Four New Inductees Welcomed Into Sports Hall at July 13th Event

A photo of the inductees from the 2024 Induction Dinner, holding their plaques and standing in front of the banners commemorating their achievements.
Left to right, Shane Bergman, Shirley Shaw, Barry Boughner, and Rob Smithson, son of the late Paul Smithson, holding the plaques that will be installed in the Sports Hall display at the Simcoe Recreation Centre.

The Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition welcomed four new inductees on Saturday July 13th, 2024, at an induction dinner held at the Hungarian Hall in Delhi. At the event, attended by approximately 150 people, former Calgary Stampeder Shane Bergman, Special Olympics coach and organizer Shirley Shaw, dual-sport athlete Barry Boughner, and late Paul Smithson, a standout curler and ambassador for the game, were formally inducted into the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition.

Norfolk County Mayor Amy Martin and Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Bobbi Ann Brady attended the event, bringing greetings from their respective constituencies and presenting commemorative scrolls to the inductees.

During the induction ceremony, Shane Bergman was introduced by former Hamilton Tiger Cat and previous inductee John Macdonald, who categorized Bergman as one of the best Canadian offensive linemen to play in the Canadian Football League.

Jeff Charlesworth, Program Consultant for Southwest Ontario for Special Olympics Ontario, sent a message in honour of Shirley Shaw’s induction, commenting that “the Simcoe Seals swim program is one of the best in the province,” and noting Shaw’s induction is “well deserved.”

Barry Boughner, who played six years of professional hockey as well as excelling in the Intercounty Baseball League, was able to show the audience his Gold Bat award. Boughner was recognized as one of the top 100 players participating in the IBL from 1919 to 2018. Boughner also shared some memories of his sports involvement, including meeting hockey legend Gordie Howe.

Rob Smithson, son of the late Paul Smithson, accepted the induction honours on Paul’s behalf, and shared some memories, including his father’s belief in the value of spending 30 minutes a day at a task one wants to excel at.

Former Major League Baseball and Canadian National Team pitcher John Axford was also named as a 2023 inductee. Due to previous commitments, John was unable attend the July 13th event, and will be recognized at a future induction dinner.

Plaques noting each inductee’s achievements will be added to the Sports Hall’s physical display located in the pool viewing deck of the Simcoe Recreation Centre.

Jim Adams Sr. and George Pond, both of whom participated in the startup of the Sports Hall thirty years ago, were in attendance. Both Adams and Pond are past executive members as well as past inductees. Past Sports Hall executive members and inductees Don Stewart and Mike Vrooman were also present, with Stewart delivering the introduction for Barry Boughner’s induction.

Other former inductees in attendance included David Edmonds, Ashley Haskett, John Lotus, John Macdonald, Jim Merrick, Jean Montgomery (who is also currently co-chair of the Sports Hall), Bob Proracki, Jim Simmons, and Dave Smith.

An event of this nature would not be possible without the many businesses and individuals who sponsored inductees, purchased ads in the induction booklet, or donated prizes for the silent auction or the end-of-the-evening draw. These include Platinum sponsors Demeyere Automotive, Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 125, Delhi, Simcoe Curling Club, and Woodhouse United Church, as well as Gold sponsors/advertisers Good Redden Klosler and Sonnyside Flowers.

Media sponsors were My FM, the Port Dover Maple Leaf, and the Simcoe Reformer. Downtown Simcoe BIA was a Ruby Sponsor/Advertiser, while Silver sponsors/advertisers were Barry Malcolm, Burning Kiln Winery, Carter’s Men’s Wear, Connect Marketing Group, DaSilva Auto, Delhi Archery Club, Delhi Minor Baseball, Dr. Thorpe and Family, The Family of Doug King, McKay Insurance and Financial Services Inc., Norfolk Youth Basketball, Second Ave. Printing, Stoney’s Hardware, Toronto Blue Jays, and Travelodge.

Bronze sponsors/advertisers were The Barrel Restaurant, Bobbi Ann Brady, Boston Pizza, Delhi Kin Club, Kerry’s St. James St. Eatery, Springview Farm Golf Course, and Waterford Girl.

Sobeys and Eising’s donated table decorations for the dinner, and Picard Foods provided the chocolate bars enjoyed by the attendees.

The Sports Hall is grateful to the Delhi Hungarian Hall for providing the venue and the excellent meal.

The next Induction Dinner will be held in 2026.


Photos and Notes From “Skate with the Greats” Event June 15, 2024

A group of skaters on the ice surface, gathered for a photo with Elaine Chuli
Skaters from the 11:30 to 12:15 Skate with the Greats session pose for a photo with Elaine Chuli

On June 15, 2024, 71 skaters hit the ice during on-ice sessions with Waterford’s Elaine Chuli, currently a goaltender with the Montreal team of the Professional Women’s Hockey League. Thank you to everyone who came out and made the Skate with the Greats event at Waterford Tricenturena such a success!

A group of people on the ice with Elaine Chuli
Participants from the 12:15 to 1:00 on-ice session with Elaine Chuli.
Elaine Chuli signs memorabilia at a table
Elaine also took the time to sign photos, jerseys, sticks, and memorabilia.

An event of this nature would not be successful without the contributions of people and organizations. The Sports Hall would like to thank (in no particular order):

  • Holly VanNetten, who served as a skate patroller
  • Elaine and her family, for setting up a great display of helmets, jerseys, etc.
  • Our Sports Hall volunteers at the event, Jean Montgomery, Heather King, Sandy Smith, and Lisa Timpf
  • Lori Roloson, for her opening remarks
  • The Roloson family, for designating the Sports Hall as a venue for in memoriam donations for Donald Roloson. The generous donations made in memoriam funded the Skate with the Greats event, enabling the Sports Hall to offer this event free of charge
  • Waterford Tim Hortons for donating coffee, hot chocolate, and Timbits
  • Springview Farm Golf Course, for donating bags of chips
  • Norfolk County, for allowing us to partner with their Community Days event
  • All of the participants and parents, for making it such a pleasant and fun
    Two participants with Elaine
    Two participants meet Elaine while waiting to get onto the ice.


  • Those who made donations at the event to support the Sports Hall
  • And, of course, Elaine herself for being willing to participate in the event so that fans could meet her in person

A copy of the group photos will be sent to the email address of whoever registered the participants in the day’s event. If you don’t receive a photo by June 21, 2024, please contact us at


Ticket Sales Open Until June 20th for Induction Dinner

The Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition will hold its next Induction Dinner July 13, 2024 at the Hungarian Hall in Delhi. The event will honour 2022 inductees Shane Bergman and Shirley Shaw, as well as 2023 inductees Barry Boughner and the late Paul Smithson.

Bergman spent seven seasons with the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders, and was a member of two Grey Cup-winning teams. Shaw is a long-time coach and organizer for Special Olympics, and was named Special Olympics Ontario Female Coach of the Year in 2016.

Boughner played six years of professional hockey in the IHL, CHL, AHL, and NHL. A standout baseball player, he was also named to the Gold Bat Club as one of the top 100 Intercounty Baseball League players since 1919.

Smithson’s curling career spanned 37 years and included two provincial championship titles, two berths in the provincial finals, and 15 Zone championships. Described as “a great ambassador for the sport,” Smithson also assisted with running bonspiels, promoting the game, and introducing new people to curling.

John Axford, who was named as a 2023 inductee, is unavailable for this year’s ceremony due to previous commitments, and will be honoured at a future induction event.

Tickets for the Induction Dinner are on sale until June 20, and are available for purchase at the Simcoe Recreation Centre Customer Service Desk and at Dave’s Variety in Delhi. Tickets are $60 per adult, and $20 for children aged 6 to 12. Admission is free for children 5 and under.

Doors will open at 4 p.m., with the 2022 and 2023 inductees being introduced at 4:45. The dinner will begin at 5:00, with the induction ceremony to follow.

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition, whose displays can be viewed on the pool viewing deck of the Simcoe Recreation Centre. More information about the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition and its activities is available at our web site,

“Skate With the Greats” Event to Feature Elaine Chuli

Goaltender Elaine Chuli in uniform.
Goaltender Elaine Chuli vs. Toronto
March 8, 2024. Photo by Alex D’Addese/PWHL

Elaine Chuli will be the featured guest at a “Skate with the Greats” event at the Waterford Tricenturena June 15, 2024. Hosted by the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition, this event will allow participants to meet and skate with Chuli, a goaltender with the Montreal team of the Professional Women’s Hockey League.

The on-ice portion of the event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. There are still openings in the  11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. time slot (as of June 6, the 12:15 to 1 p.m. time slot has been filled.) Though there is no fee to participate, pre-registration is required.

Helmets are recommended for on-ice participants. A group photo will be taken with Elaine at the end of each on-ice session. Participants are welcome to wear hockey jerseys if they wish.

To register, contact, and provide the first and last names of anyone who is participating in the on-ice session (we need this information for registration). Openings are only available in the 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. time slot.

Registration will be limited to 50 people per session. Registration will close June 10, 2024, or earlier if slots are filled.

After the on-ice sessions, Elaine will be available from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Tricenturena lobby area for autograph signing and photo opportunities.

The event is available free of charge thanks to generous donations made to the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition in memory of the late Donald Roloson. The Sports Hall also thanks Waterford Tim Horton’s and Springview Farm Golf Course for their support.

The Skate With the Greats event will be part of Norfolk’s Community Days celebrations. As the Tricenturena parking lot will be occupied with other displays, participants will need to park off-site.

Originally from Waterford, Ontario, Chuli has amassed an impressive hockey resume. She played goal for the University of Connecticut Huskies, earning team MVP honours in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

She was also a member of the Toronto Six of the Premier Hockey Federation, helping them win an Isobel Cup in 2023. In 2022, Chuli was named Goaltender of the Year for the PHF, and was also named the All-Star Game MVP.

Most recently, during the Professional Women’s Hockey League’s inaugural 2023-2024 season, Chuli played in eight games for Montreal, posting a league-leading 1.61 Goals Against Average.


Q: I’m going to be bringing a child to the event, but not participating on the ice. Do I need to register?

A: No. We only need the names of those participating in the on-ice portion, so we can check their names off on arrival

Q: Can I still attend the photo opp/autograph session if I don’t participate in the on-ice session?

A: Yes. The 1 to 2 p.m. photo opp/autograph session is open to all.

Q: Do I have to pay admission?

A: Thanks to in memoriam donations received by the Sports Hall in honour of Donald Roloson, we are able to offer this event at no charge to participants.

Q: Should on-ice participants bring hockey sticks?

A: No.

Q: If I want an autograph, should I bring something to sign?

A: We are planning to provide photos for Elaine to sign. However, if there is something you wish her to sign, that can be accommodated within reason.

Q: Will refreshments be available?

A: The Sports Hall is planning to have snacks and drinks available for purchase.




Class of 2023 Inductees

Updated May 16, 2024

John Axford

John Axford

John Axford, who grew up in Port Dover, Ontario, played major league baseball for ten years. Nicknamed “Ax Man,” Axford, a pitcher, suited up for a number of teams, including the Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, and St. Louis Cardinals. He also played seven seasons in the minor leagues, and was named to Team Canada’s baseball team in 2013 and 2023. Prior to playing professional ball, Axford pitched for Notre Dame and Canisius College.

In 2011, Axford was the National League’s saves leader. That year, he received the National League’s Rolaids Relief Man Award, and was named co-winner (along with Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds) of the Tip O’Neill Award, issued by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Axford played minor ball in Port Dover and was a member of several provincial championship teams, including the 1999 Midget OBA Champions, 2000 Midget Champions and OBA Team of the Year, and 2001 Midget OBA Champions. One of his former coaches described Axford as a standout player, adding “it was his intelligence, his strong work ethic, and his leadership that set him apart.”

Barry Boughner

Barry Boughner

Barry Boughner, originally from Delhi, Ontario, was a standout baseball and hockey player, as well as a coach and organizer in the Inter-County Baseball League. Boughner’s on-ice career included six years of professional hockey in the IHL, CHL, AHL, and NHL. He suited up for the California Golden Seals, Des Moines Oak Leafs, New Haven Nighthawks, and Albuquerque Six-Guns, among others. Boughner played junior hockey with the London Nationals, helping them to a Junior B championship in 1964-65. Boughner was named to the OHA West All-Star team in 1967-68, along with Darryl Sittler. Boughner also coached at the Junior A level in hockey.

Boughner played baseball for London’s Junior A and Senior A Intercounty Baseball League teams, earning multiple championship titles. During his career with London, Boughner played all nine positions, including catcher and pitcher. His versatility is demonstrated by the fact that he made the IBL first all-star team in 1974 as a second baseman, in 1975 as a third baseman, and in 1980 as a designated hitter. Boughner’s prowess was recognized by the Intercounty Baseball League, who named him to their Gold Bat Club in 2018 as one of the top 100 IBL players since 1919. Boughner also served as a coach and organizer in the IBL.

Boughner has been described as “an exceptional coach whose passion, dedication, and commitment to player development have left a mark.” As a player, he was said to be “a natural team leader,” and a person who “gave his all every game.”


Paul Smithson

Paul Smithson

Paul Smithson is being inducted posthumously as an athlete/organizer, As a curler, Smithson skipped his teams to two provincial championship titles and two berths in the Provincial finals, and also notched 15 Zone championships, curling for a total of 37 years. One fellow curler recalls Smithson as “very competitive” but added that his competitiveness never detracted from his sense of fair play.

Smithson helped out with “Learn to Curl” programs, and was described as a “tireless” worker running bonspiels, promoting the game, and introducing new people to curling, serving as “a great ambassador for the sport.”

As a high school student, Smithson excelled in football and track and field, particularly pole vault. His passion for track and field carried over when he became a teacher. Smithson organized youth track and field and cross country events for elementary school students for 29 years.

Induction Dinner

Barry Boughner and Paul Smithson, along with Class of 2022 inductees Shane Bergman and Shirley Shaw, will be formally inducted into the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition at the Induction Dinner Saturday, July 13 at the Hungarian Hall in Delhi. Tickets will go for sale to the general public in June. Details will be announced on the web site.

Due to a previous commitment, John Axford will not be available to attend the 2024 Induction Dinner. While he remains a 2023 Inductee, John’s Induction Ceremony  will take place at a future event.

Roy Cowan, who was initially named as a 2023 Inductee, has since declined that honour.

The Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition is physically located in the Simcoe Recreation Centre, pool viewing area level. Displays of sports team photos and inductee plaques can be viewed during regular operating hours.  Additional information about events, past inductees and how to nominate individuals can be found on the Sports Hall’s web site,


Sports Hall Newsletter Now Available

To keep everyone updated on the Sports Hall’s activities and events, we have launched a newsletter, which will be posted on the web site and emailed out to those who wish to receive it. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list for the newsletter, please contact us at

You can navigate to the newsletter by clicking on the “Newsletter” tab on the web site’s menu.



Preparations Begin for Parade of Champions

The annual Parade of Champions, which is conducted by the County of Norfolk and the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition, recognizes teams and individuals who have won provincial, national, or international sporting competitions. This year’s Parade of Champions will take place on Tuesday, October 3 at the Norfolk County Fair.

The Parade of Champions recognizes individuals from Norfolk County who have won provincial, national, or international championships between October 2022 and present, as well as those who have been honoured with awards, such as Coach of the Year, from a provincial, national, or international sports organization.

While the Sports Hall has been keeping a running tally of championship achievements listed by local media, we want to ensure we don’t miss anyone. If you know of a team or individual who qualifies for inclusion and hasn’t yet been contacted regarding this event, please get in touch with the Sports Hall at


Class of 2022 Sports Hall Inductees Announced

The Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition is proud to announce its Class of 2022.

Shane Bergman and Shirley Shaw are the latest individuals to be announced to the Sports Hall. They will join the group of over 90 athletes, coaches, builders, and sports ambassadors already inducted into the Hall.

Shane Bergman

Image of Shane Bergman in Calgary Stampeders uniform
Shane Bergman

Shane Bergman spent seven seasons with the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders before retiring in January, 2021. Bergman, an offensive lineman, played in 93 regular season games and 10 post-season matchups, including Grey Gup victories in 2014 and 2018. In 2019, Bergman was named to the West Division and CFL all-star rosters.

Referred to as a “technician” with effortless skill, Bergman was said to be one of those athletes who “makes the players around him better.” 3 Down Nation listed him as one of the Top 100 Active CFL players in 2020.

Prior to suiting up for the Stampeders, Bergman played for the Western Ontario Mustangs. As a high school player, he helped the Waterford District High School Wolves earn the league title in 2009. 

Shirley Shaw

Photo of Shirley Shaw
Shirley Shaw

Shirley Shaw served as head coach for the Simcoe Seals swim team for Special Olympics athletes for over 20 years, seeing the numbers rise from nine swimmers to over 40 during that time. Shaw has also served as the local chair of the Simcoe Special Olympics Community Council.

Besides swimming, Shaw also introduced a number of other sports to local Special Olympics athletes, including basketball, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and golf.

In the reference letters supporting her application, Shaw was praised for her “dedication, kindness, and compassion.” She was also described as a “wonderful coach and mentor,” with “an amazing way with the athletes.” One reference noted that “Shirley has provided an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to feel valued, accepted, and accomplished in their sport and in life.”

In acknowledgement of her efforts, Shaw was named Special Olympics Ontario Female Coach of the Year in 2016. She received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General of Canada in 2017, and was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation in 2019.

Bergman and Shaw, along with any new inductees selected from nominations received in 2023, will be formally inducted into the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition at an event in 2024.

The Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition is physically located in the Simcoe Recreation Centre, pool viewing area level. Displays of sports team photos and inductee plaques can be viewed during regular operating hours.  Additional information about events, past inductees and how to nominate individuals can be found on the Sports Hall’s web site.

Fundraising Golf Tournament Scheduled for June 9, 2023

Registration is now open for the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition’s fundraising golf tournament.

The event is slated for Friday, June 9, 2023 at Springview Farm Golf Course, with tee times beginning at 9 a.m.

Golfers can register as a team of four, with three divisions (Ladies’, Men’s, and Mixed) to choose from. Mixed teams must have 2 men and 2 women. Entry fee is $100 per golfer, and includes 18 holes of golf, a cart, and lunch.

The tournament will be played in a scramble format, with prizes awarded in each division.

The golf tournament is one of the main fundraising avenues for the Sports Hall, which hosts Induction Dinners every two years, as well as supporting other events like October’s Parade of Champions.

To register, contact Sandy Smith, Secretary,

The Sports Hall’s displays are available for viewing at the pool viewing area in the Simcoe Recreation Centre.



Wanted: Sports Hall Board Members and Volunteers

If you’re interested in promoting awareness of Norfolk County athletes’ achievements and have the time and inclination to volunteer to support this objective, then the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition would be love to hear from you.

The Sports Hall’s mandate is to recognize and honour individuals and teams who have made significant contributions to Norfolk County’s sports history. Their primary focus is the Induction Dinners, usually held every two years to celebrate those individuals who have been inducted to the Hall of Recognition. The group also works with Norfolk County to host the annual Parade of Champions event during the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show. This event recognizes individuals and teams who have earned provincial and national championships or awards during the past year.

Each year, the Sports Hall also reviews nominations from the community to determine that year’s allotment of Sports Hall inductees. Periodically, the Sports Hall conducts fundraising events such as golf tournaments.

With the Annual General Meeting coming up March of 2023, the Sports Hall is seeking volunteers interested in joining the Board, or helping with events such as golf tournaments and induction dinners. Interested parties are welcome to pose any questions they might have, or express their interest in involvement, by contacting us at

Did You Know

  • Since its inception, the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition has inducted over 90 individuals to the Hall.
  • Displays, including plaques honouring past individual inductees, are located in the pool viewing area of the Simcoe Recreation Centre.
  • The Sports Hall’s 25th anniversary book, written by George Pond, is now available for purchase at three local venues: the Customer Service Desk at the Simcoe Recreation Centre, Firefly & Fox Books in Simcoe, and Nifty Gifty in Waterford. Sales price has been reduced from the original $25 cost, to $20.