RED DEER - To celebrate National Volunteer Week, Hockey Alberta is shining the spotlight on a handful of volunteers who make a huge impact on the sport in Alberta.
More volunteer profiles can be found on Hockey Alberta’s Volunteer Appreciation page.
Kevin has held numerous volunteer positions in the Grande Prairie area, including coaching minor hockey and minor baseball, and has been a minor hockey board member since 2016.
Kevin also volunteers with Hockey Alberta in several capacities, including facilitating coach clinics, on-ice instruction at development camps, and volunteer coaching.
"I feel like if I can help a young athlete grow as a person and become more confident, I can help them accomplish more," said Kevin. "If that’s carried forward with them for their entire life, it will create opportunities for others. I also think back to my youth and how many great people influenced my life through their volunteer work, and I believe we build stronger communities through sport and teamwork and I enjoy watching the players I coach grow and develop. There’s no downside to volunteering."
Kevin notes his recent experience as being part of the Team Alberta North Male coaching staff for the 2020 Arctic Winter Games as one of his most memorable moments.
"Even though the games were cancelled, just being part of the process starting in August with applying for the job through to our training weekend with the players from both the male and female teams it was a fantastic experience," he said. "Another highlight for me has been working all of the Hockey Alberta PEP camps and being with the Hockey Alberta PEP program from the beginning."
Kevin operates a grain farm and is considered an essential worker, so he continues to work through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Janet is a long-time volunteer with Hockey Alberta as the Zone 1 Minor Administration Coordinator and Minor Administration Chair. Her long list of volunteer roles in hockey also includes coaching female hockey with the Grimshaw Minor Hockey Assoications, numerous team manager positions, registrar for Grimshaw MHA, and the manager and registrar for the Grimshaw Huskies Senior Men’s team. She also has been a member of the Arctic Winter Games Mission Staff since 2012.
Outside of hockey, Janet holds several other volunteer roles with Ducks Unlimited, the Grimshaw Community Services Board, and has volunteered for both the Alberta Summer and Alberta Winter Games.
"(I volunteer) for the joy it gives to the athletes, that’s the main reason," said Janet. "But also, these things need to be done so activities and organizations can run... someone has to do it. People ask me why I do it, what am I getting out of it. If you are doing it for the purpose of getting something out of it, then I don’t feel that you are there for the right reasons. My answer always is satisfaction from helping others, and the relationships. I have met so many great people and made so many wonderful friends through my volunteering."
Janet said her favourite moments always come from seeing the look of accomplishment on athlete’s faces when they win a banner or medal.
"One that really stands out was giving the Most Sportmanlike banner to the Indis Atom Hockey team last year at Provincials in Peace River," she said. "That was a very happy group of young players. You would think they had won the Stanley Cup and in my eyes they did. I almost cried presenting it to them, they were a great group, right from the bench staff, players to the fans."