National Sports Awards honours local dedication

When it comes to sports, it’s always nice when a little glory makes its way to the sidelines. That’s just what happened when two dedicated and passionate people from CFB Esquimalt got a tip of the hat on a national scale.

CPO2 (Ret’d) Dan Fogarty and MS (Ret’d) Jeffrey Green have both been recognized with a nomination for a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Sports Award. Fogarty netted a nomination as Male Coach of the Year, while Green is in the running for Official of the Year.

“It’s thrilling to be recognized on a national level,” says Fogarty, who retired this year and now works for Fleet Maintenance Facility as a civilian contractor. “You know, you just do what you do, not for the recognition but for the love of it. To get acknowledged for what you love it pretty awesome.”

Fogarty has coached the CFB Esquimalt ball hockey team since 2005; this year is the first year he did not coach in almost a decade. The team and its accomplishments saw significant growth under his leadership.

“When I started there were players that could barely hold a stick,” he says. “They practiced, and I gave them a helping hand here and there, but over time they grew, and through word of mouth got more people out, and before long we had a real team on our hands.”

That team took home the CAF Regional’s in 2013, and had a fourth place showing at the CAF Nationals.

For Green, he began officiating hockey games following a life-long love of the sport. A player for many years, he made the transition to the lines to try something new.

“It seemed interesting to see it from the other side, so I thought I’d give it a shot,” he says. “The interactions with the players and coaches really gave me a different perspective on the game.”

Travelling all across lower Vancouver Island, from CFB Esquimalt to his home rink in Sooke, and everywhere in-between, he has made a name for himself in the hockey community. He refereed at the Men’s Hockey Nationals this year, and has trained at camps for the Western Hockey League. When he heard of his nomination he was overwhelmed.

“I couldn’t believe someone would nominate me. It was really flattered and humbling,” he says. “I’ve loved doing this for a long time and to have the recognition to back it up feels really good.”

The pair will be heading to Ottawa for the Oct. 24 CAF Sports Awards ceremony. Fogarty says he’s ready, win or lose.

“It’s pretty excited to be up against people from all over the country,” he says. “I know what I’ve done, and what I’m proud of. It’ll be interesting to see where the others are coming from.”

 Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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