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.


Nominations for Class of 2022 Close December 1

Do you know of a Norfolk County athlete who has consistently excelled at the highest levels of sport? A coach or builder who has left a lasting stamp on Norfolk’s sporting landscape? A sports ambassador whose enthusiasm and commitment stands out above all others?

If so, the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition wants to hear from you.

Individuals have until December 1, 2022 to submit nominations for the current round of inductions. Candidates will be assessed against a standard set of criteria to determine up to four inductees to be named as the Sports Hall’s Class of 2022. These inductees will be honoured, along with Class of 2023, at the Sports Hall’s next induction dinner, tentatively planned for 2024.

To view nomination guidelines , visit the “Nomination Process” tab on the top navigation menu.

The nomination form can be downloaded from that location, or from the link below:

nomination form

Completed nomination forms, along with supporting material, can be dropped off at the Simcoe Recreation Centre to the attention of Susie Wray, or mailed to the updated address indicated on the current nomination form.

Since its establishment in 1994, the Norfolk County Sports Hall of Recognition has inducted over 90 individuals from throughout the county, including hockey greats Leonard “Red” Kelly and Ron “Chico” Maki as well as numerous builders and coaches without whose efforts the Norfolk sports landscape would look very different. The Sports Hall displays are located in the pool viewing area of the Simcoe Recreation Centre. The “ Hall” includes a permanent plaque wall as well as rotating displays featuring the most recent inductees.

The Sports Hall has also conducted Reunion of Champions events to recognize past provincial and national championship teams, as well as supporting the Parade of Champions, which this year acknowledged over 100 individuals who, as members of teams or on their own, earned provincial, national, or international honours since the fall of 2019.

Anyone wishing to support the Sports Hall’s efforts is invited to participate in a fundraising event being held in partnership with The Barrel Restaurant in Simcoe. The Barrel Restaurant has pledged to donate $2 to the Sports Hall for every pizza delivered or picked up from their restaurant from November 7 to November 13, 2022.