Dr. Pashby Sports Safety Award

Dr. Pashby Sports Safety Award

About the Award

imageThe Dr. Tom Pashby Sports Safety Award recognizes outstanding contributions, made by Canadians, towards the prevention of catastrophic injuries in sport and recreational activities.  These injuries, such as severe head, eye or spinal cord injuries, can leave victims debilitated for life.

The award can be won by researchers, sports equipment or facility designers, doctors, trainers, educators, entrepreneurs, rule makers, organizers, innovative athletes, coaches, referees, writers, broadcasters, parents or any concerned Canadian citizen.  Along with the honour and recognition, this prestigious Award comes with a $10,000 cheque.

In presenting this Award, the Dr. Tom Pashby Sports Safety Fund is pleased to have the support of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.  The Pashby Sports Safety Award and its winners will become part of a new Sport Safety display being designed for the Hall.

In an unprecedented move, The 2014 Dr. Tom Pashby Sports Safety Fund Award is to honour its three founders – Virginia Edmonds, Lois Kalchman and Bev Woods-Percival.

The Award is given to Canadians who have contributed significantly to the prevention of catastrophic injuries in sport and recreation. It comes with a $10,000 gift that will be shared among the three ladies.

Dr. Pat Bishop, a past winner, and chair of the Canadian Standards Association Committee that certifies equipment for Hockey said in his nomination “seeing an unmet need in the prevention of catastrophic injury in sports and recreation, The Founders created The Fund and developed its mandate, brought Dr. Pashby on board, planned, organized and executed the fundraising dinners….raised over $250,000 to create the Fund and support its’ activities.”
Bishop says by doing so, “They are responsible for the contribution The Fund has made to the prevention of catastrophic injury in sport and recreation. “

Virginia , born in Toronto and now of Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, was very active for the Fund until she moved down east yet still attended meetings electronically.  She is a graduate of the Toronto General Hospital School of Nursing (1969). In 1971, she worked for Dr. Charles Tator as a Registered Nurse on the Neurosurgical Unit at Sunnybrook Medical Centre. She was also co-author with Dr. Tator on several peer-reviewed papers published in medical journals.   In 1974 she became the Special Studies Coordinator in the newly established Acute Spinal Cord Injury Unit wherein there was a 13 month period when there were five spinal cord injuries from hockey and all but one had a major injury.

The dye was cast…Dr. Tator formed the Committee for the Prevention of Spinal Cord Injuries Due to Hockey.  Lois Kalchman, a journalist covering minor hockey had written a book Safety On Ice and was covering Minor Hockey for The Toronto Star.  Dr. Tator recruited her for his committee. In 1986 Bev Woods, born in Niagara Falls, now living in Tiny, was hired by Tator and conducted The Study of Catastrophic Injuries and Death in Ontario while participating in Sport and Recreation.

The three women connected instantaneously.  Woods-Percival, Edmonds and Kalchman of Toronto had a vision that came to fruition January 19, 1989.  Their passion was safety in sport.

During the 1970s Dr. Tom Pashby, a Toronto ophthalmologist, devoted his own energies and monies to reducing the number of eye injuries that were happening in sport and subsequently he made pleas to the sports governing bodies- most aggressively hockey – until it was mandatory for minor hockey players to wear facemasks and helmets and eventually the professionals put on helmets, too.

The three women felt that his work must continue.  His family agreed.  Twenty-five years later, the Fund is active and financing people across Canada with ideas for research to keep players safer in many sports.

Without the triad of concerned women, the Pashby Fund would not exist.

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Current Winner

Dr. Nick Reed – Toronto, Ontario – 2015 Sports Safety Award Recipient


Dr. Nick Reed

Dr. Reed is an advocate for the prevention and safe return to sport and recreation of children and youth who have experienced a concussion(s).  Dr. Reed’s significance lies in his holistic approach of addressing the broader social networks of children and youth – family, friends, school, and the sports community – as influential partners in the prevention and concussion education and safe return to play.

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