- 2000 Sportsperson of the Year -
“Eldon Godfrey is the most important person in the world for diving.” Dr. Julio Maglione said at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. High praise indeed from this IOC, FINA and UANA member from Uruguay. Eldon illicits such comments by the depth of his involvement in amateur sport. He can be seen performing any task necessary at competitions whether at the local community pool or the pool for the Olympics. So it is easy to understand such comment about this unassuming man and his support of sport.
He began to view the need of volunteers when he, Joe Ferguson and Norm Hudson, organized the first Calgary Junior Golf Championship in 1953. As a walk-on-coach for high school football at Sir Winston Churchill in 1969, his coaching career in football culminated with the Calgary Mohawks in 1975. It was his daughter Allison’s involvement in diving that turned his attention to this sport and his subsequent lifetime involvement with this activity. The honesty, reliability, caring and attention to detail are characteristics remembered by longtime friend Gordon Moir, when describing this man. It is these qualities that became the basis for his rise through the many organizational levels in the diving community.
His service with the University of Calgary Diving Club and Dive Calgary quite naturally continued to the Provincial and National organizations. His willingness to acquire the credentials as an official at the highest level, he is a Class A FINA International Judge, led to appointments and accreditation at three Pan American Games, eight World Cup competitions, four World Championship events, four Olympic Games and every major Canadian Team Trial since 1980. This list does not include the numerous Canada Summer Games, Western Canada Summer Games and all the local competitions he attends. A willing presenter at clinics he was once asked by a parent what is to be their role for their child’s involvement? ” Be the guy with the biggest hug when your kid wins; be the guy with the biggest hug when your kid loses.” he replied.
Eldon was bom in Lethbridge in 1935 but spent most of the next thirteen years in England, as WWII delayed the family’s return passage. The family moved to Calgary in 1948, where he attended Balmoral School and Crescent Heights High School. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 1957 with a Bachelor of Commerce followed by a MA in Economics from the University of Calgary in 1975. He has been a member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta since 1960 and when asked has willingly served on various committees. His wife Carlie-Jean and he enjoy the Calgary Opera, the Calgary Philharmonic and live theatre in the city. Their extended family now includes nine grandchildren, and the spouses of children, Allison, Deborah, Sandra and Matthew.
The Calgary Booster Club is very pleased to give you a great big hug Eldon and declare you the Sportsperson of the Year for 2000.