ST. JOHN’S, NL—Sport Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to announce three new members will be inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. These honourable inductees were selected by the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame Board of Governors and will be celebrated at the annual Stars and Legends Awards Gala taking place on April 16, 2016.
The 2016 inductees are:
- Sandy Faulkner Ash in the “Athlete” category (Soccer)
- Nigel Facey in the “Athlete” category (Soccer/Hockey)
- Howie Meeker in the “Builder” category (Hockey)
*Biographies for each of the inductees are below.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame recognizes, honours, and pays tribute to individuals on the basis of playing ability, sportsmanship, and character and who have achieved extraordinary distinction in any sport, whether that be achieved in amateur and/or professional athletics. The provincial Sports Hall of Fame also encourages development of all aspects of sport by permanently recording the achievements and history of such individuals.
“It is an honour to welcome this stellar group into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame,” said Doug Moores, Chair, Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame. “These individuals have made tremendous contributions to our provincial sporting community and promoting amateur sport in Newfoundland and Labrador. We thank them and offer our sincere congratulations on their success.”
The 2016 inductees will be honoured at two upcoming events, including the eighth annual Stars and Legends Awards Gala taking place at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland in St. John’s on April 16, 2016 at 7 p.m. Tickets for this event are available for purchase through Sport Newfoundland and Labrador at (709) 576-4932.
The inductees will also be recognized by the St. John’s IceCaps during a pre-game ceremony on April 15, 2016 before they play against the Hartford Wolf Pack. The IceCaps players will wear a specially designed Stars and Legends Jersey during the game, which will be auctioned off after the game in support of the many programs and services Sport Newfoundland and Labrador offers.
Sport Newfoundland and Labrador is the volunteer organization committed to the promotion and advancement of amateur sport throughout the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Sport Newfoundland and Labrador represents 55 provincial sport organizations and more than 70,000 individual members by offering a broad range of programs and services.
For more information contact:
Executive Director, Sport Newfoundland and Labrador
2016 Hall of Fame Inductees Biographies
Sandy Faulkner Ash – “Athlete” (Soccer)
Sandy Faulkner Ash has competed at the highest level of women’s soccer for close to 25 years. Her dedication, soccer skills, and competitive desire have made her a top athlete epitomizing soccer excellence in this province and across Canada.
Sandy is known for her exceptional pace, quickness, and technical ability, making her an inspiration and motivation for her teammates and those who have watched her play. The results of her ability are evident as she was a top scorer, was named an MVP, and received numerous all-star selections in Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta, where she now lives. She has won 13 provincial titles ‒ 11 in Alberta, and two in Newfoundland and Labrador. She has competed 13 times at the National Jubilee Trophy Senior Women’s Soccer Championships and her efforts have resulted in her team winning three gold, one silver, and three bronze medals.
Sandy had stints with the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team competing in a CONCACAF qualifying competition. She also competed in the North American Women’s Semi-Pro Soccer League and the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CIAU) Championships while she was playing at the university level.
In recognition of her outstanding contribution to Memorial University’s athletic program Sandy was elected to membership in the university’s Athletic Honour Society in 1990. Election to membership in the Athletic Honour Society is the highest athletic award that can be conferred on a student of Memorial University. In 1991-1992 she received the University of Alberta Academic/Athletic Excellence Award for maintaining an 80 per cent average while playing CIS sport. In 2011, Sandy was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Hall of Fame.
Nigel Facey – “Athlete” (Soccer/Hockey)
Nigel Facey has had a long career participating in multiple sports. His athletic skills and determination made him a top contender in hockey and soccer in Newfoundland and Labrador. He is one of a select few athletes to have represented Newfoundland and Labrador at a Canada Summer Games and a Canada Winter Games. Competing at the national level in two different sports was an indicator of his athletic talent, ability, and diversity.
Nigel’s soccer skills lead him to play with the Fieldians Senior Soccer team in both the St. John’s and Challenge Cup leagues as a defender and striker. He was recognized as a lead scorer multiple times throughout his career, most notably in 1976 when his scoring total was double the next competitor – despite missing the last five games of the season. From 1986 to 1994, he played with the Fieldians Master Soccer Team winning three St. John’s Master Soccer League titles. On the field, Nigel was a fierce defender and a prolific scorer. His determination and winning attitude made him an asset to any team.
A strong skating defensemen, Nigel showcased exceptional determination and impressive leadership skills in his long-standing hockey career. After enjoying successful minor and school hockey careers, he moved on to spend more than 15 years playing senior hockey. He was a member of the St. John’s Capitals, winning the provincial senior title and the Herder Memorial Trophy in 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976. He was seen as a great benefit to his team demonstrating a winning attitude and spirit. His leadership and hockey skills often had him elected Team Captain and it was in this role that he led Mike’s Shamrocks to the 1979 Herder. Nigel played in 12 Herder playoffs scoring an impressive 15 goals and 35 assists.
His personal success in hockey continued with appearances at seven national Allan Cup competitions with 12 goals and 18 assists, making him the sixth highest scorer of all participants. Nigel was a great hockey player with a confident and intelligent approach to the game. He had a 259 game career with 260 points, finishing as the second highest scoring defenseman in provincial senior hockey history. For his efforts, Nigel had tryouts with two National Hockey League (NHL) teams; one in 1972-1973 with the Omaha Knights, the farm team for the Atlanta Flames, and another in 1973-1974 with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His contribution to hockey, soccer, and various other sports earned him a fierce reputation as a respected player full of skill and determination. Nigel gave his utmost playing ability to every game he participated in. During his athletic career, he displayed a “team first” attitude that contributed greatly to the excellent success that teams for which he played enjoyed.
Nigel was a true athlete displaying skills in multiple sports. His impressive hockey statistics lead to his induction into the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.
Howie Meeker – “Builder” (Hockey)
Howie Meeker built an impressive hockey career while influencing generations of hockey players throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. For more than 50 years Howie has touched multiple aspects of hockey as a player, coach, general manager, announcer, and broadcaster. He has instructed and influenced those involved in hockey at all levels from grade school to the National Hockey League (NHL) and various international hockey leagues.
For older generations, Howie is remembered for his impressive NHL career playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs. There were many career highs, including awards for Rookie of the Year in 1947, All-Star player of the game for three consecutive years from 1947-1949 and four Stanley Cup wins in 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1951. His time with the Maple Leafs Hockey Franchise continued as he returned to coach for a season in 1956 and then became their General Manager in 1957.
Howie finished playing in the NHL at the age of 29, but he continued to play hockey professionally for another 15 years. He moved to Newfoundland and Labrador in 1957 where he quickly became involved in local hockey, helping to create a large group of talented players. His coaching contribution had a major influence in hockey in the province. He coached high school, junior, and senior leagues in St. John’s, including the St. John’s Capitals who won a Herder Memorial Trophy in 1970. He is remembered as “simply an excellent coach”, having a philosophy and instructional leadership that benefited many kids, as well as accomplished players.
Adding to his coaching career, Howie created a hockey school teaching the fundamental skills needed to skate, stickhandle, and play the game. He was known for emphasizing thinking ability, which led to skilled players and parents becoming knowledgeable coaches. From 1973-1977, Howie Meeker’s Hockey School was featured on a Canadian television series broadcast by CBC for 107 fifteen-minute episodes. These episodes showcased the “Unique Meeker imprint” with his enthusiasm for the game, highlighting basic physical and mental skills needed to play.
His instruction and coaching continued as he wrote two books while living in Newfoundland. Howie Meeker’s Hockey Basics was published in 1973 and More Hockey Basics from Howie Meeker was published in 1975. These books were extremely influential in shaping the way hockey is played today. His opinions on the lack of basic playing skills lead to his book creating the groundwork for how hockey was taught in the future. He recognized his time in Newfoundland with his training school as the perfect opportunity to test his theories of developing skating power from balance. His first book was selected by the Literary Review of Canada as the 63rd most important book of all time.
Howie’s expertise soon found him employed as a Hockey Analyst for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. He enjoyed this position with CBC until 1990; then he joined TSN and worked there until his retirement in 1998. His broadcasting career can be remembered for his use of the telestrator where he made the game simple and easy to understand. He was an open-minded broadcaster who contributed to the advancement of the sport with a drive and determination to fix problems and create skilled players.