They’ve got the fun on ice for the kids
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They’ve got the fun on ice for the kids

The annual Kids & Cops event has been giving Twin Centre Minor Hockey players a chance to share ice time with the Waterloo Region Police Service and the Kitchener Rangers since 1999. So deep has it been embedded on the township’s annual calendar that it’s hard to believe it nearly vanished.

“We were actually debating about packing it in this year – we talked about it a wee bit,” said Danny Bisch, organizer of the event.

You never know who you’ll meet at Kids & Cops. The 15th annual event brings Kitchener Rangers and Twin Centre Stars together at Wellesley arena.[Submitted]
You never know who you’ll meet at Kids & Cops. The 15th annual event brings Kitchener Rangers and Twin Centre Stars together at Wellesley arena. [Submitted]
“Then I talked to a co-op student … I said, ‘Yeah, we’ve been doing it 15 years, maybe it’s time to pack it in.’ He said, ‘You can’t pack it in!’ I said, ‘Why is that?’ ‘Danny, I looked forward to that every year I played minor hockey.’

“When I heard that from him, I said, ‘Oh! Okay…’”

And so the event lives to see another year – the 15th annual, in fact. Bisch couldn’t have predicted the event would last this long when he started it as a way to liven up beginner-level hockey practice.

“I was with my son in minor hockey, and he was in initiation,” Bisch remembered. “Like, puck handling, skating, drills – not games, because we were told we’re not supposed to have games until the kids could stick handle and skate properly.”

He continued, “Then I just thought the kids are getting bored, and that we’d create a fun day for the kids. I started to go with my son’s team and my daughter said, ‘Dad, if you’re doing it with the guys, how come you can’t do it with the girls?’ She played ringette, so we joined up with a ringette team.”

The event typically brings around 160 Atom-age hockey players registered with Twin Centre Minor Hockey and the Twin Centre Hericanes for a day of ice drills and public skating. The Kitchener Rangers are on hand for a practice from 11:30-12:20, and for a game against the top fundraising team from 12:30-12:45.

“It breaks up the monotony of playing hockey,” Bisch said. “They get to be on the ice with the Wellesley Applejacks; they get to shoot pucks against the policemen; they get to race against the radar gun; they actually get to touch a policeman by pushing an officer on the GT Snow Racer. It takes away the fear.”

“It’s just a fun day,” he added.

All of which raises the question: could Bisch, along with treasurer Rick Grebinski and WRPS Const. Tracy Schnarr, really give up this event so easily?

“I’m always there for kids,” Bisch said. “I started coaching ball when I was about 19 – soccer, hockey, I’ve always been involved with kids and sports, and I’ve always enjoyed it. … All the volunteers we’ve got running this have no kids involved in hockey at all.”

The 15th Annual Kids & Cops takes place Saturday at the Wellesley arena, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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