Earl Church, coach

Induction year: 2011

Dr. Church was already well-known and respected athletics coach when he was introduced to the world of Paralympic sport in 1989. His involvement grew over the next 19 years to include coaching in four Paralympic Games (1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004) in addition to many World Championships and other international events. He was part of the coaching staff of the first fully integrated athletics team at the 1994 World Athletic Championships. Dr. Church made an extraordinary contribution to the sport of throwing for athletes with cerebral palsy. Many of his athletes, including three time Paralympic gold medallist, Joanne Berdan, have earned world and Paralympic medals and credit Dr. Church for providing them with the boost they needed to make it to the next level. Dr. Church brought credibility and professionalism to the sport of Para-athletics and pushed the physical boundaries of athletes with a disability. A former Executive Director of the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sport Association, he helped build relations between the organization and other sporting bodies such as Athletics Canada. He has served as a mentor to many Para-Athletics coaches and is an advocate for equal opportunities for the education of parasport coaches and athletes. He is esteemed by coaches and athletes across Canada and around the world, and continues to be an executive of the Coaching Association of Ontario. He is also actively involved in both the Canadian and International Olympic Academies.