3.5 C
Elmira
Monday, February 24, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

Woolwich Wild team fosters a real sense of community

For the second year, the girls on the squad forego gift exchange in favour of raising money for the food bank

TRENDING

News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

20-year-old agreement causes a stir

An Elmira environmentalist’s “smoking gun” appears to be shooting blanks. Al Marshall, a long-time critic of cleanup efforts at...

Forks up to farmers on well-timed Agriculture Day

February is not the most obvious time to celebrate agriculture in Canada. But that’s...

Need for dementia research will only keep growing

Along with financial insecurity due to inadequate pensions, Canadians have health issues to worry about as society ages...

THIS WEEK

Elmira
clear sky
3.5 ° C
7.8 °
-0.6 °
69 %
1.9kmh
1 %
Mon
11 °
Tue
3 °
Wed
8 °
Thu
2 °
Fri
-4 °

The Woolwich Wild Atom A squad were out in numbers, fanning through the aisles of the Food Basics store in Elmira on Sunday afternoon. This was no simple stop for some post-game munchies, however. Instead, the girls, having just wrapped up a 2-1 win over the visiting Ilderton Jets, were picking up food and supplies to donate to the Woolwich food bank.

This year, the team raised $300 by giving up their Secret Santa funds .. and with a little help from the grocer.

“We did it last year, we’re doing it again this year. We’ve raised a little more money this year,” said Dee Brun Gow, a mother of one of the players. “We’ve raised $200, and then Food Basics is kind enough to match half, so they’re giving us $100.”

Brun Gow pitched the idea a year ago as a way of instilling a sense of civic duty and community in the young players. Using hockey as a medium to bring the group together, she encouraged the youth to give back to the communities that had given them so much in turn.

“I think one of the things that is lacking in kids these days that I’m trying to do with the next generation coming up is they lack a sense of community, which in turn can lack a sense of self,” said Brun Gow. “And if they don’t understand that there’s people hungry in their community and they need to reach out and help their community, then it makes a big difference how they give back as they get older.

“They kind of forget that there’s people out there, so this one of those things we try and do just to say, ‘hey, look around – there are kids that go to school with you that don’t get breakfast.’”

It’s in some way a natural extension of the values taught in minor hockey, but applied to the community as a whole. Just look at the example of the Humboldt Broncos, says Brun Gow. When a Saskatchewan Junior A team suffered calamity in a collision en route to the SJHL semi-finals, an outpouring of support raised $15 million to support the victims and their families in the aftermath.

“You just think about hockey. Where is it? Well, it’s at the Elmira community centre. Hockey has a huge sense of community, and it’s a big community. We saw that with Humbolt,” she said.

“There are thousands of other tragedies that happen every year, and this one just really struck a nerve with people. And it’s something about hockey, about being Canadian – and girls’ hockey, especially, I’m trying to do it with.”

There’s been a growing recognition of the value of girls and women participating in Canada’s national pastime, and it’s a trend Brun Gow wants to see go further. She points to the recent Shootout Tournament held by Woolwich Wild earlier this month – the first time the township had hosted the event in a decade – as an example of the trend.

“It was a huge success, and girls’ hockey is becoming such a big thing. I just think it’s important,” she said.

Right now, the Atom A team is competing in a tough division, notes head coach Clinton Rayfield, but the team’s camaraderie has remained excellent throughout.

“So far, so good,” said Rayfield of the season. “We’re in a very tight division, meaning that there’s no easy games. So the girls have to work hard every single game if they want to be successful.”

Rayfield sees community activities like these as an important life lesson for the team.

“I think it’s really, really important to give back to our community. I think as the girls are getting older, they’re starting to see the benefits of being involved in a community like ours, like Woolwich. So this is just one way that we can try and give back,” he said.

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

Under the auctioneer’s gavel to provide help Down Under

After seeing the devastation from the Australian wildfires, a local art collector sold the first painting she ever bought on Saturday to help raise money for relief efforts there. Nancy...

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.

U.S. edges out Canada in national para hockey battle

In the natural on-ice rivalry between Canada and the U.S., the American para hockey team has had the advantage in recent years. That...

Sugar Kings win three games, clinch first place

In need of just one more win to clinch first place in the Midwestern Conference, the Elmira Sugar Kings claimed all three games...

EDSS performers take Broadway under the sea

By Steve Kannon skannon@woolwichobserver.com The tropics, under the sea or otherwise, seem like a much better place...
- Advertisement -