Stanley Stick Hockey Supports Teamwork & Play
March 19, 2018
"Playing with a team of new friends” was what one nine-year-old boy enjoyed the most about playing hockey with the Stanley Stick Hockey Association. His mom added, “Hockey has been so good in helping him learn about working with a team and was a great opportunity for physical fitness and socializing.”
Since 1975, Stanley Stick has been providing a fun, nurturing, positive hockey experience for kids aged 5 to 17 in the city of Guelph. They offer a structured hockey league that is focused on skating, passing, stickhandling and most of all, team play. The league is completely run and managed by volunteers, from the directors and administrators right through to the referees and coaches, and as a result, there exists a spirit of respect and co-operation. The focus is on fun and fair play in all age groups with skill development being at the forefront over winning and competition.
With the spirit of cooperation and teamwork, it’s understandable that Stanley Stick believes in teaming up with community organizations too. This has been demonstrated through their fundraising efforts which have supported the Children’s Foundation Free to Play Program.
“We hold a holiday skate and in-house tournament to raise funds,” says Gordon Reed, Treasurer for SSHA. “We really want kids to be active and build their confidence and learn team skills. We like the fact that our support goes to youth in our community, and that it allows youth who are financially challenged to have the same opportunity to play.”
Thanks to Stanley Stick’s help, 25 more kids have been able to hit the ice over the past few years. “Without the support of community partners, we wouldn’t be able to help so many kids be active, socialize, and experience the camaraderie of playing on a team,” says Program Director, Karyn Kirkwood. “We are honoured that Stanley Stick has chosen the Free to Play Program to support. They’re a shining example of team spirit and how working together can maximize the impact in our community.”
Here’s just one example of the impact Stanley Stick’s support has made for a family:
“Playing hockey is great exercise for my son, and it helps him learn the importance of being a team player and working with others. Most of all, it is very fun for him and an opportunity to connect with old friends and make new ones. It is especially rewarding for us as parents to see our son do something he loves so much. For years, before we knew about the Free to Play program, he wanted to play hockey like his friends and we did not have the funds. It brings us great joy to see him be able to participate in his favorite sport despite the financial hardship we find ourselves in. This funding has meant so much to our son and it means so much to us for him to be able to play hockey as he loves it so much.”