As a city that is always changing and improving, it’s expected that Campbell River’s sports’ community may do the same.
But what do players think about the support they receive from the citizens of Campbell River and our neighbouring towns, and how does it affect their drive to participate and fuel their success?
Whenever a team is hosting a fundraising event or doing a bottle drive, many residents are aware and eager to lend a helping hand. Teams and coaches take notice of these acts of generosity, which enable them to be able to play out of town or attend showcases all over the province.
“I’ve played hockey [in Campbell River] since I was five years old, and won provincials two times,” says Comox Valley Glacier Kings player, Grady Robertson. “Both times that we went, we would fundraise to be able to go, and everyone was super supportive in helping us get where we wanted to be.”
Robertson explains that without the community’s help, they “never would have been able to go” on these trips, which have been some of the most memorable parts of his hockey career thus far.
Fundraisers such as grocery store bagging, bottle drives, and food sales are some of the more frequently-used activities, and even buying a box of chocolates or donating a bag of bottles goes a long way for teams, especially after they’ve held a few fundraisers.
Former Timberline school and Crush volleyball player Abby Johannson says that teams “get a certain percentage of tips [from grocery store bagging], so that helps with fundraising for out-of-town trips and games.”
She also believes they are a great excuse for some good old-fashioned team-bonding, adding that “it’s always good for us to be out in the community as a team,” especially when it comes to presenting themselves as a united front.
But does the community always get the appreciation it deserves after lending a helping hand?
Johannson and Robertson both say that maybe they could be better at that, suggesting that perhaps teams need to make more of an effort to show their gratitude both in the midst of and during fundraising events.
A thank you can be as simple as two words, a Facebook post addressing the general public, or a previously-prepared note to be handed out to those doing the giving, Johannson says.
“I think that we need to recognize the support we’re given more often, and make sure everyone knows how much it’s appreciated,” Johannson says. “We wouldn’t be able to cover the fees of playing without the extra help.”
So even though it may not seem like it all the time, teams and players are extremely grateful for each dollar donated and fundraiser advertized, so they’d like to extend their most sincere thanks to every citizen of Campbell River who has helped them to grow over the years, as well those who will continue to help them out in the future when they see them around town.