Hitting the ice every morning is part of the South Island Royals daily Routine, but on this day, they’ve designed a special play.
Players from various teams within the South Island hockey program have written sixty letters addressed to residents in care homes across the Greater Victoria area.
“Dear friend, I know these times are stressful and that there’s not a lot of good to think about right now,” reads Nathan King, defenseman for the South Island Royals. “I think it’s important to know that they are cared for and that we’re always here for them,” said King, explaining his motivation behind the letter.
“I’m writing to you, to remind you that you’re very special and loved always,” reads fellow South Island Royals defenseman and Victoria Royals draft pick Jason Spizawka. “The people in the care homes may have a sense of loneliness or isolation,” said Spizawka, hoping his letter provides some comfort over the holidays.
“I hope they get that there are people that care for them and that they’re not alone,” added Colby Driebergen, forward for the U17 South Island Royals.
The seemingly small gesture is one that goes a long way, as our CHEK News cameras caught the reaction of residents at the Luther Court care facility as they read the letters for the first time – a scene that showed generations apart connecting through a simple holiday hello.
“Sometimes you think the young people these days are full of mischief, well more than mischief a lot of them, but these boys sound just delightful,” said Luther Court resident Lynette Stofer.
“I think it really lifts people’s spirits just to know that people in the larger community are thinking about them and wishing them well and supporting them,” said Lori McKenzie, Director of Care and Community at Luther Court.
Over the holidays, the team also raised over twelve hundred dollars towards a food hamper program for families in need.
“A big part of our program is not just developing high-level hockey players, but we also care about developing the whole human being as a good citizen with care and empathy, so that’s big for us,” said Johann Cherry, General Manager of the South Island Royals.
Young men showing at this time of year, they’re much more than hockey players.