Hockey Grandparents; the unsung heroes of Minor Hockey


By Janice Nikkel

November 12, 2013 (ISN) – Winston, Sarah and Michael play hockey and each have games at the same time. Dad takes Winston, Mom takes Sarah, but who is left to take Michael?

For the Johnston family, it’s often Grandma Margaret. She loves it! And she gets how important her role really is. Where would many of us hockey parents be if not for the Grandparents?

Grandmas and Grandpas are some of the unsung heroes of the hockey world. Picking up their grandkids, driving them to practices and cheering them on at games. There’s a grandpa at our local rink with grandkids on various teams. He’s almost always at the rink. Many parents know him and all who do really love him. He cheers really loud and has a call he makes that sounds like Woody Wood Pecker. He has affectionately been called Grandpa by most of us who know him. And he won the hearts of the minor hockey players because he’d often give a $5 bill to the player he felt stole the show on a given game. He’s a grandpa who gets it!

Last February, my son Lincoln and his team flew to Las Vegas for the President’s Tournament. I have three other kids and it wasn’t feasible for me to take off, so Grandpa Peter booked a flight and went along with my husband and son. Not only did they have some bonding time as guys, but Lincoln’s team won the tournament. Grandpa has already signed on for the next one. He’s another grandparent who gets it.

If you don’t have grandparents who live nearby, you can usually find someone on the team to help you out. If you are fortunate enough to live near a set of grandparents, and they are willing to help you out, let them. Not only are you getting help as you juggle the many demands of being a parent, but it gives your folks a chance to spend time with their grandkids. It’s a win-win memory that will stick with your kids for a lifetime.

Today is Remembrance Day. As a tribute to our grandparents and parents who have served our nation in the military, I want to end with a big thank you for what they have done for our nation. I have family members who have served and I have a personal connection to some of the peacekeepers who fought protecting us here in North America.

Canada is one of the best places in the world and we have many of our freedoms because of what our service men and women have fought for. We are free to enjoy so many things in this life, including watching our kids play hockey.

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