A few years ago, my son and I flew to Vancouver to film a video series for my book, “Lessons from Behind the Glass.” The idea was that we’d do a series based on each lesson from the book. We’d interview people who are involved in hockey at all levels. We’d ask them about the game and how we can make it more positive for our youth. We heard stories from parents, coaches, referees, and players. I was especially excited because I knew I’d have the opportunity to meet and interview NHL hockey players and representatives from Hockey Canada. To my surprise, the interview that taught me the most was an interview I had with a young goalie named Bailey. He told me an incredible story of generosity; a story of how hockey can bring strangers together over a pair of goalie pads and a frozen puddle. I think his story epitomizes what Christmas should be all about.
Bailey’s Mom had shown him an article on Facebook about a young boy named Marcus. The story was of a young boy who found a frozen puddle in a parking lot close to his home to skate on. He put on old goalie gear and hopped on the tiny frozen puddle and started making imaginary saves. The article stated that Marcus wanted to play hockey but couldn’t afford it. The thing I loved the most about Marcus’s story is that no matter what his circumstance, he found a way to play the game.
As Bailey watched Marcus in the video, dressed in old goalie gear on a frozen puddle, he was so impacted by what he was watching. He asked his Mom if she’d help him create a “Go Fund Me” page to help pay for his registration to play hockey. Bailey said, “It kind of got to me that he’s on a small pond in a parking lot, and, if I were to see that, I wouldn’t do anything. I would look at it and say, there’s a frozen puddle but he looked at his as a place to go skate. He puts his gear on and just for a small amount of time he goes and skates.” The impact that had on Bailey made a huge difference for Marcus. The “Go Fund Me” account that Bailey and his Mom set up was enough to pay to register Marcus for hockey and he was gifted with equipment to get him started. Bailey and Marcus eventually met and became fast friends. This is a story that will be with me forever, the story of how the generosity of a young man allowed another to play the game they both loved so much. These two strangers came together over a puddle of ice and a pair of goalie pads. There are so many blessings at Christmas and I have to say hockey is one of my favourites.
This Christmas let’s remember the beauty of this sport, the friends we meet because of it and the gift of watching our kids do something they love. Most importantly, remember the lessons our young players learn on and off the ice because of hockey. Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!
If you’d like to see my interview with Bailey and learn more about Marcus’s story check out the link: https://youtu.be/sXcj6U3YiGE
- Written by Allyson Tufts
This article is the property of Allyson Tufts and is not to be used or changed without her permission.