Watch above: The Edmonton Oilers’ captain has been recognized for his leadership and community engagement, winning the King Clancy Memorial trophy.
EDMONTON – From launching a free community fitness project to becoming the first Edmonton Oiler to march in the city’s Pride Parade, it seems as though Andrew Ference’s contributions to the community haven’t gone unnoticed.
On Wednesday, the National Hockey League announced the Oilers’ captain is this year’s recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The award is given out each year, to the player who “best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
“That’s an extreme honour, without a doubt,” says Ference. “It is important for me to come to my hometown and try to make it as great as I can and I have a very good platform to do that as a hockey player.”
Since returning to the Capital Region last year, Ference has jumped in head-first, getting involved in several community initiatives.
He launched the November Project: a free, early-morning fitness class that encourages people to get some exercise and meet new people.
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The Sherwood Park native has also been involved with the Hope Mission Shelter and led the way on a Christmas toy delivery to the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
Most recently, Ference and his young family marched in Edmonton’s Pride Parade.
“It means a lot to me to see people be proud of Edmonton and celebrate what’s great about it.”
While his calendar might get a little full at times, Ference says he brings his family whenever he can, adding it’s fun to get involved with the community and meet new people.
“It’s all positive. And I think that when the hockey season’s on there’s definitely priorities to be able to perform and be at my best for that. But there’s no excuse to sit at home and not get involved.
“The most important thing is not just doing things because they might be expected of you, or because it might look good, but doing them because at the base of you it’s important and they’re things that you really care about.”
Dedicated to living green, Ference has becoming involved in Edmonton’s ‘Go Green’ initiatives. He also spoke at the ‘Zero 2014’ conference, hosted in partnership by the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation and the City of Edmonton.
Other recipients of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy include Patrice Bergeron, Daniel Alfredsson, Jarome Iginla and former Oiler Doug Weight.
Ference will receive the honour at the upcoming 2014 NHL Awards Gala in Las Vegas.