Northern Pen : 2020-03-25

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3 SALTWIRE.COM • THE NORTHERN PEN WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2020 it was great for the kids.” The collection of broomball awards for Conche teams grew after that, with several provincial trophies. They also competed at numerous Atlantic tournament­s and a few national tournament­s. “They always had fun at the tournament­s, and it was great socializat­ion for the players as they always hung around the arena and watched other games as well,” Gardiner said. It also gave them a chance to meet new friends and see new places beyond their small hometown. “They were among themselves all the time here in the school. It was only just them.” Gardiner says it was community support that helped make it happen. It meant fundraisin­g on many weekends through the year — from bingos to bake sales and more — to enable them to attend the tournament­s. Everyone locally was behind the team, she says. People from communitie­s around the region also helped. “I wouldn’t have this award only for that because we wouldn’t have been able to do it.” There’s no junior broomball team in Conche now. By the time Gardiner retired in 2008 there were only 23 children in the all-grade school. They had to give up on broomball a few years before that because there just weren’t enough girls from Conche, or nearby Croque, to make up a junior team. In fact, there’s no junior broomball in the province. Only memories remain, and Gardiner has a lot of them. “They (girls) loved it and they played their hearts out,” Gardiner said. “Everyone was so proud of them. “They used to have parades and everything when they came back. It’s not only the winning part of it. It was a big part of the community. It just made everyone feel pretty good.” Following the award presentati­on Gardiner received many messages of praise on social media. Former teaching colleague Mary Foley says Gardiner, “unselfishl­y gave of her time, talent and advice for students to make the best of what they had when our school was without a gym.” She also noted Gardiner also devoted countless hours to fundraisin­g, making travel arrangemen­ts and ordering jerseys for the team. Foley’s daughter was a member of one of the teams Gardiner coached. She says parents held her in high regard, and respect, as did the players. In a Facebook post, Foley wrote, “She taught them valuable lessons in sportsmans­hip ... respect for all teams, and in having fun. The team ‘Stingers’ will be forever grateful for those fun times and wonderful years. Because you cared, our children will have wonderful memories to cherish forever. We will be forever grateful.” Still, Gardiner remains modest. “I didn’t feel like taking all the credit because I had lots of people helping me. “I loved coaching. It was rewarding. But you can’t feel like that unless you got a good group of kids. And you must have a lot of people behind you.” CONCHE, N.L. — Ida Gardiner is modest about winning a top provincial award, crediting community support for helping her build award-winning teams. The former coach of junior broomball teams from Sacred Heart All Grade School was inducted March 11 into the Broomball Newfoundla­nd and Labrador Hall of Fame. “I felt privileged and I was happy," Gardiner said, "but it was a whole community. I didn’t just do it myself.” The ceremony in Port aux Choix was held during the senior broomball provincial­s the first weekend in March. Gardiner, who grew up in Conche and was a teacher there for 30 years, started coaching junior girls broomball teams in the 1980s. She loves sports, and is a hockey fanatic, but admits she wasn’t much of an athlete as a child. “But I love coaching.” With no indoor rink, Gardiner’s teams had to practice on the old airstrip or on the harbour ice. “The men used to shovel it off and then in the evenings they would be up there in trucks with the lights on the ice to let them practice,” Gardiner recalled. In 1989, she took a team to the provincial­s for the first time. St. Anthony hosted. And Gardiner’s team won. “We won the provincial­s that year and then we went to New Brunswick and won the Atlantics, and I think there were four out of six on the dream team from Conche. We never lost a game. “It was pretty amazing, and Glenburnie, Woody Point dictated. He is confident there will be no shortage of product and they will continue to put items depleted by demand on grocery shelves across the province. Tel: 453-2471 STEPHENVIL­LE, N.L. — Western Wholesale Ltd. in Stephenvil­le has been extra busy since the escalation of the COVID-19 situation. Manager Gary Aucoin said people may be stocking up on some items, but they still have lots of inventory in their warehouses located on Connecticu­t Drive. The business supplies dry groceries to locations across the island, from Port aux Basques to the east coast of the province. Western Wholesale Ltd. was purchased by the second generation of Coleman executives after the company underwent a major expansion in 1982, which included buying six retail grocery outlets spanning Newfoundla­nd’s west coast. With the wholesale business, Coleman group could independen­tly procure, warehouse and distribute to its holdings. The company's expansion though central to eastern Newfoundla­nd has followed. Aucoin said on Thursday and Friday of last week alone, nine loads of freight were coming into their building and more product would be following as demand frank.gale@thewestern­ @western_star © 2020 Bombardier Recreation­al Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ®, TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affi liates. This offer is valid in Canada only at participat­ing Ski-Doo® dealers on new and unused Ski-Doo snowmobile­s (excluding racing models and units sold under the Spring Fever promotion) purchased, delivered and registered between March 1, 2020, and March 31, 2020. The terms and conditions may vary depending on your province and these offers are subject to terminatio­n or change at any time without notice. See your Ski-Doo dealer for details. 3-year warranty PLUS $1,500 on select 2019 models: †Get 3 years of factory coverage on select 2019 models: Eligible units are select new and unused 2019 Ski-Doo models. 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