fbpx
5.9 C
Elmira
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Connecting Our Communities

Friends of Hockey to host annual equipment swap next week

Elmira-based charitable group looks to make the sport more accessible by keeping down some of the costs

TRENDING

Restored Victorian home in Elmira the subject of TV competition

Along with the influx of visitors that comes with the holiday season, Elmira will see one new...

New MP jumps to the next stage

Ever since he was elected as the new Liberal Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga during the October...

End of an era for MP

Two weeks having passed since the federal election, Harold Albrecht has had time to reflect on his...

Meet the candidates

By Veronica Reiner & Aneta Rebiszewski Five candidates are vying for your vote in...

THIS WEEK

Elmira
clear sky
5.9 ° C
8.3 °
3 °
61 %
1.5kmh
1 %
Thu
8 °
Fri
7 °
Sat
5 °
Sun
3 °
Mon
3 °

Woolwich residents in need of some new hockey gear ahead of the season, or those looking to offload some outgrown equipment, would do well to pass by the Friends of Hockey annual equipment swap next week at the Woolwich Memorial Centre.

Helping to make Canada’s favourite sport accessible to all, the Friends of Hockey will once again be handing out equipment for kids in the township free of charge.

At the same time, they’ll be accepting donations of gently used equipment that will be passed on to new owners.

“We’ve accumulated a lot of equipment again over the year and we’re just looking to distribute it throughout the community,” explained Kyle Rank, one of the organizers with Friends of Hockey. “So if kids have outgrown some equipment that they obviously no longer need, we would love for them to come by the arena and exchange it for some bigger stuff.”

The idea, says Rank, is to make the sport more affordable for parents and their kids, especially those living in Woolwich.

“Hockey equipment is not cheap. To outfit a kid starting hockey, you’re probably looking at upwards of $500,” notes Rank. “Any way we can help out just to get more kids playing is kind of our goal of the charity.”

The equipment swap is a fairly new initiative for the Friends of Hockey, a group which has its roots going back decades in the township. The group was started by Rank’s father, Richard Rank, along with Bob Waters and Jim Radcliffe. Radcliffe continues to be a part of the charity, while Water’s son Rob and Kyle continue on with their fathers’ work.

“Since the passing of both our fathers, we’ve sort of taken it over. And we’ve basically helped kids financially for probably 15 to 20 years, and now the equipment aspect has taken place in the last three years,” said Rank.

In that way, Rank is carrying on the legacy of his father Richard, who last year had a street named after him in Elmira in recognition of his contributions to minor hockey in the township. Hockey also became an important part of both Kyle and his brother Garrett’s upbringing.

“When it first started, [my father] was like, ‘you know what, hockey’s been pretty important in our lives,’ and he just kind of wanted other people to get involved so they could see the benefits of their children growing up playing hockey,” he said.

“So obviously for my dad, hockey was a huge part of his life. And then us growing up, we played minor hockey in Elmira and then … both my brother and I played with the Sugar Kings. Then I went on to play some pro hockey, and then obviously with my brother reffing in the NHL, hockey’s been an important part of our life.”

Those looking to donate their old equipment are encouraged to come by as well, notes Rank, with the biggest demand being anything red – the colour of rep hockey in Woolwich.

“We’re trying to stock up our inventory. The big expense is red, always the red equipment because when the kids make a rep team in Woolwich, it’s red for the boys and girls. So normally if kids have black helmets or whatever, all of a sudden they make a rep team and they need to switch over to the red equipment. So it can be a little bit pricey for some parents,” he said.

“But any way we can help out, we’re pretty happy to step up and do so.”

The equipment swap is being held on August 15 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the WMC in Elmira. Although they’re holding just the one event, the Friends of Hockey are able to give and receive hockey gear throughout the year. Those unable to make it to equipment swap can reach out to the group through their website at Friends of Hockey.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

LIVING HERE

When disaster strikes, they answer the call

An Elmira couple has dedicated their retirement time to helping people across North America rebuild their lives after a natural disaster strikes. Karen and Willard Martin travel to various...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

EDSS looks to make use of new push for skilled-trades training

With measures taken on the provincial level to encourage high school students to enter the skilled trades, EDSS is in the process...

Region’s youth job-training program wins innovation award; now set to expand

An employment program in Waterloo Region that “aims to break the cycle of poverty” has been officially recognized at the provincial level...

Elmira’s Kambel Beacom gets hockey scholarship to Syracuse

Still a student at EDSS, Elmira’s Kambel Beacom already has her postsecondary plans in place – well, mostly – as she’s received...

Wellesley rec. complex project moves into fundraising mode

Wellesley Township having cleared the way for a potential new $22-million recreation complex, the focus is now on putting together a fundraising campaign...

Virgil Wins the Lottery … but, then again, maybe not

It’s easy to day dream about striking it rich quick by winning the lottery, and all the possibilities that come along with...

Team Canada prepares for para ice tournament with training camp at WMC

The Woolwich Memorial Centre was the training ground last week for 22 elite athletes on Canada’s National Para Ice Hockey team. Their presence...
- Advertisement -