Another season of hockey is upon us. I’d like to take the time to pay homage to the yearly ritual of lacing them up as teams are formed and pre-season tournaments fill arenas around the city.
I know this can be a stressful time for families. Tryouts lead to both successes and failures, but what should not be lost is the joy of the game, with friendships renewed and new ones developed.
I’d like to congratulate the children who have made AAA and will represent south Winnipeg proudly as members of the Monarchs. I’d also like to congratulate others who will play with the Twins at the AA level and many more who will suit up as Fort Garry Flyers and compete for championships at many other levels.
As a father of two daughters, I am extremely excited to see the number of girls and young women engaging in our national pastime. The numbers continue to grow as the fine game of ringette is not the only ice sport for young women to play.
None of this could be possible without the volunteer spirit that is so famous on the prairies.
Volunteer coaches will help develop skill and the virtues of playing as part of a team, while many other parents will fill roles to ensure the ice is purchased and name bars attached to jerseys. Still others will make sure there are social activities to enhance the games and practices.
Of course, there would be no games without officials and referees, who deserve our thanks and respect, as they do take on the task of making sure that fair play and the rules are enforced.
And, we can’t forget the men and women who make sure the ice is good, with some getting out during -30 nights to be sure the community centres have outdoor ice for our future hockey stars.