A Hockey World United
We may not have known the Humboldt Broncos players or the coaching staff but the tragic loss of life of 16 member of their team has touched the hearts of the hockey world. Falklands Xtreme Sports was made aware of this sad news when CBHA coach Gary Slavin had posted on his Facebook timeline of the incident and had mentioned Logan Schatz who he had coached and trained as a Canadian ball hockey junior player. You will all remember Gary who had visited the Islands with Dave Weloy to help coach ball hockey to our juniors and adult players. Gary and Dave have played a massive part in growing ball hockey to the level it has gotten to in the Falkland Islands and we wanted to show our support for the Humboldt Broncos and their families and players through our links with Gary.
I can touch base with what Gary was saying that players may not be his direct family but having trained so many players at a young level to see them grow into young adults it can effect you when something as tragic as this happens. And this would be the same for any person who is teaching, training or coaching juniors as you are a massive part of their life in some way or the other and so you will naturally feel the loss of any one of them greatly. Just ask my partner who is training to be a teacher and she would agree with this statement.
Recently I had one of the parents contact me to let me know that their daughter had mentioned me in a story at their school and how passionate I was about hockey and what Gary and Dave had done for her when they were down. This little message just hit home how as a coach you can have such a positive effect on children's lives and that they appreciate what you do for them, no matter how big or small. To know that you are helping them in anyway and to have an impact on their lives gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. I am proud of each and every junior player in our league and proud of what they have achieved and can achieve in their lives. Seeing photos of coaching staff taking their teams and parents out for meals just goes to show how sport can bring people together for all the right reasons. Its the little things in life like this that make you smile and makes you realise all the hard work is well worth it.
On April 12th the junior players took the opportunity to wear their shirts to show their support for the Broncos and that our thoughts were with the families and players during this hard time. It was a last minute decision to organise this as we had only just been notified the night before due to our shirt supplier LAGA Sports posting a status on their Facebook page to wear your jersey to show support for the Broncos. We were not sure if it would gain enough support due to the short notice, but we were not to be let down as loads of children turned up to school wearing their team colours from the respective hockey leagues in the Islands. We had ball hockey and inline hockey represented on the day. Fantastic stuff and a big thank you to all those involved and especially Karen Armstrong-Ford for helping to get the message across in the IJS in the morning.
There was also an opportunity for our little stars of the future to show their respect and undertake a 1 minutes silence for the Broncos during the game between the Walker Creek Warriors and the Goose Green Cavaliers. They showed tremendous respect and after the end of the one minute silence the combined hands in cheer for the Broncos brought goose bumps to the skin. To be able to be part of this and to see such support from our junior players makes you proud to be involved with what we are doing here.
As I mentioned in the first paragraph we may not have know the team members but it effects us all to learn and know about such a terrible loss of life, especially when something like this could have been prevented. And if you haven't seen the petition going around there are over 8000 people pushing to make the necessary changes to the junction in Saskatchewan where the players tragically lost their lives. So please sign it even if you have never been there or know of it, sign it and lets get it changed as you may just save someones life.
Thank you to everyone for helping to show support for the Humboldt Broncos and I can tell you Gary is proud of what we have done no matter how small to remember those junior players cruelly lost when they had their lives ahead of them. And to the families we show our support and thoughts are with them during this sad time.
And remember when you pull on your team shirt, its not just a shirt, an emblem it signifies teamwork, friendship, pride and most importantly family. You are part of something bigger than just a player in the team, you are a part of the family and you are all growing together and supporting one another.