January 29, 2016 6:58 pm

Kurdi family gets UBC varsity hockey invite

Seats reserved for the Kurdi family at Thunderbird Arena for a University of British Columbia hockey game.

Len Catling/Twitter

VANCOUVER – A group of newly arrived Syrians was scheduled to get a front-row introduction to one of Canada’s most quintessential pastimes on Friday night.

Tima Kurdi and her extended family were invited to attend a varsity men’s hockey game at the University of British Columbia.

Kurdi said her nephews were excited to take in the game between the UBC Thunderbird’s and the Lethbridge Pronghorns.

The boys recently started playing street hockey with neighbourhood kids in a cul-de-sac outside her home, she added.

WATCH: The family of Alan Kurdi reunited in Vancouver last month

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Kurdi’s brother Mohammed arrived with his wife and five children in Canada in late December, three years after fleeing their native Syria.

Kurdi became a spokeswoman for Syrian migrants after her three-year-old nephew, Alan Kurdi, the son of her other brother Abdullah, drowned while crossing the Mediterranean.

The family was scheduled to meet with the players after the hockey game.

Len Catling, spokesman for the university’s athletics department, said inviting the Kurdi family to a Thunderbirds game just seemed like the right thing to do.

“Maybe we’re developing the next great Thunderbird hockey player,” Catling said.

“They can take the sticks home and bang some slapshots around in the basement.”

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