Slap Shots and Memories – One Hockey Team Experiences a BIG Away Tournament
It is exciting to see how the ripple effect is continuing to grow as Martello gets to be a small part of the BIG impact our employees are having on causes near and dear to their hearts. With the hockey season in full swing right now in Canada, we are excited to share our latest post that offers a glimpse into a dedicated team of hockey players heading to their first away tournament.
Like any good Canadian, Geoff Stewart a Software Architect at Martello, loves the sport of hockey. Over the years whether it’s been playing recreationally or coaching a league, hockey has played an important role in Geoff’s life. So, when Geoff’s son was old enough, he was excited to have him be part of the West End Wolverines and was thrilled to be asked to act as the head coach of the team.
Geoff has been coaching hockey for over 10 years and has been coaching his son’s team with the West End Wolverines for the past 5 years. This year, his son is with the Atom B2 team called the ‘Crushers’. The popular and long-standing West End Hockey League offers non-body contact core programming for players from age 5 to 17. This league prides itself on having created a hockey program that allows players to not only develop their hockey skills, but also expand their life skills training and good sportsmanship off the ice. Oh, and it’s fun – did we mention that? These players quickly gain a love for the sport in a competitive but engaging environment.
While several of the mixed team of 9 – 10 year olds had previously been to an ‘away’ tournament, they quickly realized that this season there were 6 players on the team who had not yet had this experience. The team’s coaches knew that it would be a highlight of their season to attend an upcoming tournament in Petawawa, Ontario. It is expensive to attend ‘away’ games and this can be a barrier for many families – there is the tournament entry fee but then the additional cost of an overnight stay in a hotel, travel costs and many meals out to consider.
When the team decided to attend the tournament in Petawawa, Geoff decided to use his employee directed gift to offset the cost for all players attending. So how did they do? Well, they lost in the finals but for the kids it was really about the team building that happened both on and off the ice. There were the fun team dinners after the day was over, the rowdy time in the hotel pool and then the thrill of staying overnight in a hotel for these young players.
For a lot of these players, this tournament will continue to be the highlight of the season as they continue to play their way to victory. At Martello, we are always excited to see young athletes developing a lifelong love of sport and we were very proud to be a small part of a big weekend for the West End Wolverines ‘Crushers’.