Sometimes it’s just about the love of the game, and on Tuesday this week, the good folks at BC Hockey came to town to show it.
As part of an eight-week, province-wide tour, BC Hockey program generalist Allie Moore and her team arrived at Georgia Park Elementary Tuesday morning to have some fun with the kids.
“We’re going around to about 40 communities all across B.C. to promote healthy living and floorball,” Moore says, “along with, of course, celebrating the upcoming World Junior Tournament. We started up in Northern B.C. in Smithers, Fort St. John, Prince George and Williams Lake, then we went down through the Kootenays and the Okanagan and now we’re on the Island.”
Despite being just about ready to wrap up the exhausting tour, the energy was high, the atmosphere was electric and every face in the gymnasium – which was slowly filling with about 300 kids – had a smile on it.
“It’s been really fun,” Moore says. “Usually we go into all these towns and spend all our time at the arena, so it’s been really neat to get into the schools and see the kids who maybe don’t play hockey and see their interest in it. We’ve had a really good response from the teachers and the kids and it’s been super fun.”
As part of the tour, members from local hockey organizations join in and show up to demonstrate, as well as show the kids some basic skills like stick handling, passing and shooting. In Campbell River, that honour belonged to the Midget A Tyees.
“It works really well, because not only do they have some skills to share, but they act as role models for the younger kids, and a lot of times, they’ve grown up going to these schools, so it’s nice that they get to come back and help out the younger kids as they come up and hopefully can pass on some of their love for the game.”
The crew also consisted of Celly the Spirit Bear, who kept the kids entertained with his dance moves and high-fives while the demonstrations took place. He also served as a the goaltender during the shooting drill, which was hilarious for the kids, because he’s clearly not trained in that – he’s a bear, after all.
As an added bonus in thanks for having them, the organization also gifted the school a batch of new floorball equipment to keep after the demonstrations were over. Floorball is much like what most people picture when they hear the term floor hockey, but with specific types of equipment and a few different rules.
The tour was also part of BC Hockey’s 100th anniversary celebration, which has been running all year and will continue up to February of next year at the Canada Winter Games.
Find out more about BC Hockey’s history and how it’s become the organization it is at bchockey.net