Main photo: Owen Decaro (foreground, second from right) serves dessert to Fairvern resident Irene Smith (Mandi Hargrave)
Great sportsmanship doesn’t just happen on the ice.
In the spirit of Christmas, the Bantam AE Otters helped serve dinner to residents at Fairvern Nursing Home on Dec. 18.
“Part of my responsibility with these kids is not just on the ice,” said their coach Kyle Shirtliff. “It’s also teaching them about everyday life and show them that there are difficult places and teach them to give back to their community.”
This is the second year the team visited with the residents and served them dinner. The idea initially stemmed from participating in Hockey Canada’s Good Deeds Cup as Peewee players. Although they are no longer in the Peewee age group, the Otters wanted to keep the good deeds going.
“When we asked the team what they wanted to do this year, they wanted to come back to Fairvern,” said Shirtliff. “Last year the kids had such a good time that they came back the following week to play bingo with the residents.”
The team is going back to have another games night with the residents on Dec. 24.
“I can’t get this much attention out of them on the ice,” said Shirtliff with a laugh.
“The residents love the kids being here,” added Melanie Reid, schedule and admin coordinator at Fairvern. “They were asking when the team was coming back. They don’t get to interact with kids the way they used to and they enjoy the time with them.”
The puck doesn’t stop there for the players’ good deeds.
The Otters will play a home game against the Almaguin Ice Dogs on Dec. 21 and will collect food donations for The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation.
“Last year we donated 300 pounds of food,” said Shirtliff. “We’re hoping to do bigger and better this year.”
Shirtliff is proud of his players.
“I would brag about this group to anyone who wants to listen,” he said.
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