‘Be a Budd’: Calgary goalie steps up for adaptive hockey program

Click to play video: '‘Be a Budd:’ Calgary goalie steps up for adaptive hockey program'
‘Be a Budd:’ Calgary goalie steps up for adaptive hockey program
WATCH: A Calgary Goalie is showing what it really means to “Be a Budd”. Cami Kepke has more on how Ryley Budd’s efforts are getting more young people out on the ice – Aug 9, 2023

It’s a bond forged on ice that warms the heart.

In early 2023, 15-year-old Ryley Budd raised $5,000 to help send fellow goalie Harrison Markin and his SuperHEROS teammates to their first tournament in Ontario.

SuperHEROS provides a space for young people with physical and cognitive challenges to play the game they love.

“My favorite part of the tournament was that we won three games and only lost one game and we won gold medals,” Markin said. “(I liked) being the goalie and making glove saves like Dustin Wolf.”

Budd and Calgary Hitmen goaltender Ethan Buenaventura welcomed Harrison into hockey’s goalie club and gave him the confidence to strap on the pads- which are now battered with puck marks from games and practice.

Story continues below advertisement

“Self-confidence through the roof,” John Markin, Harrison’s dad, said. “He loves playing. We’ll play mini sticks and I’ll take shots at him in the garage. I had him rollerblading last week for some dryland training because that’s all he wanted to do.

Get the day's top news, political, economic, and current affairs headlines, delivered to your inbox once a day.

Get daily National news

Get the day's top news, political, economic, and current affairs headlines, delivered to your inbox once a day.
By providing your email address, you have read and agree to Global News' Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

“He’s been looking forward to seeing Ryley all summer, just grinning from ear to ear.”

On Wednesday, Ryley and Harrison reunited for the first time since the tournament for a special skills session.

“What SuperHEROS does helping kids and giving them the chance to play the sport that I love, that’s really special,” Budd said.

“So it was something that I wanted to be a part of trying to help out with. Helping has always been important to me. and I think I could really make a difference with this. I was so happy with how it went and this year I want to continue that and try and help even more.”

Budd, a Saskatoon Blades prospect, is now aiming to raise $10,000 for SuperHEROS– and already has two sponsors on board who will donate money for every save and shutout he makes this season.

He was recently named Hockey Alberta’s Player of the Year, which earned him a $1,000 donation to the cause through his former association, the Calgary Northstars.

Story continues below advertisement

“I want to keep this going as long as my hockey career lasts,” Budd added. “I want to try and make a career out of hockey and this is something that I want to continue along with it. I think we can bring more into the sport than just the game and this is a big piece to me.”

HEROS Hockey executive director Kevin Hodgson says that’s a game-changing amount of money.

“This year, we’re going to bring all of our SUPERHEROS from Western Canada together in Calgary,” Hodgson said.

“Ryley helped us get 15 kids to a tournament, or at least helping us get five, six teams worth of superheroes to Calgary to have their own tournament, which will just launch that appetite to then want to go and do other stuff in other places. It’s just going to create more opportunities and more spaces for kids to play.

“He’s hoping to play for the Saskatoon Blades. Well, we’re working on putting a SuperHEROS team in Saskatoon so he’ll be able to bring SuperHEROS with him when his time comes.”

Sponsored content