Two Pictou County men are finalists in a contest to win $100,000 for their local hockey associations.
Gus Fahey, competing for Westville Minor Hockey Association, and Craig Clarke for Pictou Minor Hockey Association are among the 100 finalists in the Kraft Hockey Goes On contest.
To enter the contest, people submitted entries about people they felt were deserving of honour for their contributions to minor hockey. The finalists were selected from a large pool of nominations and now will be voted on by the public to see who will get the money. The top five individuals who keep hockey going in communities will be awarded $100,000 each to go to their chosen local hockey associations. An additional 20 individuals will be recognized and their chosen hockey associations will each receive $20,000. The program will also donate $100,000 to Hockey Canada to distribute to Learn to Skate programs at the local level.
The voting period will take place for 48 hours only, between March 23 (starting at 9 a.m. ET) and March 24 (ending at 11:59:59 p.m. ET).
Gus Fahey said it was an honour to be nominated for the contest and then chosen among the top 100.
“It’s probably the biggest honour I’ve received in my life,” he said.
Gus began coaching 50 years ago and has been actively involved ever since.
He co-founded the Pictou County Bantam B League in 1976, pioneered AAA hockey in the County in 1981 while coaching the Pictou County AAA Midget Mavs (1981-84). He has taken teams to Newfoundland, Ottawa and New Hampshire (1980s). He operated and instructed at hockey schools in Manitoba, P.E.I., Ontario, Tampa, Fla., and at six rinks in Pictou County – all the while transferring his acquired knowledge to the kids in Pictou County.
He knows the impact a coach can have on youth and hopes that his has been positive.
“I tried to challenge them to become better players, to compete at their highest level, to respect themselves and others at all times, to love what they are doing, to have a passion for what they are doing, that their personal development meant more to me than winning or losing a hockey game and that I protected them and tried to ensure that they were always a safe environment, and that I treated them with respect.”
If he wins the money he’d like to see it go to helping kids with the expenses of hockey, to skills development and to any repairs that might be needed at the Westville Rink.
For Craig Clarke, there is no question where the majority would go. It’d be used to fix up the Hector Arena, which is in need of some significant – and costly upgrades.
“Obviously with what’s going on in the rink in Pictou it’s pretty timely,” he said.
He said, he agreed to the nomination and participation in the contest, not for personal recognition but with the hopes that it’ll help out the program.
He said $100,000 would be huge for the organization and money that would otherwise be very hard to raise.
He encourages people to think about it in terms of what it can do in terms of the Hector Arena.
“We’re in a crucial situation here,” he said. “She’s sudden death overtime. We got to score.”
Clarke coaches his two young daughters at the local and provincial levels and he is a strong advocate for the importance and advancement of female hockey. While coaching, Craig has developed the “Golden Puck” award, which is awarded after each game to a player who demonstrates teamwork and hard work. He has also implemented “Keys to Success” for another team he coaches, with one golden key going to a player who shows dedication to doing the little things right and the other key going to a player who shows hard work. He is the development co-ordinator for the Pictou County Female Hockey Association and each year he mentors new coaches to get them comfortable with coaching on their own.
For more on each of these men and their contributions or to vote visit www.krafthockeygoeson.ca
On Twitter: NGNewsAdam