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'I Love To Play Hockey' Essay Winner, Finalists Revealed

By Respect Group, 03/22/23, 10:00AM EDT


Players tell us why #HockeyIsFun

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association is proud to announce the grand prize winner and finalists of the ninth annual Essay Contest presented by Respect in Sport. This year's theme was 'I Love To Play Hockey'. The contest was designed to engage players in an educational manner while encouraging them to express their thoughts on what life skills they learn from playing hockey.

Over 100 essays were submitted and the Ontario Minor Hockey Association in partnership with Respect in Sport want to thank everyone for their participation. Based on the quality, creativity and passion demonstrated in their submission, five finalists were selected with one of them emerging as our grand prize winner.

Owen Misener of Woolwich Minor Hockey Association is this year’s winner who wrote about how hockey helped him learn the importance of being on a team. For being named winner, Owen will receive a $1000 worth of CCM Hockey Gear.

“Respect in Sport is about providing a positive environment for all, so that hockey players can enjoy the game, and learn from the positive adult role models around them, like parents, coaches, and officials,” said Respect Group's Ontario Director Mark Allen. “Respect Group is very proud to support the OMHA Essay Contest and wants to thank every player who submitted an essay and also congratulate the five Finalists."

Bradley Cacchione (Barrie), Jacob Moloney (Ajax-Pickering), Joel Freeburn (Lakefield) and Joseph Mercanti (Glancaster) were selected as the four finalists. For their tremendous writing abilities they will receive an OMHA prize pack. You can check out all of their entries below.


Check out some of the great entries we received for the Essay Contest, telling us why they love hockey and why #HockeyIsFun!


My name is Owen Misener, and this is the home of the Woolwich Wildcats, practically my second home. I wouldn’t have it any other way because I love to play hockey. Let me tell you some of the reasons why.

Hockey makes me feel happy and confident in myself when I make a good pass or help my teammates score a goal. I feel proud of myself and my team. I’ve learned that we are better together than any one of us are on our own.

I also like how the drills and plays we do challenge my mind, not just my body. I love how hockey isn’t just about your abilities, it’s also about learning valuable life skills and lessons.

It helps me learn how to take constructive feedback and improve my skills as a player, how to win and lose respectfully and to appreciate what other people might be going through. It has helped me learn how to handle disagreements with my teammates, coaches and opposing players. 

My teammates have become my best friends and we’ll always have each other’s backs. Hockey is also teaching me how to work hard, both on the rink and in all other areas of my life.

It has helped me learn the importance of following through on a commitment by showing up for myself and my team. I will always follow through on my commitments because I know it not only affects me but my teammates as well.

Hockey connects me to the community and the importance of helping others and giving back. My team always works to fundraise and donate to families in need, especially around the holidays.

Hockey is a huge part of my life, and I hope it always will be. The memories I am making will stick with me forever.

Finalist Essays


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