Thomas Haydon will continue to make an impact on Delta Lacrosse for many years to come.
The popular player and coach from Ladner lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last October at the age of 36. The Delta firefighter not only left behind a young family but a lacrosse community where he had contributed greatly as a player and a coach.
Now some of his closest lifelong friends have created an annual award in his honour. The Thomas Haydon Memorial Award is affiliated with Delta Lacrosse and comes with a $2,500 scholarship.
“Thomas exemplified many amazing characteristics and was an outstanding member of the Ladner community. Our hope is to help a Delta lacrosse player who demonstrates some of his admirable qualities (hard work, loyalty, courage, and respect) to pursue post-secondary education, work in the trades, or benefit from financial assistance.”
The inaugural winner will be announced on June 15 as part of what will be an annual special day in Haydon’s memory.
An alumni game will be played prior to the Delta Junior “A” Islanders taking on the Burnaby Lakers at 7 p.m. There will be an indoor beer garden and outdoor barbecue during the junior “A” game with all proceeds going to pancreatic cancer research on behalf of Delta Junior Islanders and Haydon Family and Friends.
The Thomas Haydon Memorial Award will be presented during the second period intermission. The winner will receive a custom Haydon axe, reflecting his career as a firefighter. The hope is permanent larger version of the award will be on display at the Ladner Leisure Centre.
Haydon’s friends and family thank Delta Islanders president Darcy Phillips, Steve Krawchuk and the City of Delta for their support of the award and special day.
Haydon was born in Swift Current, Sask., raised in Ladner and graduated from Delta Secondary in 2000.
He played and coached lacrosse in Ladner for over 20 years and he was the first captain of the inaugural Delta Junior “A” Islanders in 2002. His playing career also included helping the Ladner Pioneers win the President’s Cup national senior “B” championship in 2004.
Haydon was a husband, father of three, an avid outdoorsman, farmer, member of the Delta Fire Department and skilled in the trades. During his time, he was hardworking, loyal, courageous and respectful, both on and off the lacrosse floor.
He was diagnosed with Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Cancer in the summer of 2017. His diagnosis was complicated further by Cushing’s Syndrome. Over the next year, he fought hard for his life, enduring many rounds of treatment. During that time, Haydon never complained and ensured his family was the top priority, even when he was very sick. The strength he demonstrated was truly inspiring.