YORKTON - When it comes to Canada few things resonate so completely with this nation than the sport of hockey.
Moments from Paul Henderson’s goal against Russia in game eight of the famed ’72 Summit Series, to the gold medal win at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver are indelible memories for many Canadians.
And certainly locally the Yorkton Terriers dramatic Royal Bank Cup win, tieing the game in the final moments of regulation time in the final and winning in overtime is a huge moment, most likely in the top-10 stories in this city in the last 25 years for many.
We love our hockey.
It’s why in this week’s edition of Yorkton This Week photos of each minor hockey team in the city is proudly included.
Certainly most of these young players aren’t going to be the next Henderson, Gordie Howe, Connor McDavid or Connor Bedard, but that doesn’t stop many of the young players pictured from dreaming they might be.
And, who knows with hard work, good coaching, and some luck, maybe some will succeed to take their hockey dreams to the biggest of stages down the road.
But, in the end playing sports as a youth is not about million dollar contracts and photos on sports cards.
It should be first and foremost about having fun.
If a sport is not fun, it’s time to try something else.
And, it’s about learning sportsmanship and how to work with teammates. It’s about how to celebrate winning with a level of poise, and dealing with the hurt of loss with dignity and determination to get better.
Sometimes we lose track of why youth play sports such as hockey, and as adults we spend maybe too much time screaming for better play, and lamenting mistakes maybe too loudly, when we should be remembering to have fun too.
The young players might not reach the heights parents might themselves dream for, but does that matter if they become better adults for the experiences gained in sport when they were young?
So enjoy the smiles along the way, and yes celebrate the victories, but remember with a loss it is ultimately just a game that should be played for a host of reasons that are not strictly about scoring more goals than the opposition.
Sure winning is important at some level, or why keep score, but it is not the most important part of minor spot.
The smile of a young player when looking to the stands and seeing family happily watching trumps a win any day. We just all need to remember that.