Phonse "Tiger" Hawco´s extremely successful athletic career included 14 years of impressive track and field performances. The exceptional manner in which he competed against the very best track and field athletes between 1925 and 1938 was a major factor in his induction to the Bell Island Sports Hall of Fame in its first year of existence in 1995.
His participation was during a period of time when track and field competition was held on a regular basis, but within a system that did not include a great number of "official" meets. Hawco´s situation forced him to enter a variety of track and field events held on a very regular basis during garden parties and the like. Because of the nature of this competition there is very little, and in many cases no record of his achievements but he did establish a reputation for dominating the broad jump during this era.
In addition to his success as a broad jumper, he won more than his share of quarter mile, 440-yard races and was a very valuable member of a highly successful Bell Island relay team for 14 years.
The first recognition of Hawco´s great achievements came in 1925 when competing at the Loyal Orange Lodge, Star of the Sea and Church of England (Guards/Old Comrades) garden parties. He won three broad jumps, a 100-yard dash, a 220-yard dash and a quarter mile run, in addition to being a member of the Bell Island relay team.
He won the broad jump at the Star of the Sea garden party in 1926 and in 1927 was the broad jump winner at the Star of the Sea garden party and the Roman Catholic garden party, and also had wins in the quarter mile run and senior relay with Bell Island.
In 1928 he won the broad jump at the Knights of Columbus garden party and won the quarter mile run at the Church of England garden party where he was a member of the Bell Island relay team. He continued in this winning fashion until he retired in 1938, and it is interesting to note that in 1938 he was a member of the Bell Island team that won the championship and captured a new trophy donated by the Daily News.
In addition to his great track and field performances, Hawco excelled in hockey, soccer, boxing and rowing.
A great determination coupled with his exceptional talent, allowed him to establish himself as one of the finest Bell Island track and field athletes and to put together an outstanding track and field career during a period when many, many athletic competitions outside of St. John´s were not recorded by the media.
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