You need more than just skill and determination to have success in the game of hockey; the sport’s physical and mental demands calls for rigorous training and exercise by athletes in order to maximize their full potential.

It is with that in mind that Graham and LuAnn Snyder donated the money needed to purchase both off-ice and on-ice athletic training aids to Woolwich Minor Hockey through the Dan Snyder Foundation.

HOP TO IT Mackenzie Willms of the Woolwich Major Atom team jumps over some hurdles during the team’s dry-land training session Tuesday night. The hurdles were part of the training aids purchased using a $1,600 donation from the Dan Snyder Foundation.

A total of about $1,600 was donated to Tony Code’s Woolwich Hockey Academy in August to purchase the training aids, with the understanding that the equipment would then be donated to Woolwich Minor Hockey.

“The training aids are something that we felt that could be used not only by the academy but by minor hockey and by the Kings throughout the year,” said Graham Snyder. “Training is a big part of the game of hockey, and I know Dan was very, very in to training and into fitness.”

There is a wide range of equipment to choose from, from medicine balls and hurdles to help increase explosiveness and foot speed, to on-ice stick handling aids called attack triangles and mini parachutes to increase resistance, as well as skipping ropes and balance boards, just to name a few.

“Balance boards are great to try to solidify a good hockey stance and for having good balance, because that’s key to everything in hockey,” said Tony Code, coach of the Woolwich Major Atom team.

Code is very grateful to the Snyder family for their generous donation to minor hockey, and said that anyone interested in using the equipment is welcome to. It is being stored in a locked chest at the far end of the Dan Snyder Memorial rink and the key is available for signing out at the front desk.

The coach is also hosting an impromptu training session this Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the arena for any coaches interested in coming out to see how the equipment can be used.

“There is so much you can do and any coaches with half an imagination can come up with stuff to keep the kids busy,” said Code.

The Dan Snyder Foundation, named after Graham and LuAnn’s late son, is their way of keeping Dan’s legacy alive after he was killed in car crash back in October of 2003.

Dan played hockey in Elmira for the Kings before suiting up for the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Platers, the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, and realized his dream of playing in the NHL with the Atlanta Thrashers before the crash that claimed his life.

Currently the foundation is working on updating its website, 37risingstars.com, as well as installing an interactive showcase in the Woolwich Memorial Centre with a portion dedicated to ongoing news and information about the foundation, as well as Woolwich Minor Hockey.

Every year the group also awards the annual Dan Snyder Memorial Scholarship to local athletes for use towards their post-secondary education. This year’s recipients – Jarred Parent, Corin Metzger and Robyn Beckett – were each awarded $1,200.

“We try and service the community, it’s important,” said Snyder of the foundation’s efforts.

“There were a lot of very generous donors to our foundation from the hockey world and from this community, and we’d like to keep giving back for as long as we can.”