Hockey Canada visits Taylor school kids

By on November 5, 2015
Kids from Taylor Elementary School work through a typical training Hockey Canada program. Photo: Julia Lovett

Kids from Taylor Elementary School work through a typical training Hockey Canada program. Photo: Julia Lovett

TAYLOR – “Go Canada, go,” yelled the children from the Taylor  Elementary School. The group of about 150 Taylor Tigers had a visit from Hockey Canada on Tuesday, Nov. 3, who talked to them not only about healthy living and eating habits and also about being working hard and being nice to others.

“We use hockey as a big voice cause hockey can [have] contact with a lot of kids, especially in Canada, so for us to just come for a quick message and having contact with the [kids], we feel we can help from that standpoint,” said Joel Bouchard, Hockey Canada manager.

To get the children’s attention, the Hockey Canada representatives screened a short video of different clips from previous games. As the children laughed at the payers’ onscreen antics and cheered on their national team, the teachers, town councillors and Rob Fraser, mayor of Taylor all had smiles on their faces.

“I have to say that this group was really excited and…I think that they had a blast watching the video and I could see their reaction and we’re all laughing from seeing them cause I’m sure that video was built up to be inspiring, be funny, be encouraging and that’s exactly what happened,” said Bouchard.

The reaction to how the visit went was a overwhelmingly positive one.

“I’m feeling very excited, I’m very happy with the assembly that we had here at at the Taylor school. It was awesome,” said Fraser after the children went back to their classes.

“The message of citizenship through sports is a huge message and it’s really really exciting to hear our kids hear that and see them be excited about it,” he added.

James Borrelli, athletic therapist for Team Canada Red, had the willing and enthusiastic audience up on their feet doing stretches and jumping jacks. While he led the group of eager participants, the children laughed and followed along. As Borrelli led the the children through their stretches, he told them about the hockey players’ routines.

“They’re always moving, they’re not laying in bed all day or sitting on their butts at home watching TV…they’re active,” he said.

As the group went from one exercise to another, Shawn Bullock, member of Canada Men’s Hockey watched with great interest at the young hockey fans.

“I think that’s fabulous to tie in sport with life in general and just a little bit of a pump up and feel good about things that they can do in their lives,” said Bullock.

He explained that Taylor was the only school in the area who reached out the the sports group and that was the reason they only went to one school but that they would gladly go and speak with others.

As for the Under-17 players, according to Bullock, all three Canadian teams are in good standings and he looks forward the rest of the week.

“It’s about positioning today and making sure you get as high a seat as you can in your group and then it’s sudden death,” he said.

“We think we’re in a good spot, our teams are getting better everyday which is typical for a Canadian team that just comes together. So we’re excited about the direction of our teams and looking for some success,” he said.

The three teams will have play each other in two games on Nov. 5 to see who will make it to the next rounds but for now, the young Tigers, a few of whom wish to become hockey players themselves, learned about different ways to achieve their goals.

“Every time you guys are involved with sports, yes there is the competition…you need to add dedication,” Bouchard said.

As he spoke, audience tried to understand what dedication meant, to which he explained: “You et up and say ‘you know what? I’m going to kick a soccer ball around, I’m going to go and do some exercise…that’s dedication,” he said, noting that it take practice to be good at something.

“It’s bigger than them, it’s bigger than all of us…I think to be helping the kids and make them believe in dreams and accomplishing [something] and obviously hockey is a big dream for all kids,” he said.

Julia Lovett

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