2010 Dr. Robert W. Jackson Medal of Distinction Nominations

ParaSport Ontario is pleased to be accepting nominations for the 2010 Dr. Robert W. Jackson Medal of Distinction.   ParaSport & Paralympic clubs, teams, organizations, Provincial Sport Organizations, Multi-Sport Organizations and National Sport Organizations are encouraged to nominate outstanding leaders who have exemplified extraordinary leadership, dedication and excellence in sport for athletes with a physical disability.   Nominees are required to be a resident of Ontario and nomination forms must be submitted to ParaSport Ontario by Friday, September 10th, 2010.  A selection committee including a family member of the late Dr. Robert W. Jackson; a Paralympic or ParaSport  athlete; a ParaSport Ontario Board & Staff member; and a Senior Staff member of the Sport Alliance of Ontario will review all submissions. Not to diminish the accomplishments of those who are nominated, this is not an annual award, and will only be presented should the Committee feel there is a nominee worthy of this prestigious recognition.

Presented in 2009 for the first time, this is ParaSport Ontario’s most prestigious leadership award.  At the 2009 Concert for Inclusion, Dr. Robert W. Jackson was presented with the inaugural Medal of Distinction for his extraordinary leadership, dedication and excellence in sport for athletes with a physical disability.  A true pioneer and often referred to as the Father of Paralympic sport in Canada, Dr. Jackson was a truly deserving inaugural recipient of this Award.

Most would say that the Canadian Paralympic Movement started when Dr. Robert Jackson attended the 1964 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Canada did not compete at the Games but Jackson, a medical student then, who was working as an orthopedic consultant with the Canadian Olympic Team in Japan, witnessed the Games firsthand. He questioned why the Canadian team was not participating in the Games. Dr. Jackson was interested in viewing the Games because of a prior opportunity to see them in England in 1961. Dr. Jackson, who had met Sir Ludwig Guttmann at these Games, decided to approach him again in Tokyo to note his disappointment with Canada’s absence. In 1967 Jackson, along with several others, founded the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association in order to send a team to these Games.  Dr. Jackson became the founding President, a position he held from 1967 to 1972.  In 1972 Dr. Jackson accepted the responsibility for organizing the 1976 Olympiad for the Physically Disabled (also referred to as the TORONTOLYMPIAD) to be held in Toronto, parallel to the Olympic Games in Montreal. Also as a result of these Games and Jackson’s leadership the pre-cursor for the Canadian Paralympic Committee was created.  Dr. Jackson also served wheelchair sport at the international level with roles as Director, Vice-President, and President of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation from 1972 until 1984.  Dr. Jackson has received many awards, some of which included: 1976 –Civic Award of Merit from the City of Toronto; 1984- named the Executive of the Year in Amateur Sport given by Air Canada; 1994 – named as one of 40 individuals worldwide who had made the most impact on sports during the 40 years of the Sports Illustrated magazine; and, in 1997 – received the Olympic Order from Juan Antonio Samaranch.  Dr. Jackson was passionate, dedicated and exemplified true leadership and excellence in his involvement with athletes with a physical disability.  It was an honor for ParaSport Ontario to present Dr. Jackson with this prestigious award and is proud to have named it after him.
To nominate a candidate you think is worthy of such recognition, click on the following link to access the 2010 Dr. Robert W. Jackson Medal of Distinction nomination form.  The deadline to submit your nomination is Friday, September 10th, 2010.
For more information, contact Cathy Vincelli at (416) 426-7186 or cathy@parasportontario.ca