A hockey equipment drive held recently will offer new life to passionate players of the game in Fort Good Hope.

Malachi Morin, Joseph Curran, Matthew McKay and Wesley Lizotte take part in the hockey equipment drive at the Yellowknife Community Arena parking lot on Dec. 12.
photo courtesy of Lillith Brook

Lillith Brook and Amy Lizotte, two mothers with the Subway Bantam Development Team, solicited donations of hockey equipment at the Yellowknife Community Arena on Dec. 11.

What resulted within three hours on a frigid Saturday was two pickup truck loads and a small bus full of various pieces hockey gear were gathered from the city.

Brook said having the 13 and 14-year-old local players involved in a community services project is an important part of the minor hockey experience.

“Every year there is always a bit of focus on community involvement and volunteerism and it’s really encouraged by coach Darren Wicks,” Brook said.

“These type of efforts have grown every year, but this year because we had a little more time on our hands (due to Covid-19) we asked Darren and some other parents to help find opportunity to get involved in community work.”

Bags of equipment were stacked at a Det’on Cho Corporation warehouse earlier this week.
photo courtesy of Lillith Brook

Through her day job, Brook said she has connections with people in Fort Good Hope and she became aware of hockey development efforts there.

All equipment collected was expected to be sorted and packed by players on Tuesday night at a Det’on cho warehouse, where it’s being stored. It will then be taken by Summit Air and North-Wright Airways, which are offering discounted cargo service.

Hayden Murray, Matthew McKay, Mario Hernandez, Luke Potyok, and Ryder Wicks take part in a hockey equipment drive for Fort Good Hope at the Yellowknife Community Arena parking lot, Dec. 12.
photo courtesy of Mario Hernandez

“We ended up taking in more than what Fort Good Hope can take and so now we are reaching out to others with help of Hockey North to see if we can help them,” Brook said, adding that she hopes to send equipment to Fort Providence as well.

Karen Tingmiak, recreational coordinator with the Hamlet of Fort Good Hope works closely with Jeanette Tobac, on the land program manager.

She was in the process of picking up the equipment at the Fort Good Airport on Thursday morning.

“We are doing it as a surprise for the hockey players and when they see all of it they will be so amazed,” Tingmiak said. “For us we feel so thankful and we feel that Yellowknife hockey players are being so generous. We are really really excited to get new hockey youth gear because the gear the youth have is well used now.”

Tingmiak said that the equipment will complement plans to reopen the community’s arena which has been shut down over the last two seasons due to renovations.

Since that time the players have been playing on a little outdoor rink on a small pond.

“We have got about 15 to 20 kids (aged eight to 16) who play hockey regularly every year and they will be so happy and it will be almost like a Christmas miracle when we will let them know,” she said.

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