NHL athlete, coaches and sport leaders added to Brampton Sports Hall of Fame


Published March 28, 2024 at 10:16 am

NHL athlete, coaches and sport leaders added to Brampton Sports Hall of Fame

A coach who has trained NHL stars, a nationally-renowned gymnast and an ambassador of cricket in Brampton are just some of the latest additions to the city’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Six athletes, coaches and sporting advocates have been named to the 2024 class of the Brampton Sports Hall of Fame, which is located the CAA Centre.

Inductees are nominated by members of the community in four categories; Athletes, Builders, Veterans and Teams.

This year’s honourees include the founder of the Brampton Cricket League, a former NHLer and a hockey coach with a legacy of training up-and-commers in Brampton.

Here are all the 2024 inductees to the Brampton Sports Hall of Fame:

​Faraz Saleem – Builder, Cricket

Saleem is a cricketing stalwart with over 23 years of service, founding the Brampton Cricket League and spearheading initiatives like automated live game scoring and permanent lights. As the president of the league, he continues to drive the growth of cricket in Brampton. Off the field, Saleem is a community advocate, supporting various initiatives and addressing social issues, leaving a lasting impact on both sport and society.

Lexie Ward – Athlete, Trampoline/Gymnastics

Ward is a former elite trampoline gymnast who represented Ontario provincially, nationally and internationally. With a career spanning from 2004 to 2016, Ward achieved success at events such as the Canada Cup and Canadian National Championships. In 2015, she obtained a coaching certification to mentor young athletes. While she retired from competitive gymnastics, Ward currently operates her own fitness coaching business focused on empowering women to build strength, confidence and a healthy lifestyle.

Louise Barton – Builder, Swimming

A dedicated sports administrator in Brampton for over 20 years, Barton has made significant contributions to the COBRA Swim Club. Her leadership as President led to the club’s success at all levels of competition. Beyond COBRA, Barton is involved in sports associations and has received prestigious awards for her community service and volunteerism. She continues to give back to the community through her volunteer work.

Rick Hay – Veteran, Ice Hockey

Hay is an award-winning coach who has made significant contributions to hockey and the sports community locally and beyond. As a standout player for the Toronto Marlboros and coach and owner of the Bramalea Blues, Hay played a key role in player development. Operating a hockey school in the 1970s and 80s, Hay’s innovative techniques helped players improve their skills. He also contributed to the development of composite hockey sticks. His legacy lives on through his grandson, NHL star Sean Monahan.

Sheldon Keefe – Athlete, Ice Hockey

​Keefe is a successful hockey player and coach who began his hockey journey at a young age with the Chinguacousy Minor Hockey Association. He went on to excel with the Toronto Young Nationals, winning championships and later being drafted into the NHL. Transitioning into coaching, Keefe achieved accolades with the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, before taking on the head coach position for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019. In his first year of coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team made history with the best start of any coach in franchise history under his leadership. In 1999, he founded the Sheldon Keefe Fund to support underprivileged children in the Brampton Youth Hockey Association.

Steve Nijjar – Builder, Soccer

From his days at West Humber High School to owning Brampton’s first professional soccer team, Nijjar has shown exceptional talent and leadership. As a coach, he led his team to a championship in the Canadian Professional Soccer League (CPSL) and coached the CPSL All-Star team. Nijjar’s commitment to youth development is evident in his training of aspiring athletes, aiming to drive them to success. A vested owner of Titan Sportsplex Niagara, he continues to focus on nurturing young athletes toward professional soccer careers.

The city will hold a ceremony to honour the new hall of fammers on May 7 at The Rose Theatre. Tickets are on sale now with general admission $55 for adults and $27.50 for children 12 and under. For more information and to purchase tickets to the induction ceremony visit www.brampton.ca/shof​.

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