Off the ice or on, whether you see them or not, there is an extremely dedicated group of parents and volunteers who keep minor hockey in motion and ensure the best experience for the kids who play the game. From February 25th to March 3rd, the OMHA wants to thank everyone who spends their time to enrich the lives of kids through hockey.
Take a look at the stories of 3 of our feature volunteers. Their dedication is only matched by their passion for minor hockey.
Take a minute to recognize the dedicated few, in your community.
Not only will we feature their story, but it helps let them know just how much you appreciate what they do.
Mike Richard is a staple at the rink in Gananoque. He has been a coach since his children first started playing hockey at the Tyke level. He dedicates all of his time to his teams and the team loves their coach, he is an inspiration to the kids in Gananoque. He has also run a “learn to play hockey” school for military members of CFB Kingston. When the women’s base team for CFB Kingston found themselves without a coach, Mike stepped in and coached them and took the week of work to be with them at regionals. He is a dedicated coach and referee. He just passed his 28 years in the Canadian Forces.
I couldn't choose just one of the coaches for my grandson's team as they are equally amazing and deserve to be recognized. Three of the coaches are young university students with jobs with no players on our team, one is a dad who works steady midnights and has a family. The coaches come from school to work and then to early morning practices and games. They are on the ice for every practice showing each player hockey skills, team building and good sportsmanship. After every shift they pat the players on the helmet, great job, and give them encouragement to play the game they all love.
Loyalist is the same association that he played in during most of his younger years. He says it's his time to give back and has volunteered with both of his son's teams. We are proud parents and many families that have had a son on this team for years say they are blown away of how little conflict has happened over the years. Every boy on this team knows how they are to behave, treat each other, be thankful etc. This all starts because Joe models this each and every time he's at the rink. There is a no tolerance policy for behavior that doesn't model anything but respect.
On the cusp of celebrating his 80th Birthday - Roger Demeester also celebrated his 8,000th game as a timekeeper. Congratulations from the entire association, not just for the impressive 8,000 games, but also for his continued involvement, dedication and all around love of the game. 48 years of volunteering in the timekeeping role is something we should all be proud of.
The whole town showed up to celebrate Larry Gould’s historic 50th Anniversary as a Minor Hockey Coach and to proudly retire his name and number “50” into the rafters. Generations of young hockey players were taught about respect, hard work and sportsmanship. Players from decades past returned home to pay their respects as part of a ceremonial “honour guard” to a humble man who played a special role in their childhood memories. A hometown hockey legacy that this legendary small town hockey coach can be proud of.
Willie Towns has volunteered his time for over 40 years with Douro Minor Hockey. He is so proud of this organization as a whole. He has coached within the Douro Minor Hockey Association for over 40 years. He has held various titles; Coach, President, Past President, OMHA Contact, Ice Scheduler and LEO Executive Member. Willie has also been a referee for over 15 years and he can always be counted on.
Thank you for everything that you have done and continue to do for our kids. Your love for the game is very evident and contagious!
Denise is the Manager of the Stouffville Clippers Atom AA team and works tirelessly behind the scenes throughout the season. Her efforts make it easier for our family to enjoy hockey, knowing 100% that she has taken care of everything. Thanks Denise. All your effort is truly appreciated!
Kevin has volunteered his whole life. He has been a coach, a trainer and on the board with Southpoint Minor Hockey. Keeping hockey alive for the the kids is a priority for him. He selflessly gives his all.
This coach stands out to us for so many reasons. He volunteered to coach a team where he does no have a child and no personal interest other than to see these kids, learn, play and have fun. He sacrifices his time away from his wife and new born baby and dedicates hours of his time making sure these kids have solid leadership. His strength and unwavering dedication to these kids is so admirable and needs to be recognized!
Jeff is my son’s hockey coach for the 2018-19 season. He is incredibly selfless and dedicated to the boys development and success. Although Jeff’s boys have long finish minor hockey and are all grown up, his love for the game propelled him to share his knowledge and experience with his home league and community. Jeff brings a tough love, strict discipline style of coaching to the team that the boys need at a pre-teen stage of their life and his volunteerism is very much appreciated.
Brad is extremely passionate about the role he plays on our Novice team. He ensures our parents and players are informed and excited about the events taking place for our team, which helps promote team unity and spirit. Brad also supports each player by providing mentorship, guidance and friendship. He has the ability to bring a light hearted and fun atmosphere to the dressing room, while at the same time helping the players to develop important skills.
Rob has the most passion for hockey. I thank him for having dedication and passion. Not only does he teach the kids an immense amount of knowledge when it comes to the game, having good sportsmanlike behaviours on and off the ice, but he also has taught me about being a good volunteer in our community. He is the best!
I want to thank this volunteer because he puts in countless hours for not only one team but two! He is an amazing coach that has more patience with his players than any other coach I know. He takes the time with every player to teach them new skills and encourages the entire team to do their best and that the game isn’t only about winning. He is very fair and respectful toward all players. I can’t thank him enough for always being a positive role model for my kids who have been on his teams.
My husband didn’t grow up playing hockey or even skating for that matter. When I had our son, he decided to buy equipment and go to take a Never Too Late hockey course. This year he took the plunge and decided to volunteer as a head coach for my son’s Novice Team. He has an incredible ability to find the positive in every situation on the rink and build up the confidence of each child on his team. Not once have I heard him criticize their game because he knows first hand how hard it is to go out on the ice and try something new.
I couldn't pick just one to thank. We as a parent group are extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated group. They realize our kids are developing so much more then just hockey skills. These coaches have helped this team grow so much as young people and players this year. Between community work and on ice practice, they bring so much to our boys. Thanks so much guys!
Kim is the powerhouse that keeps our organization running smoothly. She puts in countless hours every week - doing jobs that people don’t even realize need to be done. She does it with the utmost professionalism, regardless of the controversy she deals with regularly. She shows up to meetings and tournaments with a smile, and makes volunteering fun for those who are around her. She is truly remarkable. I’m not sure anyone other than her husband and our association president really know the amount of time and work she has dedicated to our organization.
Coach Tim is awesome. I hear this every week after a game or practice. Every player on this team is a valued member and is treated as such. Pre game music to pump them up, a team flag to represent when they hit the ice and a group of kids that work hard together every game and never quit can only lead to success and not always on the score board. Tim has instilled team pride, skill development and sportsmanship on this little team and these kids look forward to coming to the rink week after week.