The Chestermere Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) and Ice Edge Skating Club (IESC) both received $1,000 donation from a local volunteer who was eligible to apply for a grant through the Husky Community Grant Program.
“I’m happy that the company I work recognized that so many communities are built on the backs of volunteers,” said Chestermere local and CMHA Atom 1 team treasurer Zarmena Cook.
“Winter sports are a part of life. It bonds the community, and I find it’s very important,” she added.
The Husky Community Grant Program donates funds to local community organizations that employees have spent a significant amount of time and energy volunteering for throughout the year.
“The grants are intended to help a not-for-profit with a specific project or service, such as to purchase equipment or material that can help a not-for-profit organization deliver its services or programs, renovate its space, or provide for its clientele,” Cook said.
“The CMHA has been making strides in supporting goalie development and increasing the number of players joining the association as goalies,” Cook said.
The grant proceeds will be used to bring in professional goalie coaches to certify youth goalie instructors, purchase materials, or equipment, which will be useful in goalie training and can be lent out to those trying out the goalie position.
Cook has been involved with the CMHA the IESC for over three years. Since applying for the Husky Community Grant Program, Cook has witnessed the league supporting the skill development of young goalies.
When Cook’s son first started playing a goalie position, the CMHA lent him goalie equipment, until he was sure he wanted to commit to playing goalie.
“The equipment can be quite expensive and being able to try playing as a goalie without having the upfront cost of equipment is great,” Cook said.
The Goalie Development Program Coordinator for the CMHA, Wayne Copeland, is extremely excited to receive the Husky Community Grant.
“This is wonderful, thank you very much for getting this grant for our development team, unexpected yet very thoughtful,” Copeland told Cook.
Adding, “The timing is perfect as I am working on our instructor series.”
Copeland has brought in instructors from Edmonton for an instructor development camp for the Bantam and Midget aged goalies to become certified to train and mentor Atom and Peewee aged goalies.
Copeland encourages the leagues’ younger goalies to come in at the end of the camp for a training session.
“This is where our newly certified instructors will go live with their newly learned skills,” he said.
There are currently five goalie instructors with the CMHA, and Copeland is excited to hold another training session in the spring.
The Husky Community Grant Program will also support the IESC in advanced learning of jumping kills for the young figure skaters.
“The Husky grant money is intended to go towards purchasing a handheld and pole harness,” Cook said.
“The IESC is one of the very few clubs that have a Lebel Jump Harness which is installed on-track in the blue arena. This harness helps skaters work on jump techniques from singles to triples,” she said.
“We’re so grateful for the grant money that has allowed us to purchase equipment we otherwise would have gone without and are so excited to see our skater’s development with our new harness,” said the IESC Head Coach Heather McFarlane.
Cook was inspired to apply the IESC for the Husky Community Grant Program, because of the sense of friendship her daughter has since skating with the club for nearly five years.
“The sense of belonging and friendship is very strong among the skaters. She jumps out of bed to get to the early morning ice skating, which I would love just to sleep through. The supportive coaches and skaters who she trains with are like another family to her,” Cook said.
“The reason I have applied for this grant is that the club has been training a number of really talented young figure skaters over the years, and I hope this grant will help in furthering their development,” she said.
“What I like about this club is that the young star figure skaters are involved as program assistants in the CanSkate lessons to help the little ones who are learning to skate,” Cook added. “They are supportive and friendly with the young learners and are quick to help them out and hold their hand as they make their first strides.”
For more information about the IESC, please visit the website at www.iceedgeskatingclub.com.