AMHERST, N.S. – A beloved boxing coach who mentored thousands of youth throughout the Tantramar region for more than five decades will receive special recognition at an upcoming ceremony for his tremendous contributions.
The late Bob Edgett will be honoured with a Community Advocate Award posthumously from the Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame at an awards ceremony July 18 in Amherst. The Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame, is an Oakland, Calif.-based organization that pays tribute to underappreciated and overlooked retired professional athletes and community leaders throughout the world.
“When we honour a person outside of our region or state or country, we rely upon locals to nominate them,” said Arif Khatib, hall of fame founder and president. “In this case, Mr. Edgett's name was provided by more than one person and because of his tremendous contribution to the region we chose to honor him with our outstanding community support award.”
Edgett, who began coaching in 1953 and soon established a boxing club on York Street where youngsters could train, was well known for his deep commitment and loving contribution to the youth of the community.
“Bob was committed to the youth of the area for more than 50 years."
– Ben Edgett
While his club produced dozens of Canadian and Maritime champions over the years, including Winter Games and Golden Gloves, more importantly Edgett changed lives and shaped characters. He was said to have a knack for keeping boys out of trouble and in so doing made a significant contribution to the quality of life in the community. Edgett, who worked for Corrections Canada after spending a couple of years in the early 1950s in the Canadian Navy, often brought his students to the prison to perform exhibitions for the inmates; and he’d also contact administrations in Maine and New York and Edgett and his boys became a travelling show of sorts.
“He was, first and foremost, a builder of boxing, of boys, of character, of international relations, and a provider of hope for men in prison and of opportunities for those who had the good fortune to come under his guidance,” his nomination reads.
Edgett was inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame and the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1977, the Moncton Sports Wall of Fame in 1986 and the Sackville Sports Wall of Fame in 1989. He died in 2011 at the age of 81.
Ben Edgett, who will be attending the ceremony later this month to accept the award on his grandfather’s behalf, says his family is thrilled that Bob is still being recognized for his work with youth in the Tantramar area.
“Bob was committed to the youth of the area for more than 50 years,” says Ben. “I believe he has made positive changes in many lives through his coaching, community work and leadership, which still continues to this day with the support of the community. Bob would be greatly honoured to receive this award.”
The Special Induction and Community Service Award Ceremony is set for July 18 at 6 p.m. at the Amhert Centre Mall. During the event, three retired black professional hockey players from Amherst will be inducted into the Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame – Bill Riley, Mark McFarlane and Craig Martin.
Proceeds from the event will support the Heather Arseneau Scholarship and the Amherst food bank. Tickets are $50 each and tables of 10 can be purchased through the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce’s event page at http://amherstchamberns.ca/