New brunswick Black History Society

Frank Henderson

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Franklin Henderson is one of the most decorated athletes in New Brunswick’s history. Despite being diagnosed with polio at the age of four, and being partially paralyzed from the waist down, he received over 80 medals at provincial, national and international competitions over the course of his career. In 1969 he joined the newly established Saint John wheelchair sports club and the Loyalist City Handicapped Club in Saint John. He then went on to represent Canada at the 1972 Heidelberg Paralympics, winning a silver medal and then in 1976 at the Canadian National Wheelchair Games where he earned five silver and two bronze medals. That year, Henderson also set a new Canadian record for the discus throw, launching the discus 25 metres. After retiring, he coached the Saint John Rollers, and co-captained the Canadian Wheelchair All Star team. In the late 1980s and 90s he became chairman for the New Brunswick Wheelchair Sports Association and made appearances in New Brunswick’s All-Star teams. He received a Commemorative Medal in 1992 and in 1995 received the New Brunswick Service Award.

In 2019 he was inducted into the Saint John and New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame.

  • Paralympian who represented Canada at the 1972 and 1976 Games. 
  • Silver medalist at the 1972 Paralympics in Men’s 60m Relay. 
  • Bronze medalist at the international Stoke Mandeville Games in 1971 in the Men’s 100m Relay. 
  • Won 5 Silver and 2 Bronze medals at the 1976 Canadian National Wheelchair Games. 
  • Won 80 medals throughout his career in Basketball and Track & Field