Quesnel’s Pee Wee hockey Green Team are proving that performing charitable work can actually help make them better team mates.
They picked up the gauntlet thrown down by Chevrolet Canada and Hockey Canada, who have challenged Pee Wee hockey teams across Canada to perform acts of kindness in the hopes of winning the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup.
Green Team coach William Manning says the contest was perfect for the squad.
“It allows people from all over to try and do stuff to benefit their communities and give back a little bit, but also have a little competition too.”
One of the player’s parents, Heather Walker, volunteers with the Salvation Army and helped arrange for the team to man the kettle in Walmart.
“They ring the bell and sing carols,” says Walker. “The kids are loving the interaction with the public.
“They’re getting to know the community a bit more … and it’s teaching the kids respect and understanding about different situations during the holidays.
“When they’re holding the kettle, they really get an idea of how it is for other families that aren’t in the same situation as them.”
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the winners of the Good Deeds Cup get $100,000 towards the charity of their choice, a profile of the team on Hockey Night in Canada, a winner’s ceremony in their hometown, a mess of swag and their team name engraved on the Good Deeds Cup itself.
The charitable activity is also bringing the team closer together.
“It’s proving to be a team-building exercise,” says Manning. “At the start of the year we weren’t planing so well as a team and since we started trying for the cup and getting together during off-ice times, the team has come together a little bit more.
“In hockey you need to trust your team mate, so if you’re out and about and helping the community together, eventually it breaks down those barriers that can occur in the dressing room or on the ice.”
Groups of three players at a time have manned the kettle in Walmart every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the month of December.
Ten semi-finalists for the Good Deeds Cup will be determined by Chevrolet and Hockey Canada and announced on January 26.
Regardless of the outcome, the Green Team deserves some praise.