Despite having to work around the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lloydminster Bobcats say their August hockey camps were a success.
The camps had to take a limited amount of players, increase sanitizations and physically distance over the three weeks of schools. Other changes included young players showing up already dressed in their gear, different areas of the arena marked off for players boxes and no supporters in the stands this year. All of the classes were still close to full.
Even though youth hockey camps had all these differences, Bobcats General Manager Nigel Dube says the kids responded well and had a lot of great opportunities to hone their craft.
“The young ones being from the ages of 5 to 13, they adapted well to the rules and what we’d laid out for them, I think that the really did good, and it just shows the power that they have and what they’re capable of doing.”
The team also took some time to recognize three player-coaches. In addition to Bobcats staff and players picking up some coaching duties, three local female hockey players, Alex Spence, Tyra Anderson, and Erin Bygrove made an impact on the young players. This was Spence’s second year coaching the team, and both Anderson and Spence were awarded the Bobcats RBC Legacy Scholarship for their commitment to the community and their continuing education.
Dube notes that Spence, Anderson and Bygrove are positive role models both on and off the ice for up and coming players in the Lloydminster Minor Hockey Association.
“You see women’s sports and girls sports growing across the globe, in every sport and not just hockey and I think that’s important to us moving forward as a whole and everyone involved in sports. The knowledge and passion they were able to demonstrate and show through to the young ones was instrumental in the young ones continuing on and being part of hockey.”
While Spence is set to begin her first year Mount Royal University, Anderson is off to her second year in Red Deer, and Bygrove to begin another season in the Lloydminster Steelers program, the Bobcats say they’re hopeful they will return when the team announces their 2021 hockey camps.