The Brantford Sports Council is pleased to announce that Garrett Riley is the recipient of the Frank Tomlin Memorial Award for the 2022 Sportsperson of the Year.
Garrett joins an exclusive group of past recipients who have significantly contributed to sport in Brantford and area. The award named after Frank Tomlin is sponsored by the Bisons Alumni and has been presented annually since its inception in 1976.
Rick Mannen, along with Paul Bartle and Peter Bartle, Bisons Alumni presented the award at the 17th annual Brantford Sports Council Sports Awards and Recognition Ceremonies held on March 11, 2023 at the Laurier Research & Academic Centre.
GARRETT RILEY, born and raised in Brantford he went to Agnes Hodge Elementary School and graduated high school from Assumption College.
A rising star in Brantford Minor and AAA hockey until around 14 years of age when struck by cancer, the same as Terry Fox. He persevered and graduated from high school during all the chemo and radiology treatment.
He was introduced to sledge hockey because his affected leg was too fragile and couldn’t handle the physical abuse of regular hockey. He joined an amateur team coached in Hamilton and excelled because of his incredible hockey intuition. As he mastered the sled, he was invited to join the provincial para-hockey team and they won gold nationally at the Paralympic Games hosted by the City of Brantford through the Sports Tourism Department. He was the top scorer for the event.
Then cancer took his leg and it was replaced with a prosthetic knee joint and leg.
More adversity but greater determination. To add greater insult, he injured his good leg in a game in the United States and was medically repatriated back to Canada.
Again he refused to give in and although it looked like his hopes for a position on the national para-hockey team were crushed, he kept fighting back.
On instinct, he went out west to the national camp for the Paralympics to show his progress and they took him to China as a backup. In his first game he got an assist and the next game, a goal.
In the series finals, the Canadian team came second against Team USA and he and his teammates proudly carried the 2022 silver medal home to a proud nation.