Athletic Lives of Distinction - M - Z
S - Z

Silk, Hugh '87 - Rowing

Hugh is one who personifies the spirit of our school motto, Terar Dum Prosim. While at Ridley, his exceptional athletic abilities propelled him to win five national rowing championships over three years, two Stotesbury golds and two Thames Cup victories at Royal Henley. He was captain of the rowing and basketball teams, a participant in OFSAA cross country and placed regularly in the school’s annual Cross Country Run.

Hugh's future in sports looked bright, when he was recruited to row at Harvard University. Unfortunately, he was injured during his freshman year and though he worked through rehab for two years, was never able to make it back to the varsity crew. “The injury was a pivotal lesson,” he recalls, because it led him to focus on volunteerism and, eventually, to go to medical school to prepare for his life’s work, “providing care for the underserved.”

But once an athlete, always an athlete—despite a bad back and bad knees. Hugh took up swimming and biking, even earning a place on the Harvard cycling team. He has since taken part in numerous long-distance rides for charities, successfully competed in sprint triathlons and open water long distance races both nationally and internationally, and reached the podium in some events.

Hugh's personal challenge was to return to Henley in 2018—thirty-three years after winning for Ridley—to complete the Henley Classic swim race along the rowing course just days before the regatta, and then to watch the rowing race a few days later, as he puts it, “with my family, no pressure and a Pimm’s in my hand.”
“My proudest moment, since leaving Ridley, when it comes to athletics, is coaching my daughters in soccer and basketball and watching them develop into pretty decent athletes themselves!”
P.O. Box 3013, 2 Ridley Road St. Catharines, Ontario L2R 7C3 Canada 905 684 1889
With more than 700 students from 60 countries, the largest boarding programme in Ontario and the third largest in Canada, Ridley College is a truly international, co-educational, day and boarding school of the world that prepares students for the world. It has provided enriching learning and life-shaping experiences focused on the arts, academics, and athletics since 1889. Ridley’s Lower School offers JK-Grade 8, its Upper School consists of Grade 9-PG, and Ridley graduates attend some of the top universities and colleges around the world. Ridley is the only   co-ed independent boarding school in Canada and one of only three in North America authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum programme.