Volunteers with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey Association have been going about their business for years, creating programs and providing opportunities for youth to play the game.
That dedication was rewarded at the recent B.C. Hockey annual general meeting, when the association was named winner of the prestigious President’s Award as “the association that most brings honour to the game and contributes to their community.”
“We were kind of sitting there and got caught a little bit off guard,” said Juan de Fuca association president Harold Bloomenthal. “The B.C. Hockey guys told us that’s the award everyone is after.”
The provincial honour was preceded by an award as hockey association of the year for Vancouver Island.
The association, which is home to more than 750 players and hundreds more volunteers, is involved in various activities besides those on ice. It provides 10 scholarships of $2,100 to graduating players, and has contributed more than $40,000 to community groups through hosting the annual Debbie Cooper Memorial tournament for house league players.
It also has begun working with Langford Sport Assist, a funding organization that helps families in need get their kids into sports.
Bloomenthal said the two awards for the association are a big deal for the West Shore at large, from which players come from all five municipalities.
“It really gives me a sense of community pride and we’re really resolved as an association to make it better. For me anyway, it validates that we’re on the right track with a lot of this stuff. It is about hockey. But we don’t want to just pump out good players, we want to pump out good people.”