A provincial “Wintario Grant” awarded to the town of Colborne in 1974 resulted in track and field equipment being available at Colborne Public School. It was a time when interest in the upcoming 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics was very high. This infusion of equipment had an immediate impact on Kristen’s athletic trajectory, and she enjoyed particular success throwing the discus in high school at ENSS. Continuing her studies at York University Kristen made both the varsity volleyball team and the track and field team. In volleyball she was part of 3 OWIAA (OUAA) Championship teams and 2 CIAU (USport) bronze medal winners. 


Upon graduating, she had the opportunity to be a pioneer in two sports. A coach at York saw Kristen throwing discus for fun and asked her to join a group learning to throw the hammer. Kristen would become one of the first women in Canada to train and compete in the hammer throw. She captured the Ontario championship in 1990, represented Canada at the Harry Jerome Track Classic in 1991, and competed at other international events - events progressive enough to include new events for women. In addition to competing, Kristen spent a great deal of time training, teaching full time and writing letters to federal politicians in order to get parity and equality for women in track and field events. After much lobbying and convincing, Hammer Throw officially became a new track and field event for women along with pole vault and triple jump – nationally recognized in 1990 and internationally recognized as Olympic events in 2000. 


Thanks in large part to Kristen’s advocacy, Canada emerged as a leader in officially recognizing new events in track and field for women and was one of the first countries to stage these events at our national championships. Kristen was also a trailblazer in women’s rugby. After playing for the Ajax Wanderers she played second row for the very first Ontario Women’s Rugby team. In its second year of existence, her Ontario Team won bronze at the Canadian Championships. Today women's rugby flourishes across Ontario and the Canadian International Women’s Team is among the top teams in world competition. 

Team or Principal Name

Jim Bradford

Jim Bradford

Like many youngsters of his generation that grew up in Cobourg and the surrounding area, sports formed an important part of Jim Bradford’s childhood. And like many he didn’t limit his activities to one sport as he participated and excelled in Softball, Baseball, Hockey, Skiing, Football, Volleyball, Cross-Country Running and Basketball. Amongst his playing accomplishments on the diamond, Jim was a valued member of the 1962 Legion Bantam Ontario Championship Softball Team, the Winchester Western Jr. Provincial Championship Team’s in 1963 and 1964, and the Cold Springs Cats All-Ontario Championship squad in 1975 and 1976. 

It was thanks to the inspiration (and a drive to a Basketball officiating clinic) from Jerry Lawless, the Physical Education Head at the Cobourg West Collegiate, that Jim took an alternate path. Not only would he officiate the sport for many years, but would help found the South Kawartha Basketball Association. It was on the diamond where Jim achieved his greatest success as an umpire. In 1968, Jim began his umpiring career, mainly working local games and tournaments. Over the next three-plus decades, Jim would earn a reputation as the top umpire in our area and without question, the most accredited. 

Jim would work the Pan Am Games in Indianapolis, the Canada Senior Men’s Fast Pitch Championships in Fredericton, New Brunswick, the National Midget Boys Fastball Championships in Napanee; the Women’s World’s in Newfoundland, and numerous provincial championships, while also acting as an umpiring supervisor in various national competitions. Jim founded the South-Central Umpires Association and served for many years as the Vice-President of the Cobourg Men’s Softball League. Over his career Jim convened countless umpiring clinics, sharing his wisdom and experience with the next generation of arbiters. 

In 2000, Jim became the first-ever umpire in Canada to receive his Level 5 status in both softball disciplines: Fast-Pitch and Slow-Pitch. Three years later, Jim was elected into the Canadian Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame as well as into the Softball Ontario Hall of Fame.

Ewart Timlin

Ewart Timlin

One could not begin to write about the history of fastball in our area without at least devoting a chapter to Ewart Timlin.

Ewart was 15-years-old when he got the tap on the shoulder to take the field for the Cold Springs Men's team and in just five years he held the dual positions of player-coach, a position he would keep for the next two decades (after which he commenced a 25-year Slo-Pitch playing career). In that time Cold Springs would emerge as a fastball powerhouse.

After spending the 1960's and early '70's as a part of the Ontario Amateur Softball Association (OASA) and the Hamilton Township League, and in search of a higher level of competition, Cold Springs petitioned to join the Peterborough City League for the 1975 season. Despite misgivings about their ability to compete, Cold Springs was reluctantly added. A subsequent first place finish in the league and the OASA Intermediate C championship put those initial doubts to rest.

The following season, 1976, saw them repeat the accomplishment and then four years later, in 1980, the “Cats” captured the Ontario Senior “A” fastball championship. Still guided by Ewart, the “Cats” took home the OASA Intermediate B championship in 1989 and then came the establishment of the Masters level by the OASA in 1996.

Over the next fifteen years the reunited “Cats” participated in more than 20 Masters events, winning 2 Canadian Masters Championships, an Eastern Canadian title, plus 3 gold, 2 silver, and 3 bronze, OASA Masters Championships. In addition, the “Cats” dominated the North Bay World Senior Men's Fastball Championship in their ten appearances, winning 7 gold medals, and 2 silvers.

Along with all of the team success a multitude of individual honours have been bestowed on Ewart; Cobourg Legion Giving Back Award (2012); Honorary Vice-President of the OASA (2011/12); Ontario Masters Fastball Hall of Fame Inductee (2014) and the Hamilton Township Senior Citizen of the Year (2018).

Leo Reyns

Leo Reyns

Few individual athletes in Cobourg’s long sporting history can lay claim to a decade of sustained achievement on the level of Leo Reyns successes on the wrestling mat throughout the 1970’s.

Attending C.D.C.I. East from 1971 to 1975 Leo was an integral part of that school’s championship wrestling team, a group that was Kawartha Team Champions in four of those years. Individually, Leo won the Kawartha Championship in his weight class in 1973,1974 and 1975. He was COSSA Champion in 1973,1974 and 1975, finished as the OFSAA runner-up in 1974 and was named the school’s Most Valuable Wrestler that same year.

In his final year of high school in 1975 he claimed the OFSAA Gold Medal in the 123lb weight class, and was named the C.D.C.I. East Athlete of the Year. The fall of 1975 saw Leo further his studies at the University of Guelph. Over the next four years, Leo would be a part of the Varsity Wrestling team that won the OUAA Championship in 1976 and 1977, and finished in fourth place in the 1977 World Cup Team Championship – Freestyle Division.

Individually, in 1975, Leo won the Canadian Junior Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion, the Canadian Junior Freestyle Wrestling Bronze Medalist, and the Ontario Senior Open Freestyle Champion. In 1976 Leo captured the OUAA Wrestling Individual Championship and served as an alternate on the Canadian team for the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. In 1977, Leo placed 4th in the World Cup Individual Freestyle competition, held in Toledo, Ohio, and in 8th place in the World Greco-Roman Championship, held in Gothenburg, Sweden.

After claiming the 142lb OUAA Wrestling Championship as well as the OUAA Wrestling Individual Championship in 1978, Leo capped off his championship career in 1980 when he was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the Ontario Senior Open Championship.



Team or Principal Name

Jeremiah Brown

Jeremiah Brown

Jeremiah Brown was at a crossroads in his life. As a teenager in Cobourg, Jeremiah participated in a variety of sports, most notably with the Midget A team that won an Ontario Hockey Federation championship in 2001-02. A Football walk-on at McMaster University, Jeremiah would make the varsity team and become a two-year starter at Offensive Tackle, along the way being recognized as the team's Most Improved Offensive Player.

After graduating Jeremiah was searching for a new athletic challenge – and he found it in rowing. Inspired by watching the Canadian Men's Eight Rowing Team win the Gold Medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Jeremiah made a vow to be a part of the same team and win the Gold at the 2012 London Olympics, a mere four years away.

A novice rower, Jeremiah and his family moved to Victoria, B.C, site of the National Rowing Team's training facilities. Upon arriving, he met Doug White, who agreed to coach him. Commencing a learn-to-row program, Jeremiah would quickly put in 1700 hours of training, and by the fall of 2009, he was representing British Columbia in the National Championships. In 2010, he captured a silver medal at the National Championships in the single sculls, and in January 2011 he was named to the national rowing team. Later that year he would claim a bronze medal at the World Championships as part of the Men's Eight. In 2012, Jeremiah would gain another bronze medal at the World Cup in Men's Eights, where in an earlier heat, his team would set a “World's Best Time” that would stand for the next eight years.

Just three weeks before the London Olympics were set to begin, Jeremiah would be named to the Canadian Men's Eights team, where he would fulfill his dream, standing on the podium after Canada won the 2012 Olympic Silver Medal. Jeremiah transitioned again shortly afterward, leaving rowing behind, throwing himself into another passion of his; music. He has also penned a best-selling memoir “The 4 Year Olympian”, and become an in-demand motivational speaker.



Team or Principal Name

Elaine Devlin

Elaine Devlin

Elaine Devlin

Born in Indian River on July 27, 1964, Elaine Devlin resided in Cobourg, Colborne, and Grafton for a decade and has maintained her athletic connections to our community ever since. Before moving to our area Elaine had already established herself athletically as an all-star goalie and a member of numerous OWHA (Ontario Women’s Hockey Association) gold medal teams and as one of the best softball pitchers in the province winning ORSA (Ontario Rural Softball Association) Midget and Junior provincial titles in 1981, 1982 and 1983 with Douro and Keene; two OCAA (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association) Silver Medal’s with Fleming College and numerous Peterborough Women’s City League titles. In 1985 she attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas on a scholarship where she played in the NCAA softball circuit. Still the holder of seven school records she was Gulf Star Conference Female Athlete of the Year; Most Outstanding Player and won a Conference Championship. Recruited to play for the Cobourg Angels, by Paul Currelly in 1984, over the next five years Elaine and her teammates medaled 9 times at the provincials, including three golds, a period of sustained excellence that was due in large part to Elaine’s pitching prowess, which didn’t go unrecognized by the opposition as she was recruited by other teams 3 different times to represent Ontario at the Canadian Championships. Since her time playing in Cobourg, Elaine has continued to contribute to the sport by coaching and attending pitching clinics during the off-season to help the next generation of hurlers hone their techniques. It would be hard to imagine an honour, accomplishment in Softball that has eluded Elaine. Beyond pitching a countless number of no-hitters and perfect games, Elaine Devlin has competed in a total of 34 Provincial championships (14 gold, 12 silver, 4 bronze), 17 Canadian championships (4 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze), and at least 5 World Championship/International competitions (1 gold, 1 bronze) and has coached at 20 Provincial championships (5 gold, 2 silver, 5 bronze), 12 Canadian championships (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) and 3 World Championship/International competitions, winning gold each time.

Team or Principal Name

Hockey - Rick Seggie

Rick Seggie w-Mats Sundin

As an educator, Rick Seggie found a natural fit between his love of sports and instructing students. He strove to acquire the best information available and used that knowledge in a practical setting with both his students and athletes. He wanted to teach critical thinking in his classrooms and the skills that would allow athletes to excel in sport.

Many colleagues and fellow coaches would often describe his teachings and thought process as ‘ahead of his time’. One reason for that was that he did not only rely on his personal experience learning the sport, but focused on how the best athletes in the world excelled at all sports. What were the skills that would give his players an edge as hockey evolved into the high speed, high skill game it is today.

He knew there were experts in the field that were pushing forward new ways of training and would study them. He was interested in what could be learned from the success of the Central Red Army training methods during their reign, or other elite athletes, such as a 100 meter sprinter. What were the ways a sports psychologist would prepare athletes mentally, as well as physically.

Born in Toronto, Ontario on January 8th, 1953 and growing up in Scarborough, Rick played minor hockey in Dorset Park and West Hill, which later became the Scarborough Ice Raiders of the GTHL. This is where he developed a true love for the game. From his years of minor hockey through to University, his passion always surrounded coaching and education.

After graduating from the University of Toronto with his Bachelor of Education, Rick accepted his first teaching position in Morrisburg, Ontario. He jumped right into coaching with the local Winchester minor league in 1978-79, which is now part of the Upper Canada Minor Hockey League. In the early 80’s Rick took on a teaching position at Port Hope High School. He relocated to Peterborough, Ontario from where he would commute. Rick and his family finally moved to Cobourg, Ontario in 1983 after completing his Masters in Education.

Through his teaching years Rick was heavily involved in team sports. He first became involved in the track & field program at Port Hope High School and later took over the hockey program with many successful seasons. This led to coaching many of his students through Port Hope and Cobourg Minor hockey from the late 80’s through until the early 2000’s. His two sons, Paul and Jay, played on a few of those minor hockey teams, as well as the infamous backyard rinks that Rick would create every winter at their home in Cobourg.

His passion for teaching and learning the skills of the game was always present as he embarked on developing the sport through the Ontario Minor Hockey Association. Rick became an Advanced Level Certification N.C.C.P Instructor and spent the better part of 25 years coaching and training other coaches to become certified, along with writing many of the training manuals himself. Many local people who knew Rick, would often be surprised to see his name on the elite level coaching manuals, as he was not one to brag about his accomplishments. These programs gave Rick some unique opportunities.

Highlights during this time were working with Canada’s National team as a guest coach (with Andy Murray and Roger Neilson), to leading the N.C.C.P. Advanced Seminars with Ken Dryden. Some of Rick’s affiliations with the Toronto Maple Leaf’s were in several of the MLSE development programs with Wendel Clark and Mats Sundin.

There were also many other interests in Rick’s life with his summer charter business, taking fishing groups out on his boat ‘ABACUS’, but he was always drawn back to hockey. Along with his summers fishing he was also instrumental in working with a number of the summer hockey programs in Ontario. Coaching the Central Ontario Selects (which later became the Wolves) AAA teams in the 90’s and helping get the Lakeshore Thunder AAA program off the ground in coaching and recruiting player development.

As his teaching years continued, he took a position in the Catholic school system as Head of Special Education at St. Mary’s Cobourg in 1992. At this time, the school was undergoing a lot of growth in their athletic programs and Rick took on the Varsity hockey program. From the early 90’s until present day this program has seen substantial growth, development and exposure, from a Europe Tour in 1997, to the annual Irish Rover tournaments on the campus of Notre Dame University. Rick was also involved in coaching several of the local girl’s programs through St. Mary’s High School hockey and the Northumberland Wild in Cobourg.

His focus was always on creating a learning moment and he often found that moment in sports. He loved seeing his players develop a new skill and watch it come to life in a game. There was never any panic behind the bench of his teams, as Rick had a thoughtful approach that followed a plan as though he had experienced it all before.

We lost Rick on December 5th, 2016 but his impact on the sport of hockey, his community, and the schools he taught at will never be forgotten.


Excerpts from an email to Paul Seggie from Richard Ropchan, former Executive Director of Ontario Hockey Association            

Your dad and I go back a long way during my 20 year involvement in the OMHA. As the Director of Development for my first 4 years I got to know your Dad very well and we became very close friends. We both came from a hockey coaching background and expressed the same passion for growing the game and making it more fun to play at all ages.

Your dad's personality and enthusiasm was contagious and I loved picking his brain for ideas on how to better teach the game. Being an educator most of his life he was a great communicator and had a good understanding of best teaching methods. He wasn't afraid to think outside the box and introduce new ideas to our OMHA Coach Instructors.

Rick was highly respected by his peers, someone everyone looked up to. I think Rick was a born leader. His talent, experience, passion and teaching skills were widely recognized through his involvement with HC, OHF and OMHA. He was a Master Course Conductor in the OMHA and was heavily involved in the creation and development of new coaching curriculum material for coaches. He was constantly asked to take part as a presenter at the Annual OMHA August Development Weekend.

He was always very generous with his time and willing to help out in any way whenever asked. I don't ever remember him saying no I'm too busy. Rick was also invited to attend numerous Coaching Development Seminars across the country where he was involved in committees with HC to create and write Instructional Manuals. He was also very actively involved in the OHF Coaches Development Committee which met regularly on an annual basis.

On another note, I was involved in Canada Inline and Coached the Men's National Inline Hockey Team and I asked your dad if he could help me create a National Coaching Manual for Inline Hockey. As busy as your dad was and the fact that he had very little or maybe no Inline Hockey coaching experience he still offered to give more of his precious time to help create this Coaching

Manual. We met once a week on a regular basis and before long we had created a draft copy of Coach Level I, II and III Coaching curriculum which is being used to some extent Internationally.

I think about your dad often and remember all the good times we had together. It was so sad to see him go at such a young age. He left quite a legacy behind in the Hockey Community. He always wanted to help make the game better and his enormous contributions will never be forgotten. He had a significant impact on my life and I can't express in words how much he meant to me.



Excerpt from an email to Jay Seggie from Corey McNabb, Director, Hockey Development  Programs, Hockey Canada

Here are some of the projects that he was involved with from a Hockey Canada perspective:

2004/05 – Hockey Canada Skills Manuals – National Writers Group

2006/07 – Hockey Canada Mentorship Program – Specialty Clinic Writers Group

2006 – 2009 – Hockey Canada Mentorship Program – Master Facilitator

Rick Seggie brought a wealth of experience and passion to the Hockey Canada Programs that he participated in. Through his nomination by the OMHA to assist on several National Writers Groups for Hockey Canada, Rick was a welcome participant who constantly stepped up to participate whether it was through writing, review or editing as Hockey Canada resources were created or updated. His expertise in the skill development area was a welcome addition to our National Writers Groups

Once the writing was complete, Rick became very active in the delivery of those materials and resources to minor hockey coaches and players and left a legacy in that part of the game focused on improving the knowledge and ability of coaches to teach the fundamental skills to their players. Rick attended every seminar he could and was always eager to learn and contribute as a Facilitator and Master Facilitator of the on ice clinics.

Rick was the first one to send through feedback from the coaches after he spent a weekend on the ice with them receiving accolades and positive comments. His willingness to contribute and participate has had a lasting eect on 100s of coaches over the years and he is known as one of the good guys within our Hockey Canada / OMHA families as someone who could always be counted on.


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