A chance to become role models for young players

minor hockey
The Stingers women’s hockey team invited young players to join them on the ice after their game on Jan. 21. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

Stingers signed autographs and took photos with fans on Minor Hockey Day

The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team held their annual Minor Hockey Day at the Ed Meagher Arena on Jan. 21. The team invited parents and kids, especially minor girls’ hockey players, to attend their game against the Carleton Ravens. The Stingers also invited all the kids in attendance to skate with the team after the game and get the players’ autographs.

minor hockey
A young skater waits to join the Stingers on the ice during Minor Hockey Day. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

The energy in the building was incredible, and the stands were packed full of young fans ready to watch the Stingers take on the Ravens. While the Stingers won the game 4-1 off a two-goal effort from forward Marie-Pascale Bernier, the most popular moment of the night happened after the final buzzer. Many kids rushed down to the bench to strap on their skates and jumped on the ice with the players.

As young skaters of all levels got onto the ice, the Stingers were quick to skate over to a young player to sign autographs and take photos. For head coach Julie Chu, it meant a lot to be part of the community in this active manner.

“We’re all here because we had great role models and people who got us into hockey,” Chu said. “When we can give our young players someone to look up to, someone to want to emulate, that’s huge. Having these players come out here and be engaged with these young skaters, whether they’re hockey fans or just young kids, that’s critical.”

Chu also helps coach several girls teams who practice at the Ed Meagher Arena, and she had several of her players at the game. For many parents, this kind of community outreach is a way for their daughters to build a relationship with positive role models. Julie Tytler, one of those parents, said her daughter was excited to see her coach in action.

“It’s fantastic,” Tytler said. “It’s really great for [the players]. This shows kids that you can play until you’re an adult and have fun. [The Stingers] are out there smiling all the time. They’re having a blast, and it’s great for kids to see that.”

For Bernier, getting involved in the community is important to the team. “When you’re younger, if you have more role models, that’s the way girls are going to have that desire to keep playing high-level hockey,” she said.

The men’s hockey team hosts Minor Hockey Night on Feb. 2, and the basketball teams host Minor Basketball Day on Feb. 3.

Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.

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