Moun­ties seek­ing on-ice re­demp­tion

Sec­ond Aux­il­iary Cup hockey game slated for March 2 in Bay Roberts

The Compass - - PORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

Const. John Clarke was get­ting so many chirps he had to go out and pur­chase a new hockey hel­met.

Clarke is a mem­ber of the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion District RCMP, and serves as the com­mu­nity polic­ing and drug aware­ness of­fi­cer.

He started re­ceiv­ing the good­na­tured rib­bing shortly af­ter be­ing pho­tographed wear­ing an eggshaped hel­met while par­tic­i­pat­ing in the 1st Aux­il­iary Cup hockey game last March at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts.

The game, fea­tur­ing a hy­brid team com­prised of RCMP of­fi­cers and com­mu­nity “per­son­al­i­ties,” bat­tlied the As­cen­sion Astros boys’ hockey team. The event raised more than $2,000 for lo­cal char­i­ties.

So, in ad­vance of this year’s game, Clarke wanted to avoid the teas­ing, and bought him­self a more vogu­ish lid.

“Although,” he added quickly, “I think I scored the first goal last year. I fell on my face, but I scored.”

This year’s game, in con­junc­tion with the Bay Roberts Spe­cial Events Com­mit­tee and the Recre­ation Com­mit­tee, is ten­ta­tively sched­uled for the fi­nal day of the Bay Roberts Win­ter Car­ni­val, on March 2.

Pro­ceeds from the game will go to the Co­ley’s Point Pri­mary break­fast pro­gram and the Sal­va­tion Army.

Ian Flynn, the di­rec­tor of recre­ation and sport in Bay Roberts, said the more than 600 peo­ple who jammed the Bay Arena for last year’s con­test was some­thing to be­hold.

Flynn is hop­ing this year’s event will hap­pen on an even larger scale.

“We’d be tick­led pink to get 600 peo­ple in the sta­dium, and more would be great,” he said. “See­ing the success that it had, we wanted to carry it over and keep the mo­men­tum go­ing for this year.”

This year’s event will again fea­ture a squirt di­vi­sion game dur­ing the first in­ter­mis­sion and a shootout dur­ing the sec­ond.

Chang­ing per­cep­tions

Bring­ing two en­ti­ties like the town and the RCMP to­gether, cou­pled with the high school, ac­com­plishes more than just rais­ing money. It also helps shed stereo­types. “It helps us, and that per­cep­tion that the RCMP are the bad guys and they only come when bad things hap­pen. That’s not the case. Most of us live here in Bay Roberts or sur­round­ing ar­eas,” said Clarke. Flynn had sim­i­lar thoughts. “It sounds small to have an event like this, but it puts faces to names and that type of thing,” he said. “

Ex­cite­ment for this year’s in­car­na­tion of the game started gen­er­at­ing once the fi­nal buzzer of the first one sounded.

That sort of ex­cite­ment let Flynn and Clarke know that the event had been a success.

“If you have one per­son ask­ing you about the next one, it has been a success,” said Flynn.

He has been look­ing at dif­fer­ent ways to get the word out for the event this year, with some op­tions be­ing Face­book and Twit­ter.

“So­cial me­dia is al­ways a huge as­pect in terms of pro­mot­ing this. Ques­tions have been asked on Face­book like when is it start­ing and whose play­ing, that type of thing,” said Flynn. “

Get­ting in­volved

The event is put off with the help of the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion Crime Preven­tion Com­mit­tee.

The com­mit­tee is com­prised of five peo­ple who look af­ter the putting off of events like the hockey game.

Hav­ing an event such as the game in the com­mu­nity gets the word out there about the work this com­mit­tee is do­ing. It could en­tice a mem­ber of the com­mu­nity to be­come cu­ri­ous and want to join.

“That’s some­thing we are look­ing at as well,” said Clarke. “Right now, we are try­ing to bol­ster that com­mit­tee.”

Aside from ques­tions like “When is the game?” and “Who is go­ing to play for the RCMP?” the big­gest ques­tion is, “Are they look­ing for re­venge?”

“You bet we’re l ook­ing for re­venge,” said Clarke.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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