Bill Crothers’ talent and determination as a middle-distance runner blossomed during late adolescence and took flight during his time as a student in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. During the 1960’s he represented Canada at major track and competitions in about 20 different countries. He held all Canadian track records from the 400-meter to the 1500-meter events, and at one time, held all of them simultaneously. Bill held the Canadian record for the 800 metres for 29 years from 1964 to 1993.
Bill competed in two Olympic Games, two Commonwealth Games and the Pan Am Games, bringing Canada numerous notable results, including an Olympic Silver medal in Tokyo (1964). He was awarded the prestigious Lou Marsh trophy as Canadian Athlete of the Year in 1963, and was similarly recognized by the Canadian Press and the Ontario Sportswriters’ Association in following years. In 1971 he was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Bill has also been a champion off the track, serving his community in the Town of Markham and beyond for more than a quarter of a century. The York Children’s Aid Society, Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, Participation House Markham, United Way of York Region, Giant Steps and the York South Association for Community Living are just a few of the local organizations that have benefited from Bill’s volunteer service and chairmanship. He also served on the Toronto Police Public Complaints Commission, the National Advisory Council on Fitness and Amateur Sport, the Ontario Sports and Recreation Centre and the Canadian Track and Field Association. Even with his present responsibilities Bill still finds time to organize and run, on a volunteer basis, the Adult Mixed League for the Intercounty Tennis Association.
Bill’s contributions to education parallel his record of athletic and community service leadership. He has been a trustee for 18 years and Chair for 14 years. Under Bill’s chairmanship, the York Region District School Board has become one of the most respected public boards of education in the province. As a trustee and Board Chair, Bill has been a coach and mentor to many trustees and staff. He has championed a number of ground-breaking initiatives, including the Board’s Race Relations Committee, the Reading Recovery Program, Character Education, and the Capital Strategy.
Bill has worked tirelessly on behalf of students to realize the vision of a new school that will focus on fostering learning through sports and healthy, active living. Bill has also advocated strongly at both the federal and provincial levels for funding to augment the comprehensive range of programs and facilities that will be offered at a new secondary school bearing his name, beginning in August 2008.