Teammates for Kids and Garth Brooks hosted a ball-hockey camp for young athletes from across Ottawa on Saturday at Sacred Heart High School in Stittsville. Seventy kids ages 9-13, many from disadvantaged families, had the incredible opportunity to practice their hockey skills with none other than Ottawa Senators' Chris Phillips, his former teammate Shean Donovan, and NHL veteran Darroll Powe. Donovan was one of the first NHL players to become a Teammate 15 years ago, and Saturday was the first time he coached a camp.
Tara Howlett and Caitlyn Brewer brought 13 children from the recLINK program for children in Centretown and called the camp an “amazing” experience. Howlett said such camps would normally be “out of the realm of possibility for these kids.” RecLINK aims to help children and youth participate in social recreation activities during the critical after-school hours. Every child who attended the camp did so at no cost.
Brooks, who was in Ottawa for four sold-out concerts at Canadian Tire Centre, visited the camp to take part in the drills and games, talk to the kids, and give them a pep talk. He emphasized what he and the coaches call the "five words of wisdom"--courage respect, discipline, attitude, and character.
In connection with those core values, Teammates For Kids presents the Good Teammate Award at each youth sports camp they sponsor. The award recognizes the athletes who best demonstrate the traits of a Total Teammate, including leadership, toughness, unselfishness, and respect for the game and all of its participants. In Ottawa, Good Teammate Awards were presented to: Austin Bail, age 10; Alexza Rheaume, age 10; and Braden Young, age 12.
Teammates will continue to partner with Brooks to hold youth sports camps at every city on his World Tour. Brooks and Teammate athletes in each city will volunteer their time to coach kids in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, or soccer.