Total Sports Northumberland, operated by Jeff Gard, has been launched through Total Sports Integrated Media, joining other websites and publications in the Quinte and Durham regions.
Jeff launched his freelance business, JG Sports Media, in May 2020 and ran this website under that name until joining the Total Sports team in April 2021.
The Total Sports Northumberland website and digital/print magazine serves Northumberland County, Ontario, covering the municipalities of Alnwick/Haldimand, Brighton, Cobourg, Cramahe, Hamilton Township, Port Hope and Trent Hills.
Jeff started his sports journalism career in his teens, writing for his local newspaper in small-town Ontario. After graduating from Loyalist College’s print journalism program in 2004, he worked as a freelance writer for the Kingston Whig-Standard. This led him to working as the sports reporter for the Cobourg Daily Star in 2006. Jeff weathered the changes in daily news, including the name change from the Star to Northumberland Today, a shrinking newsroom, and ended his work with the paper in 2017 in the position of Managing Editor.
Jeff has had the opportunity to learn about the Cobourg community, with a particular focus on sports. His passion for sharing information that families and the community can be proud of is the driving force behind JG Sports Media. While Jeff has experience in interviewing notable Canadians like sportscaster Ron MacLean, NHL player Justin Williams, former MLB player Paul Quantrill and his son, current MLB player, Cal Quantrill, curlers Rachel Homan, Glenn Howard and John Epping, figure skaters like Kurt Browning and Elvis Stojko, he thrives on finding the story behind the story for each and every athlete he works with, at all levels of play.
Some of the sports and events Jeff has had the pleasure of writing about over the years include: Cobourg Cougars of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, the Port Hope Panthers of the Provincial Junior Hockey League, Cobourg Kodiaks of Major Series Lacrosse as well as minor sports such as hockey, baseball, softball, lacrosse, basketball, volleyball, figure skating, rugby and paddling. Jeff has spent many hours covering high school sports, and encouraging young athletes.
Since the opening of the Cobourg Community Centre in 2011, Jeff has enjoyed covering some big events, including Hockey Canada’s 2017 RBC Cup national junior A championship, which was won by the hometown Cougars, and the 2015 World Junior A Challenge as well as curling events such as the 2017 Ontario Men’s Tankard and Ontario women’s Scotties. He also covered two American Hockey League (AHL) exhibition games featuring the Toronto Marlies at the CCC.
Local highlights for minor sports include covering Silver Stick hockey tournaments as well as provincial championship games and tournaments for hockey, baseball and softball.
Jeff has also covered provincial high school championships, including Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) track and field championships in Toronto and Belleville, cross-country running in Ottawa, volleyball in Kingston and rugby in Cobourg. He was also the media convenor for the 2005 OFSAA cross-country championships in Kingston.
One of the things that Jeff has quite enjoyed over his years in newspaper writing was when young athletes’ families would share their excitement and pride. He enjoys sharing the story behind the story, and connecting athletes with their community.
That will continue with Total Sports Northumberland.
Profile photo credit: Pete Fisher/Today’s Northumberland