Five local legends to be recognized by Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame

L-R: Roland Billings, Randy Casford, Jayna Hefford, Tim Irwin, Georgo Patterson. Images via Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame.

The Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame will finally be honouring the five local inductees for the class of 2020. The original induction ceremony, scheduled for May 1, 2020, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally rescheduled for September of that year, the ceremony was again pushed to May 2021. As that date approached, it was clear the time was still not right for a large gathering. The Hall of Fame again postponed the ceremony, which is now scheduled for fall 2022.

“In recent years the success of the Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame has resulted in 300 to 400 people attending the Induction Ceremony,” the organization said on Facebook in June 2021. “While it is hard to predict how things will be in the next few months, we are hoping that Covid will not play too much of a role in our planning for our Induction Ceremonies in the Spring of 2022.”

Five inductees were chosen ahead of the original ceremony: Roland Billings, Randy Casford, Jayna Hefford, Tim Irwin, and George Patterson.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and Selection Committee of the Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame, I am pleased to announce that we are moving forward with our 25th Annual Induction Ceremony for the Class of 2020,” said Walter DaCosta, President of the Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame.

“We will be holding our Induction Ceremony and Banquet Dinner at the Quality Inn & Conference Centre Kingston Central, 33 Benson Street… Friday, Oct. 7, 2022,” he announced, stating the five individuals that they will be honouring, “have contributed greatly to our sporting community.”

“Their contributions have provided us with many exciting memories. It is indeed a pleasure to publicly honour them.”

Learn more about the inductees:

Roland Billings

Billings has volunteered with the Knights of Columbus Basketball League since 1978. Since then, he has worked as a referee, scorekeeper, coach, convenor, board member and President. He is also President of the Pete Petersen Basketball League which offers more than 500 children opportunities to play basketball just for the fun of it. 

In 2021, Billings was recognized as a First Capital Distinguished Citizen, one of the City of Kingston’s Civic Awards.

Randy Casford

Casford has played and coached baseball for over 30 years in the Kingston area. He has coached at the minor league, senior and university levels, and managed the Kingston Ponies senior baseball team.

Jayna Hefford

Retired ice hockey player Hefford has won four Olympic gold medals in 18 seasons with Canada’s national team, scoring 157 goals. She was honoured with the Order of Hockey and inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, and is the current chairperson of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association.

Tim Irwin

Irwin has volunteered with the Canadian Olympic Sailing Regatta (CORK) since its inception in 1969. For the past 10 years, he has served as operations manager for CORK, one of the largest annual sailing competitions in the world.

Irwin was also a world-class sailor. He represented Canada in the Dragon class at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City.

George Patterson

Patterson spent 20 years playing hockey in the NHL and the American Hockey League. He has the distinction of scoring the first goal for the newly named Toronto Maple Leafs, in 1927. Known as “Hockey’s Lost Boy,” his relatives remain in the area, and Patterson was the subject of a documentary, entitled in his moniker.

Read more about the Kingston and District Sports Halls of Fame on their website.

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