The Rankin Rock hockey camp tour came to an end last week in Arviat.

Minor hockey players, from left, Ricky Putumiraqtuq, Brya Kingunkotok, Daniel Kingunkotok and Amos Nakoolak are having a blast hanging-out with head instructor David Clark of Rankin Inlet during the Rankin Rock Season Opener hockey camp in Baker Lake. That camp was followed up last week with another one in Arviat. Photo courtesy David Clark

The Rankin Rock won a $ 80,000 Youth Arctic Inspiration prize earlier this year in order to expand the camp outside of Rankin Inlet. The camp has been run in Rankin Inlet for the past five years, but after winning the funds they were able to expand to both Arviat and Baker Lake, where a camp was hosted earlier this month.

“We’re a locally run camp with the majority of our camp leaders coming from Rankin, growing up in Rankin that kind of thing. We went to Baker Lake about three weeks ago and the one in Rankin Inlet took place in the middle of October,” said David Clarke, the camp organizer. “It’s part of the whole Arctic Inspiration prize we won last January, the camp entailed that we do camps in Rankin Inlet where we’ve done it for about five years now, we expanded and did one in Baker Lake and Arviat was our last stop.”

The camp was open to all registered minor hockey players in the community. Clarke said the Arviat camp had kids from the age four all the way up to 17 years of age. The kids were taken through two off-ice sessions a day and two on-ice sessions. In the classroom, the kids were taught personal growth and run through off-ice training programs while they worked on skating and puck skills once they strapped on the skates.

“We do all kinds of off ice training with the kids that they can use after we leave if they want to continue to do so and then from there we do two ice sessions. One skating session per day and then we do one puck skill session per day,” said Clarke.

Clarke said the off-ice training sessions were just as important to the camp as the hockey skills. The classroom session focused on teaching the kids personal growth and team building including goal-setting, self-reflection and teaching the students the sacrifices they may have to make in order to pursue hockey at higher levels.

“We’re not just a hockey camp our goal is to make better people also, a big thing for us, we wanna make better players, but we also wanna make better people, that’s huge for us,” said Clarke.

Clarke also noted in an earlier interview with Nunavut News the importance of having a made-in the-North camp to help the kids relate to what was being taught in each community. The camp also featured the Arviat Sr. team playing a showcase game against the camp instructors.

With the Arviat camp finishing, the tour of Nunavut communities has come to an end for the Rankin Rocks tour. While Arviat was the last stop, Clarke hinted that the camp could take to the road again in the future.

“Yup,” said Clarke, when asked if the camps were finished before adding. “As of right now anyways.”

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