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Joan Sparrow

Remembering Joan (Shippam) Sparrow

The Peterborough & District Sports Hall of Fame extends their sincere sympathy to the family of inductee Joan Sparrow who passed away this week.
Joan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010 for her dedication to the sport of figure skating, both as a builder and an athlete.  Joan’s outstanding career saw her win many championships, including a gold medal at the Canadian Junior Championship and bronze at the Senior Canadian championships.  She also earned a place on the Canadian World Figure Skating Team.  Joan turned professional in 1957 and began her career as an instructor, allowing her to travel across North America.
Joan will be remembered for her ongoing support of our annual car draw fundraiser, where she gave countless hours selling tickets during Petes games.
Joan will be missed by her family, friends, and all of the skaters she coached over her more than 50 year involvement in the sport of skating.

Link to Peterborough Examiner Obituary

From Joan’s 2010 PDSHOF induction biography:

Born to Stan and Edna Shippam in the small town of Schumacher, Ontario, the heart of the gold mining community, Joan began her figure skating career at the age of six.

World Champion Hans Gerschwiler became the skating coach and asked permission of Joan’s parents to train her with the World and Olympic Championships as the ultimate goal, so at 9 years of age, Joan began training 8 hours each day at the McIntyre Arena and 2 hours daily with a private tutor for school.

Winning many championships over the next four years, Joan earned her gold medal in figures and free skating at 14; won the Junior Canadian Championships in Calgary at 15; won Bronze in Senior Canadians in Toronto at 16 and earned a place on the World Figure Skating Team to represent Canada.

The  Shippam  family moved to Peterborough in 1956 and one year later Joan turned professional and began her long and successful career as an instructor, taking her across North America, where she had contracts with Winnipeg Winter Club, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Toronto Cricket CIub University Skating Club, Ice Gardens at York University, LakefieId, Havelock, Minden, Belleville, Keene and Peterborough.

Joan began coaching in Peterborough and has dedicated over 50 years of her life to the sport of figure skating, with 30 years spent in Peterborough. She continues to provide her expertise and experience in aiding the development of skaters of all ages.