The real scoop on the guy who is going to get that Golden Whistle
By Pepper Parr
January 13th, 2016
Ron Foxcroft, Hamilton, Ontario, president and founder of Fox 40 International, has been selected by the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) as the recipient of this year's Gold Whistle Award, which is officiating's highest honor.
The media release didn't tell the whole story. Foxcroft and Queen Elizabeth II are buddies. Most people are "presented" to the Queen. Foxcroft explained to her how to use one of his whistles to shoo the Canadian geese off her lawns.
His wife Marie serves as his driver when he returns from an event where he is adjudicating referee performance - she drives while he writes up the report.
Foxcroft came close to serving as the referee at an event in British Columbia when Angelo Mosca got bopped by a former over an old grudge.
During the months after the 2014 flood in Burlington there wasn't a banker in the province who really wanted to take a call from Foxcroft - he was in his arm twisting mode pulling cheques for flood relief. Pulled in just short of a million in 100 days for the Burlington Community Foundation. They made him a vice chair for that and come July he will be the full chair What do you think he will do with that position?
The award will be presented Tuesday, Aug. 2, in San Antonio during the Celebrate Officiating Gala, which wraps up the 2016 Sports Officiating Summit. "A primary determinant in awarding anyone NASO's Gold Whistle Award is this: The recipient has to have a long and meaningful history of 'shining a positive light' on officiating," said Barry Mano, NASO president. "Further, any recipient must be someone who is held with some reverence within the officiating community of which he is a part. Ron Foxcroft was an easy choice, frankly.
"There are precious few individuals who place the wellbeing of sports officiating well in front of personal agenda or gain," Mano added. "Members of this group have made outsized contributions to officiating. Ron is without doubt a member of that elite and critically important group. He is one of those unique individuals who, for decades, has fulfilled all of the requirements above. And, of course, he continues to do so."
Although Foxcroft is best known as maker of the famous pealess whistle used by officials around the world, he has made his mark in the world in many other ways. As an NCAA and international basketball official, he worked five NCAA tournaments, an Olympic final and numerous other high level international games.
He has shone a positive light on the industry through his many charitable and leadership efforts, including serving as chair of the McMaster Campaign for Athletics & Recreation, founder and former chair of the Foxcroft Family Youth Fund held at the Hamilton Community Foundation and serving on the St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation fundraising committee, the first healthcare charity in Hamilton to earn the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy's Ethical Fundraising License.
He donated thousands of Fox 40 Classic whistles used by search and rescue professionals when they were saving lives following the San Francisco earthquake, the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. Foxcroft has received awards from B'Nai Brith Canada and the Burlington (Ontario) Rotary Club.
Foxcroft was named Hamilton's Distinguished Citizen of the Year, received an honorary doctor of law degree from McMaster University and had an award named for him by Sports Officials Canada. The award is presented annually to recognize excellence from an official in a professional sports environment, their contribution to the development of young officials and their example as a positive role model for officials by virtue of personal involvement at the community level.
He is an honorary colonel in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Canadian Army Reserve infantry battalion. After a member of his regiment was killed in a terrorist attack, Foxcroft met with Queen Elizabeth II and received her personal condolences.
Fox 40 received the Mel Narol Medallion Award in 2004, presented to a group or individual for outstanding contributions to NASO. Foxcroft is a former member of the NASO board of directors and currently serves as a special adviser to the board.
The Gold Whistle Award is presented annually by NASO. Those considered are individuals or groups that have made significant contributions to the betterment of officiating, exhibit a high degree of integrity and ethics and other qualities that are held in high regard by the industry. Candidates must have a consistent record of presenting officiating in a positive light as well as exhibiting a "service above self" attitude. Public service to officiating, having a motivating effect on others and/or strong community involvement are considered.