Active Canadian Military members to support 2nd annual Hockey Calgary leadership day
Over 1,000 peewee and bantam-aged hockey players in Calgary will spend a day learning the skills of leadership on Monday.
Thirty-two active serving military from the 3rd Canadian Division will be on hand, along with members of the Calgary Flames and Calgary Hitmen. The event includes speakers such as former Calgary Stampeder Randy Chevrier and Sheldon Kennedy, who founded the Respect Group.
Hockey Calgary executive director Kevin Kobelka says last year’s inaugural event saw the kids sitting and listening to motivational speakers. This year, the kids will be much more active, doing a military-style obstacle course as well as breaking into groups to sew blankets.
“It’s a give-back to the community,” Kobelka said.
“We want them to show it means something to be a good community leader and do something for those less fortunate.”
Harmann Singh and Thompson Pettem-Shand are buddies who started playing hockey together six years ago and teammates on the Bantam AA NW Bruins.
Both attended last year’s event; Pettem-Shand says he’s become a better hockey player and person because of it.
“It taught me to be an example and to treat others the way you want to be treated,” Pettem-Shand said. "It made me a better person."
They will both be attending this year’s event and say it will help them if they want to be the captain of their hockey team one day.
“I’ve never been an assistant or a captain but I really want to be one day,” Singh said. “I think a good leader respects everyone and makes a good example on and off the ice.”
Lt.-Col. Derek Prohar from the 3rd Canadian Division says the kids can take these leadership skills with them in life–on and off the ice.
“They all want to lead,” Prohar said. “I think the advice I would give to the kids is: with great leadership comes great responsibility.
“As long as they are willing to accept the responsibility and work hard for it, it’s well within anybody’s power to do that.”
Melanie Mitra heads up the Canadian Legacy Project, an organization that advocates for and supports veterans. The group brought Hockey Calgary and the Canadian Armed Forces together for this year’s leadership event.
Mitra believes kids should learn the sacrifices veterans have made for their freedoms.
“Quite often, serving military come back with significant mental health issues or an illness or injury or disability of some kind, and they need to integrate back into the civilian world,” Mitra said. “The better understanding we can create from a young age up, the easier is it for those individuals to integrate into a community that is better-equipped to support them.”
The second annual Hockey Calgary Leadership Day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Big Four building at Stampede Park.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.