Skip to content

New heroes added to city’s Sports Hall of Fame

The 2024 inductees were unveiled during a special breakfast on May 15
150524_lg_sports_hall_of_fame-group
The 2024 inductees into the Greater Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame are (from left) Bob Chaperon, Dale Beausoleil, Troy Mallette, James Mann, Louise Sheridan and Dave St. Amour.

The Greater Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame Foundation has revealed the 2024 list of inductees that will be formally honoured on June 11 at a special dinner at the Sudbury Caruso Club.

The local hall of fame foundation held a breakfast event Wednesday at Eddie's Restaurant on Regent Street where well-known Sudbury sportswriter and hall of fame ambassador Randy Pascal brought together several individuals for recognition. 

They included volleyball coach Dale Beausoleil, football player Dave St. Amour, NHL hockey player Troy Mallette, snooker champion Bob Chaperon, golfing champion Louise Sheridan and James Mann representing the Sudbury Canoe Club. 

Pascal said Sudbury is a city that enjoys an amazing sports history and there are few people of any generation that don't have memories of great athletic achievements and accomplishments by local teams and organizations.

"Whether they were cheering on (Olympic swimmer) Alex Baumann to his double gold medals, or more recently watching curler Tracy Fleury winning a World Championship or the Sudbury Wolves playoff run of 2007 and 2008, it is such a unifying force," said Pascal.

Dale Beausoleil

150524_lg_sports_hall_of_fame-photo2
Sudbury hall of fame ambassador Gord Apolloni, left, presented coach Dale Beausoleil with his hall of fame pin at a special breakfast event held May 15. Len Gillis / Sudbury.Com

Dale Beausoleil, the Cambrian Golden Shield women's volleyball coach, has been recognized as an OCAA coach of the year in both men's and women's volleyball. 

Beausoliel said he enjoys coaching and is especially pleased when former students meet him and recall past games or when he finds they're still playing in tournaments. 

He said he was an intense athlete in high school but got the bug for coaching with the girls' volleyball team at Confederation Secondary School and he was hooked on it from there.

Beausoliel said he is more than impressed with the level of athleticism and sports talent that Sudbury has.

"I think it's incredible. I mean, you take a look at the amount of Olympians that we have. You can take a look at the success that we have in numerous sports. I mean, we have so many NHL hockey players, we have track stars, we have our curlers;  so many different sports that we have that are amazing athletes that represent Canada, at the Olympics and in the world," he said.

Dave St. Amour

150524_lg_sports_hall_of_fame-photo3
Sudbury hall of fame ambassador Gord Apolloni, left, presents a hall of fame pin to Sudbury athlete Dave St. Amour, formerly with the Sudbury Spartans football team, on May 15. Len Gillis / Sudbury.Com

Former footballer Dave St. Amour is also being inducted this year. St.Amour was an 18-time all-star in the Northern Football Conference with the Sudbury Spartans where he played for 22 years. 

"I think it's an awesome feeling. I think it's very satisfying. Other people have kind of recognized the fact that we've had a lot of success locally in the sports stuff. And so it's pretty humbling," said St. Amour.

He was also remembered for twice being the MVP on the circuit as well as holding several league records for such things as receiving — 314 receptions for 5,139 yards, and 61 touchdowns.

St. Amour said he was pleased to see the local hall of fame organization being a beacon of achievement for many younger athletes in the city.

"I think it's a good inspiration for some of the people that the only got to keep working hard. And it's good to represent your community as best you can," he said. 

Besides, said St. Amour, it was fun.

"Yeah, I think we just had to come to a point where we just loved the play and you liked the people that you played with, and you made some great friends and that was what you did for your excitement and entertainment. So you know being successful as we were when we played with everybody made it enjoyable and made you want to come back and keep working at it," he said.

Troy Mallette

150524_lg_sports_hall_of_fame-photo4
Former NHL athlete Troy Mallette, left, was presented with a Sudbury hall of fame pin by sports ambassador Gord Apolloni May 15. Len Gillis / Sudbury.Com

Troy Mallette is a name known to so many NHL fans, playing 456 games for such teams as the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Mallette suffered an injury before he was 30  that forced him to quit hockey. Mallette returned to Sudbury to start a career as a professional firefighter a few years after rehabilitation. He now enjoys retirement and spending time at his camp. 

He said he was pleased with the hall of fame event and to be associated with so many other well-known local athletes who have done well.  

"I'm excited for it,” Mallette said. “I was gonna say it's been a long time since I've been in the game. I'm surprised and excited about it and to be added to the list of a bunch of good names that are already on it." 

Mallette said he has done some coaching since his NHL days, and added he is impressed with the skill level he sees now.

"The skill level is extremely high. The game has changed somewhat, you know the physical aspect of the game," he said. "Well, you get to see it in the playoffs, but through the course of the year, you don't really see it as much as what the old time hockey used to be. But that's the evolution of the game, right?"

Bob Chaperon

150524_lg_sports_hall_of_fame-photo5
Snooker legend Bob Chaperon was presented with his Sudbury hall of fame pin by sports ambassador Gord Apolloni at a breakfast event May 15. Len Gillis / Sudbury.Com

Bob Chaperon was pleased to be inducted and admitted he never expected the honour. As a schoolboy he remembered going to the New City Billiards on Elm Street, where he would clean tables, pick up garbage and rack the balls in return for free practice time.

Chaperon said he soon learned to play the game well and was pleased one day that we won enough money he was able to bring some friends out and buy them ice cream. 

He would rise to international fame as a champion snooker player and went on to win the 1990 British Open.

Chaperon said he remembered playing snooker as a teen and it was a lot of hard work. 

"You know, growing up, I started playing snooker and dreaming all those years of playing on a big stage, as kids would do. A lot of people play it for a lot of years and never get success, because it's a lot of hard work and dedication. And I was actually very fortunate to be able to win on the world teams representing Canada, and also, the only player from Canada ever win a major — apart from Cliff Thorburn — to win a major championship over there, which was the 1990 British Open."

Chaperson remembers that it was a good life for several years.

"I got to wear a tuxedo, you know, I got to play on TV, I got to earn a decent living, signing autographs, and it was a bit of a celebrity life. You know it was travel the world and entertain people. It was wonderful," he said.

Louise Sheridan

150524_lg_sports_hall_of_fame-photo6
Elite Sudbury golfer Louise Sheridan, left, was presented with her Sudbury hall of fame pin May 15 by Sudbury sports ambassador Gord Apolloni. Len Gillis / Sudbury.Com

Another person inducted this year is elite golfer Louise Sheridan, who is known as one of the outstanding golfers out of the Idylwylde Golf and Country Club.

Sheridan, a 16-time winner of the ladies championship there, is a native of Pembroke who moved to Sudbury to study physical education at Laurentian University and competed as a member of the varsity women's field hockey team. 

She said she was pleased with the hall of fame recognition, and said she is happy to move forward and keep trying to improve.   

"I guess I feel proud of my accomplishment. But then there's another day, like, it's just, you know, it's a fleeting moment. It's just, there's going to be another goal. Another milestone that I'd like to reach," she said.

Sheridan said she didn't begin playing until she was in her thirties.

"I wish I had started perhaps earlier and been better, earlier. I would have liked to have competed at different levels. It's golf is such a lifetime of learning that, you know, now I'm in my sixties. So, you know, I have to be realistic. I'm not competing against 30-year-olds or kids that are in college."

Sheridan said she still has goals, but they're personal goals. She added that she will likely mentor some younger golfers because she enjoys the game so much.

Sudbury Canoe Club

150524_lg_sports_hall_of_fame-photo7
Sudbury hall of fame ambassador Gord Apolloni, left,  presented a hall of fame pin to James Mann, representing the Sudbury Canoe Club on May 15. Len Gillis / Sudbury.com

This year's hall of fame event will include the Norm Mayer Dynasty Award, a tribute to the late Sudbury sportswriter and editor who spent many years documenting the athletic and sports achievements in the city. Pascal said Mayer was the most passionate person about local sports he had ever met.

Mayer had previously been inducted into the local hall of fame long before his death in 2019. Pascal said one of the ways to remember Mayer was to have an award for organizations and groups that have had a significant impact on the local sporting landscape. 

This year, that award will be presented to the Sudbury Canoe Club, which has a history going back more than 100 years. 

Pascal said the long and rich history of the organization is one that needs to be honoured and appreciated.

James Mann, the head coach of the sprint canoe and kayak group, was on hand to represent the canoe club.

He said he was pleased for the club to be honoured by the hall of fame committee. 

He said the club has roughly 100 avid paddlers, but there is a push on now to boost membership.  He said there are programs being offered through local schools and by the city and new members are always welcome.

The 53rd annual Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame dinner is to take place on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 in the upstairs hall at the Caruso Club. Tickets can be obtained by contacting Randy Pascal at 705-698-1627 or [email protected], or from Joe Drago at 705-207-3475.  Tickets are priced at $65 per person, and only $25 for children under 12. 

Len Gillis is a reporter with Sudbury.com.


Comments

Verified reader

If you would like to apply to become a verified commenter, please fill out this form.




Len Gillis

About the Author: Len Gillis

Graduating from the Journalism program at Canadore College in the 1970s, Gillis has spent most of his career reporting on news events across Northern Ontario with several radio, television and newspaper companies. He also spent time as a hardrock miner.
Read more