RCAF sweeps national sports awards

News Article / October 24, 2018

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RCAF public affairs

Air Force blue was the colour of the evening during the 30th annual Canadian Armed Forces Sports Awards presentation held October 18, 2018, in Ottawa.

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s Major Serge Faucher was inducted into the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Sports Honour Roll and RCAF personnel took home five out of five of the sports achievement awards.

“I am tremendously proud of our RCAF athletes, who ‘cleaned the table’ at the Canadian Armed Forces sports awards this year,” said Major-General Christian Drouin, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division / Canadian NORAD Region, and CAF Triathlon Patron. “As the RCAF’s operational commander, I truly believe that physical fitness is key to our ability to achieve a high level of operational effectiveness and readiness. I am therefore committed to inspiring and fostering a culture that values health and wellness.”

The RCAF sweep of the sports awards came on the heels of another prestigious sports win for the RCAF. Last month, the RCAF’s Lieutenant Baron Hordo took home the Queen’s Medal for top shot in the Regular Force at the Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Competition.

The ceremony, considered to be the highlight of the CAF sports year, recognizes athletic excellence in the CAF. Athletes, coaches and officials, serving and retired, are honoured for their outstanding athletic performances or remarkable contributions to sport.

“Canadian Armed Forces Chief Warrant Officer [Alain] Guimond and I expect all our people to exhibit the highest standards of physical fitness,” said General Jon Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff. “Key to meeting and exceeding this expectation is sport.

“An important part of our culture, sport not only helps prepare us for the demands we face on operations, but also helps us better manage stress, build meaningful connections with friends and colleagues, and make healthy lifestyle choices for our whole family.”

Earlier this year, Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger, commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, announced the winners of the 2017 RCAF Sports Achievement Awards. All those winners automatically went on to represent the RCAF at the 2018 National Awards Ceremony.

2018 national award recipients

Honour Roll

Major Serge Faucher—Track and Field (RCAF)

Warrant Officer (retired) Stan Poirier—Fastball

Sergeant Ivan Karin—Volleyball

Dedication to CAF Sports

Master Warrant Officer Chuck Harvey—Volleyball

Corporal Kevin Cardinal—Hockey

Female Athlete

Captain Sara Graves—Triathalon (RCAF)

Male Athlete

Lieutenant Colonel Eric Travis—Triathalon (RCAF)


Captain Gérard Caron—Multi-sports (RCAF)


Captain Steven Stuart—Volleyball (Royal Canadian Navy)

Although Captain Stuart is currently employed by and was nominated by the Navy, he is a member of the RCAF.


3 Wing Bagotville—Men’s Ball Hockey Team (RCAF)

The 3 Wing ball hockey team members are Officer Cadet Mathieu Bélanger, Sergeant Samuel Bergeron, Corporal Jean-François Bérubé (from Montreal—pick up), Aviator Samuel Brassard-Lajoie, Captain Gérard Caron (Coach of the Year), Master Corporal Yannick Fredette, Sergeant Josua Gauvin, Sergeant Andrew Glessing (from Ottawa—pick up), Master Corporal Dany Girard, Master Corporal Claude Houde, Corporal Charles Houle, Corporal Étienne Jean, Corporal Bryan Legault, Master Corporal Dany Munger, Master Corporal Mathieu Néron, Master Corporal Jean-Mathieu Perrier, Corporal Simon Proulx (from Montreal—pick up), Master Corporal Marc Tessier, Sergeant Mathieu Tremblay, Master Corporal Mathieu Tremblay-Boudreault, and Master Corporal Théo Van Houtte.

About the Awards

The CAF Sports Hall of Fame is the highest honour in the Sports Awards Program. The CAF Sports Hall of Fame recognizes inductees for bringing fame to themselves and honour to the CAF through their contributions to sport. They may be nominated as elite competitors, coaches, officials, trainers or administrators in a military or civilian sports program, or combination thereof. (There are no inductees for 2018.)

The CAF Sports Honour Roll follows the Hall of Fame as the second-highest honour in the CAF Sports Awards Program. The CAF Honour Roll recognizes athletes, coaches, officials and administrators who have distinguished themselves through high-calibre athletic performance or longstanding contribution to sports.

The CAF Sports Achievement Awards are a series of annual awards designed to recognize outstanding athletes, coaches, officials and teams who have excelled in sport during the previous calendar year.  Nominees may be recognized for participating in CAF or CISM competition, and/or in provincial, national or international civilian competition.

The Dedication to CAF Sports Award recognizes the outstanding contributions of an individual or group to the CAF Sports Program. This award recognizes individuals or groups who have gone above and beyond to provide time, effort and support to the promotion and development of CAF Sports.

RCAF Citations

Major Serge Faucher

Track and Field
Royal Canadian Air Force Headquarters
Ottawa, Ontario

Major Faucher’s impressive accomplishments as a track and field athlete (sprinting) have made him an inspiring military athlete. Training as much as twice a day on top of his military duties, Major Faucher has had remarkable success at the national and international level, competing at five Masters World Championships, three US Masters National Championships, thirteen Canadian Masters National Championships, and three CAF National Running Championships. He has brought home gold and silver medals and multiple Canadian relay records.

At the 2014 Canadian Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Major Faucher was part of a team that set a Canadian and World Record in the 4×800m relay in their age category. Since then, he has added two other Canadian relay records to his list in the 4×100m and the 4×200m. Major Faucher won an individual silver medal in the 200m and set a Canadian record in the 4×400m relay at the 2018 Canadian Masters Indoor Championships. At the CAF National Running Championships, he has been on the podium twice for the 5k in his age category.

Captain Sara Graves

4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta
Royal Canadian Air Force

Captain Graves’ steely perseverance and community engagement earned her the 4 Wing Female Athlete of the Year award. Just a few months after a cycling accident in March, she competed at the 19th World Military Triathlon Championship and was the second Canadian woman to finish. Captain Graves captured a silver medal at the CAF National Triathlon Championship and improved her course best time by over 10 minutes. She rounded out her season with a 3rd place finish in her age group at the ITU World Championship and a 4th place finish overall at the Clermont Draft Legal Challenge triathlon. Captain Graves is also a leader in her community, having been instrumental in expanding the local swim club to include masters swimmers and initiating a triathlon training group.

Lieutenant Colonel Eric Travis

14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia
Royal Canadian Air Force

Lieutenant-Colonel Travis admirably balances his military duties, his family commitments and his own demanding triathlon training with managing the CAF CISM triathlon team. During his impressive 2017 season, he finished 1st in his age group and 10th overall at the Ironman 70.3 Superfrog Triathlon in California; 7th in his age group at the Penticton ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships; and in the top ten in his age group at the Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant Triathlon. In military competition, Lieutenant-Colonel Travis won gold at the CAF National Running Championships. At the CAF National Triathlon Championship, he was 4th in his age group in addition to competing at the CAF National Swimming Championships. He also found time to help at CAF Regional development camps and the Wing’s multi-sport and triathlon clubs.

Captain Gérard Caron

Multi-sports Coach
3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec
Royal Canadian Air Force

Captain Caron’s leadership and enthusiasm as a hockey and ball hockey coach propelled his teams to success in 2017. In ball hockey, his team won the CAF Regional Championship and went on to win gold at the CAF National Championship. Coaching both the base men’s and women’s hockey teams, his motivation and positivity helped his teams achieve a 2nd and 4th place finish at the CAF Regional Championship. Captain Caron’s passion for the sport led him to coach a fourth team, the Wing Officer’s Mess hockey team. On the ice, he participated as a player and coach at the CAF Regional Old Timers’ Hockey Championship.

Sergeant Giancarlo Pavone

Soccer Official
4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta
Royal Canadian Air Force

Sergeant Pavone is a very accomplished and highly sought-after official. He was an official at the prestigious Dr. Pepper Dallas Cup, the North American Soccer League, the Western Masters National Championship, the U-15 Canadian National Championships, and the CAF National and Regional Soccer Championships in addition to countless provincial and local-level championships and games. Despite such a busy schedule, Sergeant Pavone finds time to act as an instructor, referee assessor and director of officials for the Cold Lake Minor Soccer Association. Sergeant Pavone’s dedication to his sport earned him the 2017 4 Wing Official of the Year award.

3 Wing Bagotville

Men’s Ball Hockey Team
Royal Canadian Air Force

The 3 Wing Bagotville men’s ball hockey team had another excellent season in 2017. The team entered the CAF Regional Hockey Championship as the heavy favourites. After losing their first game, the team rallied together to win gold. At the CAF National Ball Hockey Championship, the team battled back from a 4th place finish after the round robin to win the gold medal. Countless hours in the gym, and working on technique and strategy had paid off. The victory was 3 Wing Bagotville’s fourth title in five years, proving the strength of their program year after year.

Additional RCAF athletes

Several RCAF members employed outside the RCAF received 2017 Sports Achievements Awards and went on to represent their respective organizations at the 2018 national awards.

Captain Claudia Beaulé

Canadian Forces Base Kingston, Ontario
Canadian Army
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Captain Beaulé is a competitive athlete in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has represented the CAF proudly at provincial and national competitions. The major highlights of her year were representing Canada at the 2017 World Master Jiu-Jitsu Championship where she won silver; gold and silver at the Ontario Open Jiu-Jitsu Championships; and gold at the CAF Military Combatives Grappling Championships. At the Ontario Open Jiu-Jitsu competitions, she won gold and silver in her category. She not only trains for competition but is also involved in instructing and engaging her peers in the sport she loves.

Major Mylène Labbé

Montreal, Quebec
Military Personnel Command

Major Labbé’s fierce determination to win led her to finish in the top five in her age category in every competition she entered in 2017. At the Canadian Masters Swimming Championships, she swam in six events and was top five in all with a silver medal in the 50m freestyle. At the CAF National Swimming Championships, Major Labbé captured three bronze medals, and while at the Quebec Provincial Masters Swimming Championships, she once again came home with three bronze medals. She topped the podium at several regional swim meets and set two club records in her age category.

Major David Simpkin

Montreal, Quebec
Military Personnel Command

A triathlete and runner, Major Simpkin is an inspiring figure for his military colleagues and an ambassador for physical fitness to those in his community. In 2017, Major Simpkin finished 3rd in his age group at the Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant Triathlon and also competed at the 19th World Military Triathlon Championship where he was the 5th top Canadian. He won gold at the CAF National Running Championship in the half-marathon distance and was 2nd at the CAF National Triathlon Championship. To round out the season, Major Simpkin finished 10th overall at the United States Armed Forces Triathlon Championship and 2nd in his age group at the Québec City Marathon.

Captain Steven Stuart

Volleyball Official
Canadian Forces Base Halifax, Nova Scotia
Royal Canadian Navy

With one international appointment, two national appointments and a host of provincial tournaments under his belt, Captain Stuart had a tremendous 2017 volleyball refereeing season. He officiated at the Canada Games, the Canadian Volleyball Championships, and was honored to represent the CAF as an official at the World Military Women’s Volleyball Championship where he refereed the gold medal match. Other highlights included refereeing at the CAF National Men’s Volleyball Championship, Nova Scotia Provincial Volleyball Championships, Atlantic Volleyball Championship and the CAF Regional Championship among numerous other meets and tournaments. Captain Stuart was selected as CAF Chief Official for volleyball, a testament to his skill as an official.

With files from Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services


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