More than two years of fundraising has paid off. A Kingston bantam house league hockey team leaves on December 26 for Frankfurt and a 10-day excursion to Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.
Our Lady of Lourdes, representing the Church Athletic League, will play four exhibition games and experience a new culture along the way.
“House league players seldom get an opportunity like this,” said the team’s head coach Don Hulton.
“Trips like this are usually reserved for rep teams, but this is strictly a house league club that has worked very hard for this opportunity. We look forward to playing against European teams, but more importantly, we want them to have fun, experience a new culture and give them something to talk about for the rest of their lives.”
The boys, 13 and 14 years of age, have been fundraising for more than two years to help pay for the trip. They’ve worked at numerous functions, had a number of bottle drives and picked up Christmas trees when the holiday season was over.
“It’s going to be so much fun,” said forward Kevin Hamilton.
“It’s going to be a wonderful experience with the boys. Were going to play some hockey and see some wonderful historic sites. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Team captain Brad Hulton concurs.
“We’ve got a great group of guys going. We’ve been together as a team for several years and this is certainly something we’ll never experience again,” Hulton said.
“I can’t wait to get there and see cities like Prague, Salzburg and Munich.”
Aside from some international hockey, the boys and their families will visit Karlstein Castle in the Czech Republic, the Durnberg Salt Mines in Austria and the Dachau Concentration camp in Germany.
“That was a must-see,” added Hulton.
“It’s something we had to take in — a reminder of what went on during that time in the Second World War.
“Aside from that, we want the boys to experience a new culture, some different cuisine and take in the historical sites. Most of these kids have never been to Europe and may never get there again, so for me, that’s more important than playing four games of hockey.”