Six year old Brody Wanstall and Dakoda Fizzard, also age 6, put their names in at the Canucks Centre for BC Hockey in hopes to be part of the First Strides program for kids in January. The program invited 72 randomly drawn kids between 6-8 years who are registered in BC hockey to attend a special Canucks hockey camp at Rogers Arena.
It was pretty much forgotten by the two boys by Feb, 10 when they received news they were chosen to be part of the Canucks camp. Dakoda and Brody were very excited to attend this together, being both big Canucks fans and lifelong friends. It was like a dream come true. There was no sleeping after hearing this!
Unfortunately Brody didn’t make it to the rink, due to a vehicle accident on his way to the program, but thankfully everybody was OK. His friend Dakoda did attend the program, which included on and off ice drills with Canucks training staff, and a players workshop emphasizing the importance of teamwork and fairplay. He had a great time meeting new friends and interacting with professional development coaches and NHL players. The trip included swag, namely a Canucks jersey, water bottle and autographed pictures with Dale Weise, Bryon Bitz and the Canucks Mascot, Fin.
Dakoda wasn’t the only one to benefit from up close and personal exposure to NHL expertise. The program also included a parent’s seminar and minor hockey coaching skills development as well, so Dakoda’s mom and aunt got to have a great time taking part too.
By Darryl Fizzard