Seven new inductees will be honoured when the Belleville Sports Hall of Fame, located in the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre, holds its 25th induction ceremony on Saturday September 10.
A reception will be held at 1 p.m. in the Dr. R. L. Vaughan Atrium, with the ceremony to follow at 1:30 in the multipurpose room (beside the Hall of Fame).
On Friday, the 2022 inductees were announced and include: Matt Cooke (athlete; hockey), Rob Cooke (athlete/builder; football, rugby), Judi Gilbert (athlete; hockey), Paula Lockyer (athlete; basketball), Barb Snedden-Wood (athlete; multi-sport), Pat Tracey Jr. (athlete/builder; football), and Kim Whaley-Hilts (athlete; darts).
In addition to the recognition of the inductees, the Belleville Sports Hall of Fame will announce the winners of the Belleville McDonald’s High School Female and Male Athletes of the Year. This program is made possible through the generosity of Robert Doyle, owner of the Belleville McDonald’s Restaurants.
As the community comes together for the first induction ceremony in three years, the event is once again expected to draw a large crowd as the community thanks and recognizes all the inductees for their achievements and contributions to sport. Attendance is free and the public is welcome to attend.
The Belleville Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing, honouring, and preserving the record of outstanding achievements accomplished by the city’s elite athletes and builders from all eras and displaying them on a permanent basis. The Hall of Fame is housed in the Dr. R. L. Vaughan Atrium at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Center.
Check out the Belleville Sports Hall of Fame at www.bellevillesportshalloffame.com
Practically every Canadian kid who laces up the skates dreams of one day hoisting the Stanley
Cup. Stirling’s own Matt Cooke, a 16-season NHL veteran, is among an elite group of players to
reach this pinnacle, winning the coveted trophy with the 2008-2009 NHL Champion Pittsburgh
Penguins. Matt came up through the Quinte Red Devils system and broke into junior hockey
with the Wellington Dukes in 1994-1995, winning the team’s Rookie of the Year title, an award
that now bears his name. The next season, Matt made the jump to the OHL after being picked
in the 10th round, 155th overall, by the Windsor Spitfires. During his three-year stint in the
OHL, the strong centerman would notch a 95-point season, earn 2 league all-star nods, and
represent his country as part of the 1997-98 Canadian World Junior team. Selected by the
Vancouver Canucks in the sixth round of the 1997 NHL draft, Matt divided his first professional
season between the parent club and their AHL affiliate in Syracuse before winning a full time
spot in 1999-2000 after his December call up with the Canucks. Matt went on to represent the
Washington Capitals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Minnesota Wild before retiring in 2015.
In another international appearance, Matt’s four points in nine games helped Team Canada
bring home the Gold Medal at the 2004 World Championship. Matt’s tenacious two-way style
of play made him a favourite of his teammates and drew fear and loathing from his on-ice
opponents. Cooke’s collective NHL scoresheet boasts 167 goals and 231 assists for 398 points
over 1046 games, during which he collected 1135 penalty minutes and finished with plus/minus of plus 61. Matt tacked on 13 goals, 25 assists and 141 minutes in penalties in 110 playoff
games. For the career high 42 points he posted in the 2002-03 season with Vancouver, Matt
was named the recipient of the Fred J. Hume Award, the Canucks Unsung Hero as voted by the
fans. The Belleville Sports Hall of Fame is proud to induct Stanley Cup champion Matt Cooke for his enduring career, perseverance and dedication to his sport.
Before Rob “Cookie” Cooke became the backbone of the Belleville Bulldogs Rugby Club, he was an exceptional athlete in his own right. Growing up in Stirling, Rob played every sport in school and in 1966, he was part of his high school’s COSSA championship football squad. Rob went on to a stellar university career, first as offensive lineman with the Guelph Gryphons from 1970-1974, making the University of Guelph 1970s Team of the Decade, and then as defensive
lineman with the Queen’s Golden Gaels in 1974-1975. During a 32-year career as educator and
coach at Centre Hastings Secondary School, Rob fostered the self-esteem and athletic development of hundreds of students in football, rugby, basketball, track, and curling. In 2005,
Rob was honoured with the OFSSA Award as Outstanding Educator to Student Athletes, and in
2007, he received the OFSSA Pete Beach Award for a life dedicated to sport and to helping
others achieve their full potential. When Rob and his wife Irene retired from teaching, the
athletic field at CHSS was aptly named “Cooke Field” in their honour. Rob also was an assistant
coach for rugby at the college level with the Loyalist Lancers from 2006-2013, capturing 3
consecutive provincial titles. Since joining the Bulldogs in 1981, he has been an advocate and
promoter of the game at every level, and has held every official position from player, captain,
coach and mentor to organizer, fundraiser, regional representative, and long-standing club
president. To grow the game, Rob fully backed Pete Hercus’ concept of introducing a non-
contact rugby program. Other milestones during Rob’s tenure on the Bulldog’s board were
securing Belleville as a host for OFSAA and dual host of the Barbarian Cup Provincial Rugby
Championships, drawing hundreds of young players and their families to the area every other
year. Naturally, Rob was among the first group of inductees to the Belleville Bulldogs Hall of
Fame and was also awarded a lifetime membership. According to Club founder Lew Frape,
“without Rob Cooke, the Belleville Bulldogs would not be what it is today.” For more than four
decades, Rob Cooke has put his heart and soul into building the sport of rugby in this region and his efforts have landed Belleville squarely on the provincial and national map as a breeding ground for top rated athletes. The Belleville Sports Hall of Fame is proud to induct athlete and builder, Rob Cooke.
For Judi Gilbert, hockey is in the blood. She grew up watching her uncles Bobby and Dennis Hull on television and spending countless hours on the backyard rink until long after dark. By the age of 8, Judi knew that hockey was her game. Her biggest challenge was that organized
opportunities for young girls to play were very limited. In 1976, 11-year-old Gilbert joined one
of Belleville’s first organized girls’ PeeWee team, and in her first season, she was MVP of the
league. The following year, Judi played with Junior Girls Belleville Oddfellows team. A natural
goal scorer with a diligent work ethic and determination to improve, Judi tallied 38 goals & 35
assists for 73 points in 22 games. The championship team went undefeated in the league and
playoffs and Judi was named Rookie of the Year. The Oddfellows took home top honours the
following two seasons and Judi repeated as league top scorer and MVP. From 1980-1983, Judi
led the Belleville Intermediate Legionettes to three league championships as league top scorer
each year. In 1982-83, this team was the first Belleville Women’s team to reach and win a
Provincial OWHA title. Judi had established herself as a commodity and by the age of 13,
multiple schools reached out to invite her to join their hockey programs. She chose York
University and was a pivotal member of the women’s hockey team from 1984-1987. In the
1985-86 season, Judi led her team in goals and ranked third in scoring in the league, propelling York to a league second place finish in the OWIAA. The following season, York won the OWIAA championship and Judi topped the league in scoring. At that time, there were no women’s national championships, women’s Olympic hockey or women’s world championships. Judi’s accomplishments despite limited development opportunities define her as an elite top player in Canada in an era that had not yet recognized women’s hockey as it does today. A true pioneer,
Judi can be credited in part for the stability and success of Belleville’s women’s hockey
program, and she is a welcome inductee into the Belleville Sports Hall of Fame.
One of the finest basketball players ever to come out of the Belleville area, Paula is recognized
for her skills, leadership, and the way she has contributed to growing the women’s game.
At Moira Secondary School from 1976-1981, Paula led the Trojans basketball team to three
OFSSA tournaments and a number one seed ranking in 1980. Her high school coach Ken Smith
recalled that she was an innovator as the first female player in the Bay of Quinte COSSA area to
have a jump shot, which at that point was rarely seen in the women’s game. She also had an
energy that drew others to get involved in the game. Paula continued to excel at the university
level while a member of the York Yeowomen basketball team from 1981-1986. In her rookie
season at York, Paula helped her squad win a provincial title for the first time in the team’s
history. During her university career, she was the Ontario leader in free throw percentage
(93.8), a record that still stands in the top ten of Canadian Women’s Basketball rankings, and
she was named an OWIAA all-star four times. In her graduating year, Lockyer finished third in
the OWIAA in assists and was awarded York University’s Athlete of the Year for her abilities and
leadership on the team. In 2007, Lockyer’s contributions to women’s basketball were rewarded
with an induction into the York University Sports Hall of Fame. Paula attributes the honour to
hard work, dedication, and commitment to the sport she loves. As a true multisport athlete, she has continued to apply those same qualities to training for marathons and duathlons. Paula has run 12 marathons and competed in the Boston Marathon three times. As the Canadian Duathlon Champion in her age group, she has represented Canada four times at the ITU World Duathlon Championships. Paula finished in the top 10 every time, and most notably took 5th in 2013. Lockyer, now living in Meaford, Ontario, volunteers as a basketball coach in local schools, and is a former coach/President of the Amateur Soccer Association. By continuing to share her energy and passion for sport, she has had a significant impact on the development of youth recreational and school sports in Meaford. On several levels, Paula Lockyer has rightfully earned her place in the Belleville Sports Hall of Fame.
Many great athletes play multiple sports from a young age before fully dedicating their training to their chosen sport, but Belleville born Barb Snedden-Wood has too much passion, raw talent, and determination for just one game. Three-time Centennial Secondary School Athlete of the Year, Barb excelled in school basketball, soccer, and volleyball. Her high school coach, Bruce Faulds recalls her as “the ultimate team player” and one of the best athletes he saw in 30 years of coaching. Barb led her various teams to several titles, including a top four finish at OFSAA for basketball. Outside of school, Barb lit up the hockey rink and the ball diamond. She and fellow BSHoF inductee Judi Gilbert were women’s hockey pioneers in Belleville. When Barb joined the Junior Girls Belleville Oddfellows team in 1977, they began a streak of 3 league championships.
In 1980, Barb aged up to the Belleville Intermediate Legionettes who dominated the league for
3 years and were the first women’s team from Belleville to reach and win a Provincial OWHA
title. While at Guelph University, Barb was part of the Gryphons Women’s ice hockey team
from 1985-89. In the 1986-1987 season, she was team MVP, and in her graduating year, she
was team captain and an OWIAA All-Star. In her rookie year at Guelph, she also played on the
OWIAA bronze medal winning field hockey team. At U of T, she contributed her talents to ice
hockey team and helped the Blues become the 1990 OWIAA Champions. In hockey’s off season, Barb honed her fastball skills. At the age of 19, she was the catcher for Team Ontario at the 1985 Canada Summer Games. Her team won 7 games straight to bring home the gold and that same year, she was presented with a National Achievement Award for distinguished
performance in the field of amateur sport. Barb’s senior fastball career highlights include
several stellar years with the Senior Cobourg Angels, winning the 1987 Tier II Ontario Gold
medal, the 1988 Senior Tier 1 Ontario Silver Medal, the 1990 Tier I Ontario Gold Medal and a
national fifth place finish, followed by 3 years of outstanding senior play in Australia. Her
Masters career in fastball is highlighted by several international competitions including a gold
medal at the World Masters Games in Torino, Italy in 2013 and silver at the World Masters in
Auckland, New Zealand in 2017. If that’s not enough, Barb is also a locally decorated badminton player, winning both singles and doubles championships in multiple years. She gives her all to every sport she plays, she knows how to win, and she has an ability to make everyone around her better. Already a BSHoF team inductee for her role as coach of the 1988 Enright Midget Girls Softball team, Barb Snedden-Wood is now a very worthy individual member as well.
Pat Tracey Jr.
You could say that Pat Tracey lives and breathes football. In fact, it would be an
understatement, and his four-decade career record is the proof. This Belleville native was a
standout athlete in both football and track while attending Centennial Secondary (Sports HOF-
1989). Elevating his game at the university level, Tracey started at defensive back with the
University of Guelph from 1982 through 1986, winning the Vanier Cup in 1984. Notably, he set
the Gryphons’ record for most games played in a career (51), captained the team in 1986, and
was named to the 1980s team of the decade. On the sidelines, Pat’s ability to prepare future
CFL players has earned him accolades as one of Canada’s top defensive specialists. He began
coaching with his alma mater from 1987-97 and 1999, as both the defensive coordinator and
special teams coordinator. He coached in three Yates Cup finals with the Gryphons, winning
two. Tracey was also the special teams coordinator in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers
and the 1998 Grey Cup finalist Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Next, Tracey lent his talents to the Queen’s
football squad for over a decade, where he served as defensive coordinator, and special teams
coach. In 2008, he was instrumental in leading Queen’s to an undefeated regular season,
culminating in the 2009 Vanier Cup championship. He coached with Team Canada, capturing a
gold medal at the 2007 NFL Global Juniors in Miami, Florida, and won a Silver medal at the 2011
IFAF World Senior’s in Vienna, Austria. Since 2016, Tracey has held the role of defensive
coordinator with the UBC football program where he collected his third Vanier Cup title in 2015. Tracey’s overall defensive record includes: 145 career wins, 100 conference All-Stars, 40
CFL draft picks, 37 All-Canadians, 14 career shutouts and 12 number one ranked conference
units. And counting. Tracey is an honoured team member of the University of Guelph Sports
Hall of Fame and the Queen’s Football Hall of Fame, and an individual member of the Quinte
West Sports Hall of Fame. For a lifetime of dedication to his sport, the Belleville Sports Hall of
Fame proudly honours Pat Tracey.
Kim was born in Belleville and began playing darts at the age of 19 in the Belleville Ladies Dart
League with her mom Judy. In 1990, she joined her dad, top local player Bob Jones in the Mens
Super Dart League, prompting the league to change its name to the Quinte Regional Dart
League. She has participated in the Canadian national championships 31 consecutive years and
has been ranked among the top 10 in Canada for many of those years, having achieved the
number one ranking seven times. In addition, Kim has scored as high as fifth in the World
Rankings. As a member of Darts Ontario team, Kim has represented the province at the
Canadian National championship 22 times. She has taken to the international stage
representing her country as a member of the Canadian World Cup team in 2003, 2005 and
2007, World Masters team member six times, and America’s Cup Team Canada member in
2008 and 2016. In 2008, Kim was crowned the America’s Cup Singles Champion over
competitors from 25 countries. Other notable wins include National Women’s Singles
Champion in 2002, 2007, and 2017, seven-time National Women’s Doubles champion, Canadian Open Women’s Singles Champion in 2007 and 2012, and Canadian Women’s Open Doubles Champion in 2001, 2009 and 2017. Kim’s successes have received additional recognition including the Quinte West Mayor’s Award of Achievement in 2009 and 2011, the National Darts Federation of Canada (NDFC) Athlete of the Year in 1999, induction into the NDFC Hall of Fame in 2002, and the NDFC Distinguished Service Award in 2014. Kim has played in every major tournament in North America and has competed in countries around the world including England, France, Holland, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Australia. Although Kim’s dad passed away in 1993, she credits his patience and encouragement for her success on the world dart scene. In cooperation with her husband Wally, Kim founded the Bob Jones Memorial Tournament in his honour. Now more than 25 years after its inception, the tournament has grown to be nationally and world ranked, and hosts hundreds of players from around the world. Kim’s talent at the dart board and her strength of character offer a legacy that the Belleville Sports Hall of Fame is proud to celebrate.