It’s safe to say the sport of archery would probably not exist in Belleville if not for the yeoman efforts of Harold Thompson. Born in Montreal on Aug. 8, 1928, Thompson has been president of the Belleville Archery Club since 1969, adhering strictly to his motto: No child or adult shall be turned away. That means that over the span of 40 years, Thompson has introduced hundreds of children and adults to the sport of archery in Belleville. He has coached them, managed them and encouraged them, even supplied them with equipment.
As a competitor, Thompson had few peers. Over his 40-year career, he won more than 50 gold medals at various tournaments and competitions across Ontario. But as sterling as Thompson’s competitive archery career was, it may have been surpassed by his abilities as a coach – and a volunteer coach at that.
Thompson championed the sport of archery and was a driving force behind its inclusion in provincial sports programs for the physically challenged and has been a volunteer in that area since 1981. He is a past winner of the Ron Foster Award, presented in North York, for his long-time involvement with the Ontario Blind Sports Association, wheelchair and amputee athletes. Thompson has also won the Larry Coleman Memorial Award, presented in Cornwall in 1987, for dedication to the promotion and development of sport for physically disabled athletes. Thompson was named Belleville’s most outstanding minor sports volunteer in 1978, won the Ontario Archery Association’s Volunteer of the Year award in 1988 and was presented with a National Achievement Award in 1990 for distinguished service in the field of amateur sport.0