In a season like no other, the Victoria Admirals U13 C2 hockey team is aiming for a major victory.
“Probably the biggest thing, like this season, that we’re trying to win,” said 12-year-old right-winger Michael Rufh.
With no games or tournaments due to COVID-19 restrictions, the team still practices regularly, but has shifted their big season goal to capturing the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup.
“The purpose of it is to really inspire hockey teams to get them out in the community,” said Matt Belanger, the team’s head coach.
Throughout the year, the team has participated in bottle drives and chocolate sales with money going to individual charities of each player’s choosing.
“It started at the beginning of the season for us, we wanted to focus on kindness with the team this year,” said Belanger.
A few months ago during the World Junior Hockey Tournament, the team noticed a commercial for the Good Deeds Cup and decided to apply.
The annual Canada-wide contest seeks out minor hockey teams to submit a 60-second video on how they would use the grand prize of $100,000 to make a difference in their community.
The Admirals chose to support the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.
“Well, they’ve helped over 15,000 kids in Victoria, well actually, on the Island,” said Rufh, who also did a school project on the foundation.
Unbeknownst to Admirals head coach Belanger, his son Reid, born with a cleft lip, received assistance from the foundation.
“At three months, he had a surgery to correct his cleft and we’ve been back a number of times since, it’s been fantastic,” said Belanger, who says the foundation helped coordinate procedures and appointments for his son.
The Victoria Admirals have advanced in the contest and are now BC’s representative as one of eleven finalists across Canada. If they win, the money will go towards the purchase of specialized mobility and protective equipment for Vancouver Island children in need.
“I know that we need equipment to keep us safe on the ice, and these kids need equipment to keep them safe in their everyday lives,” said Rufh.
They’re a team on a mission to make positive changes that will impact many children on Vancouver Island.
The contest is decided by the public voting online and runs until February 24.
The top three finishers will be announced on March 20 and will receive $5,000 each. The grand prize winner will be announced at a later date.