Yesterday, during the Irving Oil Challenge Cup…when Spiderman finally touched the ice for the very first time…my knees were shaking.
My heart was pounding.
IT WAS AWESOME!
We had no expectations that he’d actually play. As an “Affiliate Player” with the Accel Major Bantam Hawks, he’s had an amazing year just for the extra coaching. Just for the extra practices. Just for the experience of a few games and time spent with the team.
Two weeks ago, the Accel Hawks took him to Provincials and it was truly one of the greatest weekends of his 14-year-old life…though he didn’t touch ice.
The team’s invite to “Atlantics” had him reeling.
And then they dressed him.
And we were ahead by three.
And they played him.
The smile, a half-contained grin as he caught my eye heading off the ice, set my “mom heart” aflutter as my knees slowly stopped shaking from the excitement and nervousness I felt for him.
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to get these kids playing the game they love. There’s the financial and time commitment. Family time thrown off kilter and a schedule that, at times this season, found us on the ice or at dryland anywhere from five to nine times in any given week. But for those who love it…it’s worth every penny and every moment lost because what you gain…cannot be replaced.
Bernie Lawlor, equipment Manager at the Centennial arena, has seen his fair share of kids hit the ice through the years. Arriving at the rink with his young son 40 years before, he was asked if he’d like to help out…hand out a few jerseys…give the association a hand.
Bernie never left.
When his son Steven, and Steven’s friends, completed their years of minor hockey…soon finding themselves in a position of wanting more ice and nowhere to turn…he started “Bernie’s Aces”…a league that, to this day, has many of its original members.
At 81, Bernie is still volunteering. Still handing out jerseys, goalie gear and advice to multiple families as they jump on this hockey journey. He’s known throughout the community and while he’s making a difference in the lives of local hockey players…today he can make an even bigger impact.
Nominated by Blair Landry, one of Bernie’s Aces…Bernie Lawlor is one of the finalists in the “Kraft Hockey Goes On” program and he’s in the running to win $100,000 for the Halifax Minor Hockey Association.
Voting takes place today and tomorrow (March 23 – 24th) and you can vote multiple times.
So you can make a difference.
So more kids can play.
So parents like me can chase them around, sacrifice family suppers and early mornings so we can sit in the stands…watching our kids look up with a half contained grin as they step off the ice from playing this game they truly love.
Where they learn life lessons of teamwork and patience. Fair play and competition. Hard work and discipline. How to set goals and reach them. How to fight through adversity and hold their heads up through disappointment.
Lessons that will last a lifetime.
As hockey goes on…