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Ball hockey selection camp held in Lab West

The U17 and U19 participants in the hockey camp.
The U17 and U19 participants in the hockey camp. - Gary Shaw

The Newfoundland and Labrador Ball Hockey Association recently held a player selection process in Labrador West for the first time.

This process was held to help identify ball hockey players who could be selected to represent the province on the national stage.

In the past, the selection process has historically been held in St. John’s. Executive member Tom Walsh came into Labrador West to represent and help in facilitating this event on behalf of the Newfoundland and Labrador Ball Hockey Association. In our conversation, he indicated this initiative - coming to Labrador West - was a proactive effort in inclusion for the entire province and to lighten the burden for participants and families in the logistics and the expenses incurred in helping young people with the challenges of travelling to St. John’s and accommodations during their stay to participate.

The many efforts in organization and facilitating this process by Evelyn Ryan and a very dedicated network of local volunteers has been a defining initiative in making this process become a reality in Labrador West. 

The ultimate goal for the players selected is to be able to represent our province at the national level at the Canadian Ball Hockey Association Tournament in Fredericton New Brunswick from July 26 through to July 29. This will include participants in the 2018 Boys U15, U17, U19 AND Girls U19 Junior Championships.

At the end of this weekend event, it was clear from Walsh and volunteers that it was a great success. The logistical support and the inclusion of so many eager and motivated young participants was a show of not only a keen interest but a display of a great deal of motivation and talent on the floor.

It was also described by Walsh as a stepping stone for young people in developing a greater network in not only ball hockey but the other sports that youth are involved in.

There is very little doubt that this weekend process of selection by the Newfoundland and Labrador Ball Hockey Association was a huge success at many levels. This could be clearly measured by the positive feedback from the organizers. As we gathered at the end of this weekend event, perhaps the most valuable feedback came from the group of young people who participated. A table full of our young folks with smiles and nothing but positive remarks of inclusion, friendship and fun were echoed from them all.  A big acknowledgement has to be given to the many ongoing efforts of the whole team of organizers, but to the volunteers who seem to be many of the same faces tirelessly giving of their time and efforts no matter what sports venue we find ourselves at in our community. 

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