HALIFAX, N.S. – Two local men and a world-champion race horse from Truro will be inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in the fall.
Truro gymnast Kris Burley and former national junior men’s softball coach Tom Doucette, from Middle Musquodoboit, along with the winningest horse of all time, Somebeachsomewhere, will be inducted into the hall during a ceremony on Nov. 2 at the Halifax Convention Centre.
Others being inducted to the hall include athletes, Mary Beth Bowie (soccer) and Anna (Pendergast) Stammberger (basketball); team, 1978 Saint Mary’s University Huskies men’s basketball team, and builder Margaret (Peggy) Gallant (soccer and volleyball).
The awards ceremony will be hosted by Hall of Fame CEO Bruce Rainnie. Tickets for the induction night are on sale now by calling 902-404-3343.
Following are profiles on the local inductees:
Kris Burley (athlete)
In 1991, Burley became the first Nova Scotian gymnast to be named to the national senior team, going on to represent Canada seven times at the world championships.
He won one gold and three silver medals at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, followed by national all-around championship titles in 1995 and 1999. Before competing at the 1996 Olympics, Burley won three bronze medals at the 1995 Pan American Games.
A two-time Gymnastics Canada Athlete of the Year, he also won a silver and a bronze medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and two bronze medals at the 1999 Pan Am Games.
Tom Doucette (builder)
A Level IV certified softball coach, Doucette was head coach of Canada’s national junior men’s team for seven years, and was head coach of four Canada Games softball teams.
Doucette was a course conductor for softball training across the country, and served as the Softball Canada Master Learning Facilitator for the Atlantic region for 20 years, while also sitting on the National Coaching Development Committee for almost two decades. As CBET chair from 1997 to 2009, Doucette assisted and directed Softball Canada’s transition to the new NCCP format.
In addition to coaching the national junior team to one silver and two bronze medals at the ISF World Junior Championships, he won many awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Doucette was also a former men’s basketball coach at the NSAC in Bible Hill, where he was named Canadian College Athletic Association men’s basketball coach of the year and Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association Basketball Coach of the Year. He also won a Softball Nova Scotia Coach of the Year award.
Doucette will be inducted posthumously.
Truro-owned Somebeachsomewhere captured the country’s attention and drew new fans to harness racing with his unmatched speed and dominance.
He set world records for fastest mile by a two-year-old and a three-year-old, as well as the fastest race mile in harness racing history. A consistent gold-medallist in competitions across North America, the Beach was only defeated once in the two years that he made headlines for his flawless performances on the race track.
Among his many awards, he was named Canadian Sportsman Horse of the Decade, Canadian Sportsman Newsmaker of the Year, and an inductee to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
In 2009, Somebeachsomewhere was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
Somebeachsomewhere will be inducted posthumously.