Fourteen young athletes from the northern town of Fort Good Hope, NWT fundraised for months to be able to come to Sylvan Lake to take part in the hockey camp. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp helps bring hockey back to northern community

A group of 14 young athletes fundraised for months to come to the Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp

For 14 young players from the Northwest Territories, the Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp is the start of reigniting one community’s love of hockey.

Hailing from the small community of Fort Good Hope, NWT, the hockey camp participants fundraised for months to be able to make the roughly five hour flight, with multiple connections, to Edmonton before making it to Sylvan Lake.

Freda Kelly, the group’s coordinator, said fundraising efforts began back in November to ensure enough was raised to bring all 14 kids to the camp.

“We had heard about this camp, a lot of good things, and the kids were really eager to come,” Kelly said, adding the long travel time, which included an over night stay in an airport, did not tamper the kids spirits.

“They were very tired, but were up and ready to go the next morning. They were very excited,” she said.

Hockey may be considered Canada’s game, but in the small community of Fort Good Hope, not many have the chance to play the game.

Kelly says the group of kids who play hockey in their home community is very small, but it has been growing.

She attributes the decline to the economy, specifically in her small northern community.

“Hockey is an expensive game, and with the low employment rate in our town, it can be hard to get kids outfitted and on the ice.”

Cost is a big factor in the game, and coming to the camp. Kelly said the group fundraised for around eight months to bring all 14 players and the adult chaperones to the week-long hockey camp.

There were bake sales, bottle drives and many other fundraisers over the course of the eight months to bring the kids from Fort Good Hope to Sylvan Lake.

Kelly said the group of young athletes received a lot of help, and some large donations from within the community.

“I really want to thank my community,” said said. “Without their help these kids never would have had this opportunity. They have learned so much.”

The group, which ranged in ages, did in fact learn a lot. According to Heinrich Drybones, one of the players brought to the camp, he had learned a lot of the basics of the game.

“I’ve learned about stick handling and how to skate better,” he said.

Drybones planes to take what he has learned at the camp back home to show others in the community and maybe teach some how want to learn.

Kelly said one of the youths brought to the camp has already been asked to teach others in the community what he has learned.

“Hockey is slowly coming back to our community, and this will help I think,” Kelly said.

For many of the kids part of this group, this trip to Sylvan Lake could be the only time they are able to make the trip south in their life.

However, Kelly is hopeful they will make another trip sooner rather than later.

“We had a group come down years ago, and the kids are already talking about coming again,” she said.

“We will look into fundraising again and coming back in a couple years.”

While the group enjoyed their time on the ice and learning more about the game, Drybones said his favourite part of the week had nothing to do with hockey.

“I loved the swimming, and eating pizza,” he said.

Kelly wanted to thank the Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp, the folks at the Best Western Plus and the residents of Sylvan Lake.

“Everyone has been so welcoming and kind. We have really enjoyed our time here,” she said.


The Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp helps young athletes refine their skills and help grow their love of the game. Photo be Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Just Posted

Jazz is alive and well in Sylvan Lake with upcoming festival

Jazz at the Lake returns to Sylvan Lake, Aug. 17-19.

Many gather to Chip in for Health Care with annual tournament

The annual golf tournamnet in Sylvan Lake was a fundraiser for the AACS

The Hlinka Cup exhibition game a great success for Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake held an exhibition game for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup on Aug. 4

Central Alberta Buccaneers come up short against Monarchs

Bucs’ lose star quarterback in heartbreaking affair

Ponoka man faces 95 theft-related charges

Police recover stolen license plates, mail, tools

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Ponoka Traffic Unit investigate scooter incident

A motorcyclist appears to have lost control of her Suzuki scooter on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Wildfire smoke blankets B.C. and Alberta, prompting air quality advisories

About 25 new wildfires were sparked between Monday morning and midday Tuesday

Stettler woman facing 67 fraud-related charges appears with co-accused

Crown likely proceeding with more serious charge of indictable offence

Wetaskiwin Co-op robbed of laser tool, propane torch

Wetaskiwin RCMP attempting to identify two individuals involved in numerous thefts

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

Most Read