ST. CATHERINES, ON – At the opening ceremony of the historic Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) celebrated the induction of Ned Hanlan, Claude Saunders and the Paris Crew of the Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame’s inaugural class.
The class being inducted into the recently established Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame includes representatives from the Athlete, Coach and Builder Categories. The induction of Kathleen Heddle, Marnie McBean and Frank Reade will be celebrated next year at the RCA’s National Conference in January in Vancouver, BC.
The announcement of the Hall of Fame occurred in early July. It was established to recognize outstanding athletes, coaches and builders who are responsible for the country’s continued excellence in rowing, both nationally and internationally.
The Paris Crew captured Canada’s attention in it’s infancy when in 1867, just weeks after confederation, four men from St. John, New Brunswick defeated heavy favourites including England and France at the World Amateur Rowing Championships in Paris, France. Robert Fulton, George Price, Samuel Hutton and Elijah Ross were celebrated for their victory across the young country uniting Canadians in their excitement.
Ned Hanlan came to rowing naturally, growing up on Toronto Island. Hanlan made a career out of rowing, dominating any and all available regattas including securing the “triple crown” – the American, English and Canadian national championships. He also embraced modern techniques of rowing including the sliding seat. With so many accomplishments, Hanlan was also called “our first national sporting hero”.
Claude Saunders, the first Honorary Officer ever appointed by RCA has an immense list of accomplishments in Canadian rowing that span from the grassroots to the Olympic level and are felt at the both the domestic and international levels. His distinguished resume includes achievements as an athlete, umpire and as a key individual in the growth of rowing programs across the country including the establishment of the Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association. His work with the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta led to it become one of the largest regattas in North America and the key summer event for clubs across the continent.