It was Thursday, January 27 and just another outing for the SWHA Kings Atom A2 Girls Hockey Team. They were told that Pro Hockey Life had invited the team down to watch a hockey film of some sort and perhaps, just perhaps, they’ll get a water bottle or a key chain. All they had to do was wear their hockey jerseys.
As they boarded the bus at the Richmond Mall the team was excited. They were going on a bus to a hockey store to watch a film. How cool was that? The kids sat at the front and parents at the back. Kind of a weird set up but the girls didn’t seem to mind. Also in attendance was the Scotiabank manager Karl Chan. The girls didn’t take too much notice as he was just another adult on the bus.
The bus pulled up to Pro Hockey Life at around 5:30 pm. The girls immediately jumped to their feet to exit the bus. “Hold on”, they were told. “Karl has to check if all is ok in the store for us.” Karl comes back 2 minute later with the store manager and some guy with a camera on his shoulder. As this stranger is filming, Karl then states: “Girls, I know you have been told by your coaches that you were coming down here to watch a hockey film. Well…that’s not exactly the case.” The store manager, Megan, then takes over: “Girls, you have been selected from 3,400 teams across Canada to be the sole winner of getting full hockey gear from Head to Toe from Bauer Hockey Canada.” The girls started screaming while gaping at each other in amazement.
We all then marched in the store while the camera filmed the girls running, one by one, up the long hallway to the center of the store. In front of them were bags and bags of hockey gear. “Go find your name, girls”, they were instructed and they ran down like it was Christmas looking for their name on their bag. Each girl opened their respective bag in shock to find a full set of equipment. Helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, pants, shin guards, skates gloves and hockey stick. Goalies received pads, mask, stick, skates, blocker and catcher. Coaches were lucky enough to get skates and gloves.
They were then filmed with their jerseys on and told to cheer “Happy Hockey Day!” as loud as they could. The CBC cameraman then told them that there was going to be a 30 second broadcast on February 12 on CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada between 11:00 am and noon. We will all be taping that segment for sure. They also had pizza and drinks brought in for everyone which almost received the same cheers as the equipment.
The entire event started back in the fall when the Kings applied to Scotiabank for team sponsorship. Scotiabank is a proud sponsor of minor hockey and sponsors over 3,000 teams across Canada. We ended up being selected from our area to win $1,000 toward team fees and events. In addition, they were told, they would be entered into a couple of other draws for additional prizes. They didn’t think much of it at the time. Asst Coach Mace Mazur had a message on January 17 and was told to call this guy back right away and it had to do with the Scotiabank Sponsorship Program. “It’s imperative that you call me back right away”, the message said. He thought there may have been a problem so he called right away and was given the super news.
This was all done behind the girls back as CBC, Scotiabank and Bauer wanted it to be a surprise for the girls as they filmed their reaction. Parents had to choose sizes, sticks and even the curve. Mace forwarded the spreadsheet to Bauer and they made sure the equipment was there.
All in all a super event that will most certainly be remembered by all forever.