NB Sports Hall of Fame elects six new inductees

For Immediate Release                                 February 29, 2012

New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame elects six new inductees

FREDERICTON, NB- The New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame will be inducting six new members into the hall during this year’s induction ceremony being held at the Fredericton Inn on June 9. The inductees were announced today by the sports hall of fame’s board of governor’s chairperson John Estabrooks.

This year’s inductee are:

Sarah Forbes croppedSarah Forbes, of Fredericton, began her field hockey career at Fredericton High School. She was a member of the gold medal winning Team New Brunswick at the 1989 Canadian Summer Games. During her 16 years on the national team, she competed in 11 international competitions, including three Commonwealth Games and two Pan-American Games, resulting in one silver and three bronze medals. While playing field hockey for York University, Forbes was named all-star, most valuable player and all Canadian. Forbes now resides in Ontario and coaches the women’s field hockey team at the University of Guelph.

Jacques LeBlanc coppedJacques LeBlanc, of Memramcook, started boxing at age 13 and turned professional at 17. His record of 320 rounds without ever having been knocked down puts him amongst the most resilient boxers in Canadian boxing history and is considered a world-class competitor and defensive specialist. LeBlanc earned a total of five boxing titles including the Commonwealth Eliminator and overall titles for Canadian, Maritime and Eastern. LeBlanc continues to stay involved with boxing in the area and can often be seen at gyms in Moncton assisting in the development of young boxers.

Hal Merrill croppedHal Merrill, of Fredericton, is an internationally recognized Paralympian who has competed at three Paralympics Games (’92, ’96, ’00) for javelin, shotput and discus.

Throughout his outstanding 11-year national and international career, Merrill won 16 medals and earned multiple world records. Merrill is a member of the Fredericton Wall of Fame and has twice been awarded Sport NB’s male athlete of the year. He resides in Fredericton and devotes time to parasport through volunteer work with the Stan Cassidy Centre, Ability NB and in New Brunswick schools.

Matt Stairs croppedMatthew Stairs, of Fredericton, had an illustrious career in Major League Baseball that includes winning the 2009 World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies. His baseball career has earned him two MLB records including: most pinch-hit home runs, at 23, and most teams (12 in total) played for in a career. Throughout his 19-year Major League Baseball career, the longest ever by a New Brunswicker, he was known as a dedicated, hard-working player and a team leader. Stairs has recently accepted a sports cast commentator position with the Boston Red Sox.

Milaine Theriault croppedMilaine Th√©riault, of St-Quentin, is the first New Brunswick athlete to have competed in three Winter Olympic Games (’98, ’02, ’06). She skied for Team New Brunswick in the 1991 Canadian Winter Games and went on to compete at the national senior level with first place finishes in ’93, ’98,’99, and ’00. As an international competitor, Theriault has many top-30 finishes, including a second place showing at the Women’s Relay in 2001. Her career has earned her a number of awards, including SportNB’s female athlete of the year award in 2002.Theriault is the co-chair of the Cross Country Canada’s Women’s Committee.

William Tracey croppedWilliam Tracy, of Sackville, began his athletic career in 1939 and continues to remain active at the age of 91. Tracy’s accomplishments span a spectrum of sports, but his greatest achievements came in the sport of curling. He won the Quebec Championship four times (’54,’65, ’66, and ’68) and represented Quebec at the Brier in 1965. He is a member of the Sackville Sports Wall of Fame, as well as the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame and holds an award for a perfect game, 1-0. Tracy is still an avid curler and can be found on the ice helping young curlers improve their game.

“We are proud to be announcing the election of these six distinguished athletes,” says Jamie Wolverton, Executive Director of the sports hall of fame. “We hope to see a great turnout for this year’s event and look forward to honouring all of these inductees.”

Tickets for the 2012 Induction Ceremony can be purchased at the office of the sports hall of fame located at 503 Street in Fredericton, NB or by calling (506-453-3747).

These six deserving inductees bring the total number of sports hall of fame honoured members to 225.

The New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit organization located in the Garrison District of downtown Fredericton. It honours achievement in competitive sport and functions as a seasonal museum. It has more than 200 original portraits, an interactive virtual sports system and hosts numerous exhibits.

Media Contact: Brit Mockler, Communications and Operations Officer, brit.mockler@gnb.ca, 453-3747

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