The first reaction from Rankin Inlet rec director David Clark, when approached by the CBC to do a piece on him during the Hockey Day in Canada telecast, was to tell the reporter he didn’t want it to be just about him.
Par for the course for Clark, who would likely give up every medal and trophy he’s won playing hockey – and that’s quite a few – if it meant protecting or bettering his annual hockey camp for the kids.
It wasn’t that Clark wasn’t blown away by the offer of being part of the telecast. Far from it. He’s spent his entire life around the game of hockey – and what hockey fanatic doesn’t daydream about being on Hockey Night in Canada?
He was just being honest with the TV folks, while also being really busy – and a little stressed out – planning and scheduling the start of the hockey season around his annual hockey camp, as well as being ready for the Arctic Winter Games selection camp for the bantam team he’s coaching.
And this was all going on while the opening of Rankin’s new arena kept being delayed due to unforeseen difficulties with the freezing system.
“It was just a busy, busy week when they first approached me about it,” said Clark, “and at the same time all that was going on, we were trying to get a film done on the hockey camp.
“I wanted to get a little film done to show camp funders rather than always writing proposals, which, to be honest, I’m not that good at.
“This is a new age when everyone has gone to video and I, for one, appreciate it because I don’t learn from books.
“I learn by watching.”
Clark said the piece on him for Hockey Day in Canada came together quickly.
He said with Hockey Day in Canada originating from Yellowknife Feb. 8, much of the broadcast was to focus on Northern hockey and it was felt he fit the bill.
“The people working the show told me that my name keeps coming up, so they wanted to do a story about me,” he said.
“They were asking me for ideas on what we could do the story on, so I told them the things I’m most proud of are the hockey school and my coaching.
“And, don’t forget, at the time I didn’t even know if the arena was going to open on time, so it was all a little stressful.
“When I got the OK from the Government of Nunavut to hold the camp, I contacted Nick Murray right away in Iqaluit and he came over and did the story on me.”
Clark said he liked how the piece on him was approached, with a number of kids from the camp being part of it.
He said it was also a lot of fun to tell stories about Rankin hockey over the years.
“I was pretty excited about it, but I was also a little nervous.
“We’ve all dreamed about being on Hockey Night in Canada – of course those dreams are about playing – but I didn’t quite get that far so, I guess, this will just have to do.
“I’m also really curious to see what the finished product will look like from the filmmaker we had come to Rankin for our hockey camp.
“She does mini documentaries too, so I’m looking forward to seeing what she came up with.”