Inducted November 3, 2007
Matthew J. Foster made a very important and significant contribution to sport in Newfoundland and Labrador over a thirty-three year period. From 1953-1986, Matt served as a teacher, coach, clinician, professor, and administrator in professional and volunteer sectors at school, club, university, provincial, and national levels. He arrived in Newfoundland from his native Ireland in 1953 to begin his teaching career at Bishop Feild College in St. John’s. Matt’s volunteer work focused on his particular areas of expertise in soccer, track and field, and administration. His chief contribution as a coach was in the sport of soccer, where he was known as an innovator and motivator. Under his direction, soccer became a game of “control and support”, of play on the ground more than in the air. Matt was known as a strict but fair taskmaster who had a knack for getting players ready to play and compete and for knowing what to say and when to say it as a coach. He worked tirelessly to improve technique and tactics in soccer and track and field, translating the laws of physics into the practical setting for the advantage of provincial athletes and coaches. For his contributions in track and field and soccer, he was awarded an Honorary Life Membership with the Feildian Athletic Association in 1980 and was inducted as a “Builder” in the St. John’s Molson Canadian Soccer League in 1990. At the administrative level, Matt served as a member and representative on a number of important committees and commissions. In 1962, Matt was named to represent Newfoundland on the National Advisory Council on Fitness and Amateur Sport. He was a member of Newfoundland’s Mission Staff at the first Canada Winter Games in Quebec City in 1967 and the first Canada Summer Games in Halifax in 1969. Matt also served as a committee member on the Report of Special Commission on Sports and Youth Activities, Province of Newfoundland, 1969 and on the 1977 Jeux Canada Games Bid Committee. He was also a member of the former Canadian Council of University Physical Education Administrators and the former Canadian Association of University Athletic Directors. Matt had a strong influence in the evolution of soccer and school physical education in the province in the 1950’s and 1960’s. However, he made his most outstanding contribution to the provincial sporting scene during his twenty-two years (1964-1986) as Director of the School of Physical Education and Athletics at Memorial University.