Name a Hall of Fame and chances are, Diana Drury is a member of it. Remarkably, Drury’s induction into the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Hall of Fame will be her seventh induction.
Drury, who will be honoured in the Builder category, served as the CCAA’s very first Women’s Soccer Convenor, a position she held for 14 straight seasons (1991-2005). She was also a part of the CCAA Executive as Vice President Programs for eight years (2001-09).
Drury was always committed to the development and growth of sport throughout her lengthy career at St. Lawrence.
“During her more than 25 years at St. Lawrence College, Diana demonstrated leadership, energy, and great passion within the provincial and national bodies of college athletics,” said Wanda Williams, Director of Student Services at St. Lawrence College.
When her role at St. Lawrence changed from Athletic Director to Student Life Counsellor, Drury continued to tirelessly contribute to the goals and objectives of the CCAA.
“She continued to manage her time so that she could remain involved in a field that she was so passionate about: The development of elite sport,” said Williams.
Drury recalls the unforgettable 1995 CCAA Soccer National Championships in Medicine Hat, AB, the first combined men’s and women’s soccer tournament.
“The temperature on arrival day was plus 10 and a soccer player’s dream at that time of year,” said Drury. “However by 3 a.m. the next morning, the snow and wind had begun and by 6 a.m., there was three feet of snow on the ground and it was -20 with the wind-chill.”
Early that morning, the Host Committee convened an emergency meeting to come up with a plan. Soon, the City began plowing the fields, tents with heaters were set up and extra medical staff were brought in. Student-athletes were allowed to wear leggings, mitts and even toques. Incredibly, Medicine Hat pulled out all of the stops, according to Drury, and hosted a phenomenal Nationals.
Drury also coached during her career at St. Lawrence, where she guided 15 teams in four different sports over the course of eight seasons. Drury was named OCAA Coach of the Year three times and was the first recipient of the CCAA’s Coaching Excellence Award for Women’s Soccer in 1992.
By 2001, Drury began to notice the decline in the number of female soccer coaches in the CCAA. This spurned the development of the Female Coaching Committee, with Drury acting as the Executive liaison on the committee. This led to the eventual funding for the Female Apprentice Coach Program, which to this day, successfully targets the rich source of potential coaches in the ranks of graduating student-athletes.
“This program to date has both thrived and funded 165 young women with the opportunity to actively participate in coaching in CCAA national competition sports, thus far,” said Drury.
Her fondest memories of the CCAA, however, are of the people that form the Association: The Athletic Directors, their staff and the CCAA Executive and staff who go above and beyond the call of duty when hosting National Championships.
“I consider myself very lucky to have colleagues who I call lifelong friends as we all shared the same vision in providing sport for our College students at a National level that was second to none,” said Drury.
“The amount of time, effort and work that went into these Championships was huge and the hospitality shown to the athletes, coaches, convenors and executive is still in my opinion, a class above most CIS Championships and they continue to set the bar even higher year after year.”
Drury has also been inducted into the Kenner Collegiate HOF (1998), St. Lawrence College Sports HOF (1999), Queen’s University Golden Gaels HOF (2003), OCAA HOF (2003), Peterborough and District Sports HOF (2008) and Kingston and District Sports HOF (2011).