Local athletes to be recognized at Ottawa Sports Award Ceremony

On Oct. 21, Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services will hold the Sports Awards Ceremony in Ottawa. It is considered the highlight of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) sports year. Athletes, coaches and officials, serving and retired, are recognized for their outstanding athletic performances and remarkable contributions to sport. Selected members are also inducted into the Canadian Armed Forces Sports Hall of Fame and Honour Roll during the ceremony. Below are CFB Esquimalt’s nominees:

2015 CFB Esquimalt Women’s Soccer Team2015 CFB Esquimalt Women’s Soccer Team
Royal Canadian Navy

Building a strong team bond can take months; however, the CFB Esquimalt Women’s Soccer Team pulled together a winning, determined and sportsmanlike team in mere days. Unable to field teams for a CAF Regional Championship, athletes from throughout the Pacific Region came together to practice only the day before the 2015 CAF National Championships. They worked hard through a difficult round-robin, barely made play-offs, and then surprised everyone by upsetting the reigning champions, the Ontario Region. The team’s final match against the Quebec Region was a nail-biting scoreless tie through two overtimes, but CFB Esquimalt at last claimed a 2-1 victory on penalty kicks.

AB Marjolaine PlanteAB Marjolaine Plante
Swimming, CFB Esquimalt, Royal Canadian Navy

In just a few short years, AB Plante has burst onto the swimming scene in the CAF and has out-paced swimmers 18 years her junior. Her passion for the sport, quiet determination to succeed, and exceptional physical fitness were on display repeatedly in 2015. She reached the podium seven times in civilian regional competition, and won gold medals at the CAF National Championships in the 100 m, 200 m and 400 m freestyle, as well as the 100 m backstroke. AB Plante also competed for Canada at the CISM Military World Games in the 50m butterfly and backstroke, where she swam great races against Olympic-calibre athletes.

SLt Connor DukeSLt Connor Duke
Basketball, CFB Esquimalt, Royal Canadian Navy

In just one year on the CFB Esquimalt Men’s Basketball Team, SLt Duke grew from a talented but reserved new player into one of the best basketball players in the CAF. After winning CAF Regionals, his team went on to CAF Nationals, where they took home a hard-won bronze medal. SLt Duke’s gritty play and high release sharpshooting earned him game MVP honours and a tournament All-Star selection. From there, thanks to his passion, commitment and professionalism, he achieved his ambition of making the CISM team and competing for Team Canada at the Military World.

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