Lori Hogg-Turski among inspiring group of moms gracing the gridiron for Manitoba Fearless

As the impact of women’s football continues to make its mark in Manitoba, there are no shortage of remarkable competitors contributing to this mythos. Ranging in numerous ages, this sorority of gridiron ambition also includes wondrous women balancing family life with their sporting endeavors.

Such a competitor includes Lori Hogg, a proud mother who also pulls double duty as one of the veteran leaders for the Manitoba Fearless, one of the province’s signature teams for elite female football. Having cultivated a love for the gridiron game since childhood, it also became a pastime in those formative years, helping nurture the drive for sporting equality. Calling her sister, a friendly rival in those days, Hogg reflects on those days with a fond nostalgia.

While many years were also spent on the frozen perimeter competing in ice hockey, another sport where women have made tremendous inroads, Hogg’s appreciation for football never wavered.

Making her debut with the Fearless back in 2014, Hogg quickly established herself as one of the squad’s iron women, able to play both offense and defense. Competing against the Regina Riot, one of the nation’s most formative clubs, such an inspiring performance culminated with a sense of pathos, as the climax provided an unforgiving welcome to the game,

“I have always been interested in football. I used to play with the boys at lunch time, my sister and I used to be the only girls that would go out and play. We always ended up being the quarterbacks against each other.

The first time I played for the Fearless was in 2014, and played both sides of the ball. It was exciting, nerve racking, and lots of fun. Until I tore my Achilles in the last minute of the game in Regina.”

Hogg-Turski (#64) in action with the Fearless. Photo by Kris Scoran

Employing tremendous resiliency and perseverance, Hogg was not deterred by injury, an all-too obligatory component of the game. Forging along, establishing a solid body of work, Hogg’s legacy with the Fearless is one defined by empowerment.

From contributing towards a new group of sporting role models in the province’s athletic lore, to setting a positive example for her children, the game has yielded many positive rewards for Hogg. While the role of mother is one mirrored by the opportunity to serve as a mentor to the younger players on the Fearless, one reciprocated as the infusion of youth on the Fearless motivated Hogg to be a better athlete, it has also resulted in the game becoming a family affair for Hogg.

As the Manitoba Girls Football Association (MGFA) has become a power plant of elite football talent for the province’s two clubs in the WWCFL, highlighted by alum Julie Sprague trying out for Canada’s national team in 2017, the promise of other prospective talent is exemplified by the efforts of Hogg’s daughters, who may one day join her as the premier mother-daughter duo in Manitoba football, emulating the Matheson family from the Saskatoon Valkyries.

“I find it totally empowering that I am able to go out and do what I do in the practices and the games. I strive to be the best that I can be in the position that I play, trying to outdo the much younger women on the team.

Being a mom is even more empowering. I find that most moms with kids my age do not do the physical activities, and I feel I am just getting better. My kids are 100% supportive. My husband brings them to every game in Winnipeg to watch.

This year, all four of my kids decided that they wanted to play football. I have three girls and a boy. Two of the girls played with the MGFA this spring, and one daughter and my son are playing in the fall football league. We definitely have all caught the football bug! I wish I would have had the opportunity when I was much younger!”

The feeling of family is one that has also defined Hogg’s journey as a member of the Fearless. In discussing the dynamic of belonging to such a unique gathering of athletic talent, it is a culture composed of friendship and belonging. Such elements also extend to the offseason. As several women from the club also spend numerous summer evenings attending Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ games together, some garbed in Fearless gold, it represents more than just the extension of teamwork and a gratifying connection to their CFL brothers. Hogg is helping to foster the close culture that is not only the hallmark of the Fearless, but may one day serve as the foundation in the attainment of their championship dreams,

“Our Fearless Family is just that, a family. Once you have joined, you are like sisters, on and off the field. We go to battle on the field, supporting one another each play, and the entire game. We work to try and make each other better every time we strap on the pads. I have made a lot of great friends from playing with the team, and they are people you would definitely go to bat for.”

While Hogg’s career remains a work in progress, one filled with the exciting possibilities consisting of many more cherished moments, the journey so far is one that has evolved into a labor of love. The sense of satisfaction attained from a job well done, executing a play to perfection, both encompass a series of successful procedural tasks that have culminated into an overall realization that makes Hogg proud to wear the Fearless helmet.

As such minutiae define why Hogg loves the game, part of a rich narrative, there are still those occasional moments that stand out, allowing Hogg to revel in the subsequent splendours that rise to the surface. Certainly, said moments are the most enjoyable when they take place against the Fearless’ archrivals, the Winnipeg Wolfpack.
Comprising one of the most unique sporting rivalries in the province, the never-ending battle between such distinguished competitors is one where all players elevate the intensity of their game. When the elements play a factor in the game’s complexion, it adds luster to an already stirring rivalry, enriching the achievements that take place, especially when the final outcome is a hard-fought win,

“There are a lot of favorite moments that I have with the Fearless. When I am able to do my job whenever I go out on the field, I always feel a sense of accomplishment. I think my favorite all time was when we defeated our cross town rivals on a rainy cold day. We came together as a team and pulled out the W.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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