Hockey fever

Admittedly, we don’t get the politics, league specifics or any of the associated things a hockey dad should know.

All we know is our boy likes to play and joined the Erin Devils a few weeks back.

As we trek here and there for tournaments there is a sense of needing to say something about the men and women in the background of Canada’s national sport.

Most have a child on the team, some even love the game so much they volunteer after their kids have left the arena, so to speak. 

Despite the troubling incidents that make the news now and again, we have met and witnessed stand-up people who really care about making the hockey experience as rewarding as possible for young people.

The organizers have oodles of paperwork to sort, setting up schedules, ensuring jerseys and gear are up to snuff and following what appears to be a labyrinth of rules and regulations imposed from on-high. They do that generally with a smile.

Then we have parents who help fundraise and organize extracurriculars for the team. While many parents are happy to just cut a cheque, these extras help others that need it, but more importantly drive home the point that as a team there are activities that elevate the team.

Trainers and helpers are critical volunteers too, whether assessing injuries or giving a pat on the helmet for a good shift. In many respects these observations are academic and so obvious, but we wonder how many times parents or spectators take a minute to say thanks.

Prior to the season starting we received a note from the coach and a little explanation of his philosophy.

While we were excited to see the effort taken at improving skills and practicing, what really struck our fancy was the notion of developing the character of these young players. Soon enough they will be teenagers and then adults, but in the meantime, they need to understand healthy competition and empathy. 

Instilling good habits and taking pride in their community lifts every hometown across the country.

We hope centres across the county have a great hockey season. Respect the players, coaches, referees, and all those who make minor hockey happen.

Hockey fever has arrived.