Canadian Players Visit Community
Monday, November 8, 2010
Just days before the puck drops to begin the 2010 World Junior A Challenge in Penticton, members of Canada East and Canada West spent some time in the community last week to promote the event and give back to minor hockey.
Players from both teams spent Thursday morning visiting local elementary schools, and on Sunday the teams were joined on the ice by a pair of Penticton-area minor hockey teams who were randomly drawn to skate with Team Canada.
Students from Columbia Elementary, Queen's Park Elementary and Uplands Elementary all received visits from Canadian players on Thursday. Canada East visited Columbia, taking part in a school-wide assembly, which featured a shooting contest between the easterners and selected members of the student body.
Later that day, Canada West split into two groups, with half the players visiting Queen's Park, which is located right beside the South Okanagan Events Centre, and the other half heading to Uplands.
At Queen's Park, players took part in a ball hockey game against second and third graders before heading inside for an assembly that included players talking about teamwork and chasing their dreams. The team received a school shirt that will be displayed inside the Canada West dressing room.
At Uplands, players split into groups to visit a number of classrooms, signing autographs for the excited students and talking about their experiences, and what it takes to play for Team Canada.
At both schools, players also took questions from students.
The visits were part of the World Junior A Challenge schools program - in total, 11 schools in Penticton are taking part in the program; each school adopted a team, and will attend select games and practices through the week to show their support.
On Sunday, prior to East and West practices, a pair of local minor hockey teams got the chance to take to the ice with Team Canada, taking part in a few drills and getting tips from the players and coaching staffs. Both teams also stuck around to watch practice, getting a look at just what it takes to wear the red and white.
The minor hockey teams also got the chance to visit the Canadian dressing rooms, getting autographs from all of the players.