• By: OLM Staff

Former Mayor Leads Home Run of Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame 2018 Inductees

A former mayor, a ringette trailblazer, a rugby star, an NHL tough guy and a Grey Cup champ are all part of the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame 2018 inductees. The touchdown of an announcement came yesterday seeing five more local legends enter the prestigious Hall at the June 1 ceremony in Lansdowne Park.

Meet the 2018 Hall of Famers:

Jim Durrell served as Mayor of Ottawa from 1985 to 1991, and was instrumental in making the city an attractive and viable destination for professional sports. Among the many achievements attributed to him are the revival of the Ottawa Senators in 1990, landing the CFL’s Grey Cup in 1988, and championing the return of professional baseball. Most recently Durrell was the Chair of the very successful 2017 Grey Cup in Ottawa.

Jeff Avery is a Grey Cup champion with the Ottawa Rough Riders, a CFL East All-Star, and a Vanier Cup winner with the University of Ottawa Gees-Gees in 1975. Since retiring as a player, Avery has covered CFL football on radio for 30years and has been president of the CFL Ottawa Alumni Association for 16 years.

Betty Shields is a trailblazer for the sport of ringette in Canada and abroad. She began as a local volunteer and rose through the ranks to become the first president of the International Ringette Association. She was instrumental in ringette’s entry to the Canada Winter Games.

Jim Kyte is widely regarded as one of the toughest hockey players of his time, enjoying a 13-year, 598 game career as an NHL defenceman. He was twice nominated for the prestigious Bill Masterton trophy, and founded the Canadian Hearing Impaired Hockey Association.

Steve Gray was a fixture on the national rugby team, notching 47 international caps as a centre, and representing Canada in three Rugby World Cups and the inaugural Rugby 7’s World Cup.

The Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization, continues to document and curate the city’s rich sports history. Located inside City Hall, it contains artifacts, photographs and memorabilia honouring our sporting heritage, as well as commemorative plaques honouring its more than 270 inductees. Choosing five more wasn’t an easy task. Every year multiple nominations for the Hall come in from the public with this year’s class showcasing that Ottawa is so much more than a hockey town.  

Dave Best, chair of the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, stated yesterday that the selection process was another  challenging one.

“We received many strong nominations from the community, a reminder of the broad range of sporting achievement and excellence that exists in the nation’s capital,” said Best. “This year’s class clearly reflects that diversity, as each inductee not only has a truly remarkable sports pedigree, but an impressive record of community service.”

Tickets for the 2018 Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, to be held June 1, can be purchased online.