Get­ting in the game

Se­nior Com­bines host week­end hockey camp

The Pilot - - FRONT PAGE - BY JEN­NIFER RAN­DELL

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.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF WENDY FARR-INGS

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.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF WENDY FARR-INGS

The Twill­ingate-New World Is­land Com­bines coaches vol­un­teered their time over the re­cent long week­end to help young ini­ti­a­tion play­ers im­prove their skills.

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