BY RICHARD DYCK
Lily Garza is a 14 year old international student from Mexico who is willing to try anything. She is one of triplets that came to Sylvan Lake for a year to go to school and have a Canadian experience.
Lily expressed she would like to play hockey. Really? Have you played before? No, but I have skated twice. Hmm, twice eh? We are now too late for registration. Are you sure? Yes, I sure would like to try. OK … I’ll try? I’ll call … John Salsbury and Scott Tompkins and see what they think. They said … absolutely. That’s what we are about in rec hockey. It’s not about winning here, it’s about fun!
We were then directed to friends that have spare hockey equipment. A trip to the local sports store for a hockey stick, pink skate laces, and sharpening of the skates. We’re ready!
Watching coach Chuck Downie work with the kids is a whole new idea in team and personal development! Everyone gets to play. No pressure. It is now becoming tougher for me to find Lily on the ice because she is fitting right in just like the rest in such a short time. I believe a few role models who helped motivate her to the next level, came from having the privilege of watching the Ladies Olympic team play in Red Deer. Wow, can they skate!
Saturday on a road trip to Rimbey it happened! Lily scored her first goal along with, not one, but two assists. Try wiping that smile off her face after she came off the ice! Tell me that’s not a Canadian experience worth writing home to Mexico about, eh?
I will say … this experience of being involved in rec hockey is one more reason I am proud to be living in Sylvan Lake.