Ron Huntley is the father of the Quebec Remparts’, Christian Huntley.
If you were to look at his stats, you’d discover he plays D, stands 5’9″, shoots left, and was born in ’99.
If you were to ask his Dad…he’s determined, committed, set on winning, focused and humble.
“As a parent, watching him succeed has been incredibly rewarding,” says Ron “If you’re good at something and then you get a chance to do it with people you like…that’s pretty awesome!”
As a young boy, Ron was an athlete. He was best at soccer but hockey captured his heart. Ron played just about everything and anything from soccer, hockey, baseball, football and rugby. “I was good at a lot but great at none,” says Ron with a laugh. While he wasn’t academically strong, he believes that athletics and being part of a team allowed him to feel good about who he was.
Ron can remember the mornings when he would wake at five, grab his gear and walk down the train tracks with friends to get to early practice. Sometimes, someone would stop and ask if he needed a drive, but “getting there was part of the fun.”
“I’d have never thought to wake my mom for an early drive,” Ron chuckles. Back then, parents weren’t involved like they are now but Ron has enjoyed every moment of watching both of his children play the sports they chose. Christian, while fantastic at soccer, chose hockey. His daughter Hannah, both a dancer and singer, chose volleyball.
Ron quietly watches from the stands, the bleachers and now, with Christian away from home, he catches the live broadcasts and tries to never miss a game.
He supports his children…win or lose…and his advice to other parents is to just enjoy it and not take it so seriously. “At the end of the day, it’s their self-esteem that’s more important than anything else. If they don’t know you love them every moment of every day then there’s a problem,” Ron explains. “Give them the space they need to grow.”
Christian is very private and conversations after games weren’t particularly deep. On the drive home his dad would ask “how did you feel you played today?”…then wait to hear the short answer. Christian rarely elaborated. Ron never coached.
Often, Ron would find out about Christian’s accomplishments through other teammates or parents…including when his son was named Captain for Team Nova Scotia for the Canada Games…Ron heard through someone else.
“He doesn’t see himself the way other’s see him, he’s a very humble young man,” says Dad.
Early on, the family made a commitment to Christian and his sport. They believe in God first…then family, school and sports…in that order. Others would question whether or not they had their priorities straight…what would they do if a home game was on Sunday for example? “We’re committed people,” Ron would explain…following it up by remarking that just about every church offers Mass on Saturday nights and three times on Sundays. The Huntley’s would always be able to work within their commitments. Ron believes you find life’s balance by being clear about your values and living them even when it’s hard.
“If you know who you are, it won’t limit your opportunities.”
Christian has always known who he is.
“Winning matters. Winning should always matter,” says Ron. Christian has always played to win but disappointments are part of the game and for Ron, he chose those moments to teach…to embrace the disappointments. “Sports gives you concrete examples to teach your children those necessary life skills…and to find out who they really are.”
Ron has spent a lot of time and money on hockey through the years but to him it’s a joy. “Other people have big cars and fancy trips but this is my hobby.” Ron may not have taken annual vacations to southern climates, but he always looked forward to jumping in the car, turning up the music and heading to the next tournament. “I could have had a cottage and a boat but I’m around my kids and what they love to do…and that’s pretty fantastic.”
Christian is currently in his second year with the Quebec Remparts. “It’s a great opportunity,” his father says. “He’s having fun, lives with a wonderful billet family, loves his team members, is keeping up with school work and getting the most out of his experience. He’s ridiculously focused and committed, but he knows that hockey doesn’t define who he is.”
It’s part of it.
But there’s so much more.
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Photo Credits: Ron Huntley’s personal collection. Quebec Rempart’s photo by photographer BeeTee, Quebec.
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