The town of Sackville will soon add two new faces to its prestigious Sports Wall of Fame.
The latest inductees – accomplished golf star Ruthie Maxwell and national Taekwondo champion Alan Snowdon – will both be honoured under the athlete category.
A date has yet to be determined for the Sackville Sports Wall of Fame induction ceremony, which will pay tribute to these athletes’ achievements. (The ceremony was originally scheduled to be held this month but has been put on hold indefinitely until provincial restrictions have been lifted and a public event can be organized).
Ruthie Maxwell has been racking up awards and championships since she learned to swing a golf club at the age of 10.
From her first junior provincial competition in 1969 to her most recent senior nationals in 2019, Maxwell has earned various accolades at the provincial, national and state level throughout her 50-year career and is said to be one of the best amateur golfers in Maritime history.
“She certainly does have an impressive list of accomplishments in golf and has been a tremendously positive representative for our small town,” writes Sue Seaborn in her nomination letter for Ruthie.
Ruthie’s passion for the game of golf and her drive to excel at it has been evident for the past five decades. Her highlights include winning both the New Brunswick Junior Provincial Championship and the Ontario Junior Amateur title in 1971, and the following year bringing home the New Brunswick banner again. In 1975, she was named the New Brunswick Ladies’ Amateur Champion.
Ruthie has won the Nova Scotia women’s Amateur Championships four times – in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2005 – and finished second three times. She has also earned provincial titles five times from the Nova Scotia Women’s Senior Championships – in 2005, 2006, 2014, 2015 and 2016. As a member of the Nova Scotia team, she has also competed at the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championships eight times and the Canadian Women’s Senior Championship seven times. Over the span of four decades, Ruthie has also won the Nova Scotia Two-Ball Championships a total of 10 times. She earned gold at the Canadian Super Senior in 2014.
In 2017, Ruthie brought home the gold from the Nevada State Championships and earned silver in the Northern Nevada Women’s Amateur Championships in 2018 and 2019. She was also a member of the four-person team that earned the win at the Nevada State Quad Championships in 2019.
Born and raised in Sackville, Ruthie moved to Nova Scotia to attend Saint Francis Xavier
University, where she graduated in 1976. She then made Nova Scotia her home, with the exception of six years when she lived and worked in the US.
“I never realized that the young lady I knew as a golfer and later as a friend would ever turn out to be one of the finest lady golfers in Sackville, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and many United States and countries around the world,” writes Kevin Read, an honourary member and champion of the Sackville Golf Club, in his letter of support for Ruthie’s nomination.
Alan Snowdon was only five years old when he entered the world of martial arts with the local Sackville Taekwondo club. But his avid interest in the sport soon led to a multitude of athletic accomplishments, including competing at the provincial, maritime, national and even international level.
At age 11, Alan earned his first-degree black belt in Taekwondo and went on to receive his second-degree black belt a year later. By this time, he had already competed at the Maritime Championships, bringing home gold medals for forms and sparring. This was after having received extensive training from not only local instructor Bill Crossman at the Sackville Club but also Grand Master Won Kap Chung of Moncton, who introduced him to various other martial arts techniques such as Haidong Gumdo and nunchuks.
Alan went on to add silver and bronze medals from the Atlantic Taekwondo Championships in 2007 in sparring, Gumdo and forms, and also captured a number of awards from the Maritime Open Taekwondo Championships the same year.
This was also the same year he competed at the Canadian Taekwondo Junior National Championships, where he was successful in bringing home gold for sparring in his division and weight class. He also earned his first-degree black belt in Gumdo.
In the summer of 2008, at the age of 13, Alan traveled to Korea with Grand Master Chung to compete at the World Haidong Gumdo Junior Championships.
He was also busy the following year, earning numerous medals and trophies at the regional, provincial and national level. In May of 2009, he received his second-degree black belt in Gumdo and capped off the year by earning his third-degree black belt in Taekwondo.
Also a committed football player, Alan trained five or six days a week throughout his middle and high school years, being named rookie of the year in Grade 11 and selected to compete with Team NB that summer. In his senior year, Alan was honoured as New Brunswick High School Football’s Eastern Conference defensive player of the year and was recruited to play for the Mount Allison Mounties the following season. He played one year before he moved on to join the Canadian Armed Forces in October of 2013. Now living in Edmonton, Alan plays in a men’s football league and coaches minor football at the Atom level.
Sackville has been giving recognition to local athletes, teams and sports builders through its Sports Wall of Fame since 1989. Other inductees include such notable greats as Bob Edgett, George Chambers, Chester Cole, Wallie Sears, Wayne MacKay, Peter Hess, the 1952-53 Sackville Eagles, Gail LeBlanc, Bill Johnstone, David Burns, Bruce Harper, and many others