Mayell, John - 2007

Mayell, John - 2007

John Mayell is the founding father of the Alberta Schools Athletic Association (ASAA) and the Canadian Association of Provincial School Athletic Federations (later named Canadian School Sport Federation (CSSF).  He was instrumental in the establishment and growth of the Health and Physical Education Council (Alberta Teachers’ Association); the Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation; and the Canadian Intramural Council.


John Mayell first implemented an outdoor education program for students while teaching and coaching in New Dayton in 1935. He began teaching for the Calgary Board of Education in 1948.  He was told to develop and increase school spirit through athletics as it was lacking after the war.  With his “rah, rah” spirit, his basketball team became City Champions.  John then promoted the idea of having championship Calgary teams play teams from southern Alberta.  Later, competition would expand to include Calgary/Edmonton/ match-ups.  This led to the first provincial competition (boys basketball) and the organization of the Alberta High School Boy’s Athletic Association.  John then added athletic sports for girls to the association’s activities and the name changed to reflect that.  He also coordinated athletic cooperation, competition and funding for the Public and Catholic School systems – a first in Canada.


John Mayell became Supervisor of Physical Education and Director of Athletics for the Calgary Board of Education in 1953.  He oversaw “The Physical Education Evaluation Review” project that resulted in the development of some 30 teaching manuals.  These manuals were put to use locally, provincially and internationally.  John’s leadership encouraged many teachers and Central office personnel to become involved and to accept leadership roles – inside and outside of the classroom.  He initiated the partnership between the schools and the police department to act as finish-line judges at the annual track meet.


John Mayell served on many boards and committees as secretary/treasurer or president.  He received the ASAA Routledge Award of Merit in 1971 and the Honour Award in 1975.  He was a constant role model for others and inspired people with the words “Get involved, do your best and always be a good teammate!”


“John Mayell is an exceptional individual who made a difference in so many lives because he went beyond what was expected of him.  He truly cared and loved his job and life with a passion.”

John remained active in his later years.  He loved to travel, garden, golf and curl.  He organized the senior's drop-in curling until he was 90 years old.