By RON FANFAIR
National soccer player, Dwayne DeRosario and wrestler Ohenewa Akuffo, who represented Canada in last year’s Beijing Olympics, were inducted into the Scarborough Walk of Fame and Brampton’s Sports Hall of Fame respectively last week.
DeRosario grew up in Scarborough and attended Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute before embarking on a professional soccer career at age 18 with the Toronto Lynx. The 30-year-old has since won two Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup Most Valuable Player awards and back-to-back Goal of the Year titles with the Houston Dynamos with which he spent three seasons before Toronto FC acquired him last December.
DeRosario’s Guyanese-born parents came to Canada in the 1970s to provide opportunities for their children.
“Today is a testament that all of their sacrifices paid off,” he said proudly. “I have a lot of awards from outside Toronto, but it’s nice when you get recognized from your own community. This is a great day for me and a very special moment.”
The Canadian Soccer Player of the Year for three straight years up until 2007, DeRosario has recorded 51 goals and 42 assists in 187 MLS games. His return to Houston last Sunday for the first time since he was traded was unremarkable as Toronto FC was shut out 3-0.
Other inductees in the Scarborough Walk of Fame started three years ago are National Basketball Association player, Jamaal Magloire and entertainers, Wes “Maestro” Williams and Deborah Cox.
Akuffo became the first wrestler to be inducted into the 30-year Brampton Sports Hall of Fame that includes jockey Patrick Husbands, high jumper Mark Boswell and Brampton mayor, Susan Fennell, who created a women’s hockey league in the city.
The 10-time senior national team member lived in Toronto and Mississauga with her family before moving to Brampton where she attended St. Augustine Secondary School and trained at the Matman Wrestling Club.
She has also represented Canada at the Pan Am Games in Santo Domingo (2003) and Brazil (2007), the World University Games in Turkey (2005) and three world championships. Last year, she won a bronze medal at the world games in Tokyo, Japan.