Getting in the game
Senior Combines host weekend hockey camp
Twillingate-New World Island youth attend local hockey camp hosted by senior league players.
The Twillingate-New World Island Senior Combines hosted a hockey camp over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Kristian Greenham, a senior Combine, said they came up with the idea to host the camp as a way to give back to the kids by providing a local hockey camp at a reasonable cost.
The camp was successfully organized thanks to cooperation from the Town of Twillingate to get the ice down early in the stadium; Twillingate Island Elementary and J.M. Olds Collegiate for the use of their buildings; Twillingate Recreation committee for their help planning and Central Health for providing presenters. Also, local business sponsors and volunteer efforts from the Twillingate and New World Island coaches.
About 80 young hockey players ranging from Initiation to Midget divisions registered to take part in the camp. The camp aimed to help the young athletes with on ice skills as well as teach them the importance of nutrition, physical fitness and mental health in their everyday lives. Seminars and activities on these subjects were hosted by Public Health nurse Pam Compton, local physical education teachers Patti Hicks Brown and Melissa Blackler, and Dr. Will Ngai.
“We pulled the camp together fairly quickly and had no trouble getting people to volunteer their time,” Greenham said. “The community and the Combines really stepped up.”
Aden Pope, one of the Atom/ Peewee players in attendance said, “The lessons are really good. We are learning how to skate and get better. Off the ice we are exercising and getting our body ready for hockey. We learned what nutritious foods to eat, like to follow the food guide and eat fruits and vegetables.”
Hicks- Brown, who along with Blackler hosted the off ice physical fitness training agreed, noting that staying physically fit off the ice would help improve their health and physical literacy for any activity that they pursue.
Will Ngai, a senior combine and doctor with Central Health, hosted two seminars on raising mental health awareness. Ngai was pleased with the turnout for the camp, and was glad to be able to give the children an introduction to mental health awareness.
“Often as hockey players, you feel like nothing should impact you. Often they don’t speak up if they are stressed,” he said. “It’s good to start educating them young, to help erase stigma. We want to break down these barriers.”
The participants were also treated to on ice mentoring from one of their local heroes — Travis Randell. Randell who grew up in Twillingate, was a Combine until about the age of 14 when he moved to Halifax and played five years of major junior hockey with The Halifax Mooseheads and the last four years with the Acadia Axemen.
Randell helped the participants with a wide range of skills, starting from the fundamentals of the game to help them get into good habits that they will hopefully incorporate into their future games. He was glad to help the young Combines get a good head start on the season as often smaller communities are a little later getting on the ice.
Wendy Farr Ings, who had two children take part in the weekend activities, said she would like to see something like this continue in the future. Although her son seemed to prefer his time on the ice and doing activities in the gym, as a mother she felt all the information provided was very important.
“The more that kids hear about good nutrition and mental health the better,” she said. “A great weekend overall.”
About 27 Atom/Peewee players registered to take part in a hockey school hosted by Twillingate New World Island Senior Combines. Several local community volunteers helped carry out sessions both on and off the ice. Melissa Blackler and Patti Hicks-Brown, local physical education teachers and coaches, volunteered their time to teach the young athletes about the importance of physical fitness when they are off the ice.
The Twillingate-New World Island Combines coaches volunteered their time over the recent long weekend to help young initiation players improve their skills.