BY MIKE REDMOND
The start of a new year brings a dawning of optimism, goodwill, kindness and hope for a new beginning. It is a time to reconnect with our family, friends and count our blessings for the future.
However, we should always take time out and reflect on those individuals who have achieved greatness in our time. Their’s is a legacy of achievement from which generations will aspire to, and the rest of us will recall with a warmth fondness.
I consider myself blessed and very fortunate to have coached and played with some of the finest athletes our province and this country have ever known. Now is the time that the University of Prince Edward Island and the Province of Prince Edward Island must come together and acknowledge P.E.I.’s greatest ever track athlete, Jared Connaughton.
I was fortunate enough to have coached Jared as a provincial all-star in soccer, and happier still to have had the ability to watch him grow and become a fine young man; a husband, father and coach. It is his legacy as a track athlete that our province must ensure lives on for generations both to inspire and be remembered for the greatness it was.
Mr. Connaughton’s achievements are extremely impressive, so I feel compelled to highlight just few from his magnificent career for everyone to see:
Maritime record holder 100m 10.15 (10.04w),200m (20.30) 4 x 100m (38.08) and 4 x 200 m; only Islander in history to win 2 Canada Games gold medals 100m -200m; 2 time Canadian National senior 200m champion; 2-time Canadian National senior indoor champion 60m -200m; Pan American games Silver medalist 4 x 100 relay; 2-time Commonwealth games finalist; Franco Games gold medalist 4 x 100 relay; 3-time world championship finalist 4 x 100 relay;
2-time semi-finalist 200m and 2-time 4 x 100 relay finalist -Beijing and London Olympics involving over 11,238 athletes from 207 countries compared to 92 countries and 2,992 athletes in the Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics (49 countries 569 athletes); athletics men's captain London Olympics;
Three-time P.E.I. Lieutenant-Governor’s Award winner; Halfpenny Award winner; Queen’s Silver Jubilee medal recipient; Multiple Sport P.E.I. award winner.
Let us start 2019 by celebrating the achievements of Jared Connaughton, by naming the athletics facility at UPEI after one Prince Edward Island’s greatest-ever athletes.
- Mike Redmond, social justice critic, and political activist; father and farmer