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Jill Mathez (August 5, 1963 - )

Inducted 2008

Jill Mathez could be described as a throwback. In an era when athletes specialize in one sport, she competed at national championships for Manitoba teams in basketball, ice hockey, touch football and both fast and slo-pitch softball. Her first provincial championship came in 1978 when the grade 9 student helped Glenwood Community Club win the Manitoba Softball Association midget B girls title.

At Glenlawn Collegiate, Mathez was named athlete of the year from 1979 to 1981, volleyball MVP in grade 11 and basketball MVP and a Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association all-star in grade 12. Her first appearance on the national stage came in 1980 when Fort Garry Flames represented Manitoba in the Softball Canada junior championship.

While attending the University of Winnipeg between 1982 and 1985, Mathez played for the Lady Wesmen basketball team that won three consecutive Great Plains Athletic Conference titles and silver and bronze medals at the CIAU championship. In 1984, she played for Team Manitoba that earned bronze in the Basketball Canada junior women's championship. From 1986 through 1997, her ice hockey teams won 10 provincial championships including four when she captained Sweat Camp Storm. The Classics team earned silver in 1992 and bronze in 1993 at the Western Canadian championship. In 1987, Mathez played for Crimson Tide in the Canadian senior women's touch football championship. In sponge hockey, she helped Powder Puffs win provincial senior titles in 1988 and 1989.

The versatile athlete's greatest success came on the softball diamond where, from 1980 through 2001, she played for Manitoba teams in 23 Canadian championships and three Westerns. Her power hitting and strong defence in centre field helped Smitty's win five Softball Canada senior women's fast pitch titles between 1995 and 2001. The team also won bronze medals in 1991 and 1993 and silver in 1994 and 2000. In co-ed slo-pitch, Petro-Canada Fossils took silver at the 1990 Western Canadian senior B championship and Team Manitoba won bronze at the 1994 Softball Canada championship.

In 2002, Mathez played for the Manitoba team that won gold at the North American Indigenous Games and in 2005, she won another gold with the Smitty's open team in the Western Canadian championship. The 1995-1997 Smitty's Canadian champion teams were inducted into Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and the 1993-1997 teams into the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Individually, Mathez has won all-star, sportsmanship and MVP awards and been honoured as an academic All-Canadian student athlete. When she was inducted into the Smitty's Hall of Fame in 2007, Jill Mathez, the athlete, was described perfectly - "A real team player, possessing a superior work ethic, her leadership, loyalty and passion for the game was exemplary."

Jill Mathez is also a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Indigenous Sports Hall of Fame.

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery

Jill Mathez's acceptance speech