A night of wrestling in sup­port of Bear River youth

Tri-County Vanguard - - SPORTS - AMANDA DOUCETTE DIGBYCOURIER.CA SUB­MIT­TED CON­TRIB­UTED THECOASTGUARD. CA

Ul­ti­mate Cham­pi­onship Wrestling is com­ing back to Bear River.

Af­ter a suc­cess­ful event last year, wrestlers will be back in the ring on June 1 at the Bear River

First Na­tion Cul­tural Cen­tre. “A lot of peo­ple were ask­ing when they were com­ing back, so we de­cided to do it again,” said Chris Har­low, one of the events pro­mo­tors.

Tick­ets are avail­able at Le­qui­lle Coun­try Store, Digby Scal­lop Shell, Bear River Gro­cery and in Wey­mouth.

Fan favourites Jack Swag­ger and Markus Burke will face off. Other wrestlers in­clude Dy­na­mite Dy­lan Davis, Covey Christ and Marko Estrada.

“The show last fall was one of the best wrestling shows I at­tended.

I am hop­ing for a great turnout Bear River hosted UCW for the first time, last year. The event was so suc­cess­ful they are do­ing it again on June 1. since all pro­ceeds are go­ing to­wards the youth spe­cial ini­tia­tive fund,” said Har­low.

Pro­ceeds from the event are be­ing do­nated to the Youth Spe­cial Ini­tia­tive Fund.

Every three years in Bear River the Youth Spe­cial Ini­tia­tive Fund as­sists First Na­tion chil­dren to travel to Dis­ney World.

“With­out this a lot of these kids prob­a­bly would never see out­side of this area,” said Carol Anne Pot- ter, a Bear River First Na­tion coun­cil­lor.

The fund started when an el­der on the re­serve vis­ited Dis­ney World and even though she wasn’t a child, she had the time of her life.

“It’s like her eyes just lit up, she felt like she was a kid again. And every child should be able to see that too.”

The next trip to Dis­ney World is be­ing planned for Novem­ber. All kids older than age eight are able to go, as long as they are help­ing fundraise, do­ing good in school, help­ing their par­ents and the com­mu­nity.

“We just want to teach them that if you put a lot of ef­fort into some­thing, you can do it and fol­low your dreams,” said Pot­ter.

They are al­most at their fundrais­ing goal now, but every fundraiser helps.

If they pass the goal, the ex­tra money is just put into the fund for the next group of kids. An­drew Hol­land and Ke­gin Watt are shar­ing the De­vel­op­ment Co­or­di­na­tor of the Year Award pre­sented an­nu­ally by Hockey Nova Sco­tia.

An­drew Hol­land and Ke­gin Watt were selected by Hockey Nova Sco­tia as the De­vel­op­ment Co­or­di­na­tors of the Year for the 2017-18 sea­son.

Through weekly de­vel­op­ment ses­sions and coach men­tor­ing, the hockey as­so­ci­a­tion made great strides in help­ing out both their coaches and play­ers, mak­ing for more ef­fi­cient and or­ga­nized prac­tices. Watt spe­cial­ized in the run­ning of the weekly skills ses­sions while Hol­land helped with other coaches as they worked to­wards hon­ing their prac­tice skills.

Both spent sev­eral hours out­side of their own teams for the ben­e­fit of the as­so­ci­a­tion.

Fol­low­ing the ex­am­ple set by Bed­ford MHA, who has for­mer Hal­i­fax Moose­heads coach Shawn Macken­zie as de­vel­op­ment co­or­di­na­tor, the Shel­burne County board came up with a plan for the bet­ter of their as­so­ci­a­tion go­ing for­ward.

“Every­one was will­ing to work to­gether to help each other for the bet­ter of our play­ers” says Hol­land. “The coaches all worked to­gether at prac­tices and par­tic­i­pated in the de­vel­op­ment ses­sions with their teams. The kids here love the game and it was time we gave them the best op­por­tu­ni­ties we can to learn and progress. It was a win-win sit­u­a­tion for every­one.”

As part of the de­vel­op­ment for the sea­son, the as­so­ci­a­tion also had a hockey school held by Alan An­drews and added a goal­tend­ing clinic on the Hockey NS de­vel­op­ment week­end.

The as­so­ci­a­tion looks for­ward to giv­ing their play­ers more op­por­tu­ni­ties again next sea­son.

The Shel­burne County Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion it­self was also awarded the De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion of the Year by Hockey Nova Sco­tia.

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