I’ll admit I was afraid we might be in for a four-hour-long rote presentation of kids’ names and awards at the Nakusp Minor Hockey awards night, but quite the opposite was the case. Unfortunately, a lot of people missed what made the night so great.
After all the little kids had been called and had their moment of recognition, Midgets Coach Ryan Struck, 2011 Coach of the Year, gave a great speech to what was left of the audience.
I say ‘what was left’ because most of the younger participants and their parents had gone as soon as they’d recieved their certificate and photo op. It was a real shame, because they would have benefited from what Struck had to say.
The Midget coach told how the players had worked diligently and consistently not only to become a great team, but how they had learned respect for each other and other people in the community. That respect showed, for example, at the awards night by how patient and supportive they were when the little kids’ were getting their moment in the spotlight.
It was too bad that the smaller kids weren’t around to see some older kids, ones they could really look up to, get their due. The Midgets are a solid bunch of role models; any parent could be happy having their kids look up to them and think “I want to be like that when I’m older.” I know bedtime comes early, but the evening was over by 8 p.m., and maybe some things are worth the sacrifice.
Not all parents and kids left, so there are some out there who saw the importance of staying to show solidarity and support for all of Nakusp Minor Hockey. In a time when technology is often blamed for keeping kids apart, doesn’t it make sense that one solution would be to consciously create a sense of togetherness and community? Perhaps at an awards night designed to celebrate teamwork as well as the achievements of individual players?
At the end of the evening, the Midgets again showed their quality and integrity by staying to help clean up the auditorium. Those young men are the kind of people that make a community great; I hope the little kids get a chance to learn the same lessons.