Thomas Pinkard from the Class of 1962 was an enthusiastic participant in Ridley’s football, hockey, swimming and soccer programs; but, by his own admission, he was an unheralded Ridley athlete. When asked what individual or team success he enjoyed as a student, his response was “None.” Athletic awards? “None.” Happily, he espouses the philosophy, “It is better to have played and lost than never to have played at all!” Sport taught him valuable lessons, about loyalty, humility and dedication, which he took to heart. After graduating from Ridley, he completed Canada’s Centennial Voyageur Canoe Race in 1967, a journey of 3,680 miles over 110 days. He captained both the University of New Brunswick swim and football teams, setting the CIAU record for longest punt in 1967. He was drafted by the Montreal Alouettes and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Yet his extraordinary achievements as an athlete make up only part of this sportman’s curriculum vitae. Some of his greatest accomplishments are as a coach, sports administrator and community builder, instrumental in sports development initiatives at local and national levels. He has taken leadership roles in countless world championships, Commonwealth, Pan American and Olympic Games. We are so glad that he chose to keep playing.
“It is better to have played and lost than never to have played at all!”