Gary Dent presenting the NIHL2 Cup to Stars Captain Nick Oliver in March 2014. Photo: Flyfifer photography
It’s with fantastic delight that I can announce that Gary Dent has been nominated in the Oxfordshire Sports Awards for Unsung Hero for his work in Ice Hockey, both locally and nationally over the past thirty years. It’s difficult to imagine a more appropriate category for Gary with his tireless work to improve Ice Hockey over the past thirty years.
For those of you not aware of who Gary is (especially if you’re a newer Supporter to the club) Gary has held a wide variety of roles across Ice Hockey in the City in the Oxford City Stars, the Oxford City Stars Supporters Club, the Junior Club and continues that work to this day as Ice Allocator for Oxford, taking care of the home allocations.
In addition, he also had the role of Announcer for the best part of a decade up until I replaced him in 2011, known for his eloquence on the mic, and occasional cutting remark as well Stars Team Manager and Owner between 2003 and 2011.
Nowadays, Gary spends his time as League Manager for the English Premier Ice Hockey League, keeping the big boys in check and helping to run a smooth Premier League and prior to that was a Manager of the National Ice Hockey League.
Gary has not only been a fantastic person for Oxford Ice Hockey but for the National Game, pushing for progress constantly and unnervingly. In my roles as Club Secretary for the Stars and now as Assistant League Manager for the NIHL (South), I’ve dealt with Gary on many an occasion and his greatest strength is that he will give you an honest and frank assessment on whatever you are doing if he agrees with you, disagrees with you or can think of a better way.
For me, getting into the senior league administration side of the game, Gary has been fantastic at giving me help and advice. Dealing with Gary, while it can feel at times that he’s not a person that takes sides easily, the truth is that he always does take a side, that of the sport of Ice Hockey before any person or situation.
Congratulations mate, you fully deserve it.