An athlete and fitness enthusiast from the outset, John (Jack) Pelech changed the face of amateur sport in Canada
A graduate of Cathedral High School, McMaster University and Osgoode Hall, he was a guiding force behind the establishment of the Canada Games. Member of Games Council 1969-2001, Chairman of Games’ Board of Directors, 1971-2001
Chaired bids for several high-profile sporting events, including the 2003 World Cycling Championships, Pan Am Games bids in 1983 and 1991, Commonwealth Games bid in 2002
Helped launch the ‘ParticipACTION’ campaign
A successful lawyer, Pelech has also been acclaimed for his volunteer work in amateur sport. He was Hamilton’s Citizen of the Year in 1987, was inducted into the McMaster Sports Hall of Fame in 1987 and was awarded the Governor General’s Commemorative Medal in 1992, Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, was inducted into Hamilton’s Gallery of Distinction in 2005, The Order of Canada in 2006 and the Canada Games Hall of Honour in 2007. Received an honorary degree from McMaster University in 2001
The Jack Pelech Award is presented at the Canada Games to the province which best combines competitive performance, sportsmanship and spirit of fair play.