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