Canadian Masters Athletics Announces 2021 Hall of Fame Inductees

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June 29, 2021: Canadian Masters Athletics has announced its 2021 inductees into the Canadian Masters Athletics Hall of Fame. 

Based on recommendations made by the Hall of Fame Committee, the CMA Board inducts into the Canadian Masters Athletics Hall of Fame individuals who are judged to have made significant contributions to masters athletics in Canada, in either of two categories – as Athletes or as Executives/Administrators

For the year 2021, three individuals will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in the category of Athletes, Myrtle Acton (BC), Patty Blanchard (NB), and John Kasperski (ON), and one Executive/ Administrator, William (Bill) Pearson (ON).

Myrtle Acton has been a CMA member for 13 years and is currently aged 88. Myrtle competes in the throws, including throws pentathlon, as well as race walk. She has won 14 gold medals in 3 CMA Championships.

Myrtle competed at 2 WMA Championships; Kamloops in 2010, winning 4 silver and 2 bronze medals and Sacramento in 2011, winning 2 bronze medals.  She also competed at World Masters Games in Edmonton, 2005 (3 bronze) and Sydney 2009 (1 silver and 2 bronze).

Myrtle has set 41 CMA records in shot, discus, hammer, weight throw and throws pentathlon. She holds a WMA record in the W85 weight throw. Her performances have age grading scores as high as 117.7%.

Myrtle has also competed at all but two BC Senior Games from 1994 to 2019.  She has been named CMA Athlete of the month twice and BC Masters Field Athlete of the Year in 2019, and was recognized by her province for Outstanding Athletic Performance in Track and Field in 2020.

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Patty Blanchard represented Canada as a senior athlete at World Cross Country and Ekiden relays, and New Brunswick at the Francophone Games. Patty was on 7 Canadian national teams and 2 New Brunswick teams. She was an accomplished university runner.

Patty started competing as a master in 1999 and promptly broke a World age group record in the Indoor Mile. Patty competed for the University of Moncton in her mid-40s, earning MVP and AUS All-Star team status in cross country and track. She set 3 World Masters age group records as an individual and was part of a W50 4 x 800 relay record.

Patty competed in WMA Championships in Gateshead, San Sebastian, Sacramento and Malaga, earning 4 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals in track races from 800m to 5000m. She also competed at NCCMA Championships in Saint John and Toronto, earning 4 gold medals.

Patty has set 22 Canadian Masters records in track and road running, as well as 53 Province of New Brunswick records. She has been inducted into the City of Moncton and New Brunswick Sports Halls of Fame and has been named Female Athlete of the Year for Moncton and Masters Athlete of the Year for New Brunswick.

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John Kasperski has been a CMA member since 1988 and is currently 77 years of age. John competes in the throws, including throws pentathlon. He has won 58 gold medals in indoor and outdoor Canadian Masters Championships and 79 at Ontario Masters Championships.  He set several CMA records over the years. Two throws pentathlon records from 2002 and 2004 are also World Records. 

John has competed at WMA Championships in Perth (top 10 in 3 events) and Torun (silver medal in shot). He competed in NCCMA Championships 4 times, winning 4 silver medals in 1988, 2 gold and 2 silver in 2000, 1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze in 2014 and 2 bronze in 2017.

In addition to competing, John coaches at the provincial, national and international level.

He has been inducted into the Ontario Masters and Peterborough Halls of Fame and been named Senior Athlete of the Year for Peterborough in 1989, 2015 and 2016.

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William (Bill) Pearson has been a CMA member since 2002. Bill is currently aged 68, and competes in the throws. In 24 CMA Championships, indoors and outdoors, he has won 44 gold, 33 silver and 15 bronze medals.  He set one age group record in the throws pentathlon. He has won 12 medals in 3 NCCMA Championships and has competed at 4 WMA Championships and 1 World Masters Games.

It is as a builder in the sport that Bill really shines.  He has managed the successful Throwers Club since 2003.  He has been meet director for 62 throws meets, serving masters athletes as well as juniors and para athletes.  He coaches many masters throwers and advises those across the country.  He has been a technical advisor for officials for NCCMA and the Toronto 2020 WMA Championships. His recent webinar for masters throwers was well-received across Canada.

Bill served Ontario Masters as Director of Throws for 10 years and Toronto 2020 as a committee member.  He worked to bring extensive upgrades to throwing facilities at Toronto Track and Field Centre in time for Toronto 2020, coordinating cooperation between politicians and track and field technical advisors.

Bill sits on several committees with Athletics Ontario representing masters and throwers, including Programs and Services, Fundraising, and Strategic Planning.  Bill has served CMA on the Hall of Fame Committee since 2015.

Bill has been generous in his financial support, providing implements and equipment to other throws clubs, to schools and even to the City of Hamilton to upgrade throws facilities. In 2019, he donated grants to 8 high schools, including 3 in the north, for throwing equipment.

Presentation of Awards

The presentation of their awards to the inductees into the Canadian Masters Athletics Hall of Fame have traditionally taken place at the CMA Awards Dinner, held in conjunction with the Canadian Masters Athletics Outdoor Track and Field Championships.  As those Championships have been cancelled for 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the CMA Board will decide on other appropriate methods to honour these very worthy recipients.

CMA Hall of Fame

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