Looking for leaders

Minor hockey is like any other amateur sport in one clear regard.
Without the contributions of numerous unsung heroes who do everything from stand behind the bench to pound the pavement in search of sponsorship dollars, the sport simply can’t survive.
Hockey Canada wants to spotlight those precious individuals who make Canada’s national pastime a more enjoyable and productive experience for all involved.
The national organization recently announced a partnership agreement with RBC Financial Group, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean to establish the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program.
The program will recognize and reward those behind the scenes who support minor hockey in their community while helping young athletes realize their potential.
Thirteen regional winners will receive $5,000 towards a registered charity or hockey cause in their community, special recognition in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and a signed Team Canada jersey.
Out of those 13, one will be chosen a national winner and be personally presented with a $25,000 cheque by MacLean himself to benefit hockey in their community.
A panel including MacLean and Hockey Canada officials will choose winners from nominations submitted on the program’s Web site at www.rbchockeyleaders.com
Nominations will be accepted until 11 p.m. (local time) on Jan. 10.
From those who shovel off the outdoor rinks to those who hand down their life and hockey skill knowledge to younger generations, there are plenty of deserving individuals here in Rainy River District who should get a pat on the back for their efforts.
Take the time to nominate someone you know who has helped make a difference. Without them, minor hockey would only be a dream, not a reality.
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For all those who ever wanted to take up running as a hobby, but just didn’t know how to get started, here’s a chance to put their concerns and several kilometres behind them.
A clinic for beginning runners starts today (Oct. 15) and runs every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. for 10 weeks until Dec. 17 at the Memorial Sports Centre.
The sessions will be instructed by Dr. Joanna Gillies of the Fort Frances Chiropractic Centre, who has trained more than 100 novice runners.
Each session will start with a half-hour discussion about topics ranging from proper footwear and running form to goal-setting, nutrition, and running injuries. That will be followed by a half-hour workout, with the plan to have all those participating eventually able to run five kim.
The clinic is open to everyone age 11 and up, with the $25 registration fee going towards a charity of the participating group’s choice.
For more information, contact Megan Ross at 274-4561.
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There’s a Bowman returning to the professional coaching ranks—but it’s not Scotty.
Current Fort Frances resident Urban Bowman, who is substitute teaching in International Falls, stepped in as interim coach of the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the 1992 season when Cal Murphy had to undergo heart surgery.
Bowman subsequently led the Bombers to the Grey Cup final, where they lost 24-10 to the Doug Flutie-led Calgary Stampeders.
This past weekend, Bowman was recruited by the Bombers to come to the rescue again—being brought in to take over the defensive line coach’s job.
The move means former defensive line coach Mike Gorton, the current defensive co-ordinator and assistant head coach, will move up to the spotter’s box while head coach Dave Ritchie plans to get more involved in the team’s offensive and defensive play-calling.
Bowman entered the CFL in 1971 as a coach with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and also has served stints with the Edmonton Eskimos, the old Ottawa Rough Riders, and the Toronto Argonauts.
The Bombers currently are tied for second in the Western Division with the B.C. Lions, holding a 10-6 record for 20 points—four behind the first-place Edmonton Eskimos.
Winnipeg still has a shot at top spot as they finish their regular season with a home-and-home series against the Eskimos.
Bowman is known for having a keen mind as a defensive tactician, which should make him a valuable asset to the Bombers—and, unfortunately for me, a bigger thorn in the side of my beloved Eskimos.
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It was another good weekend for former Muskie Sarah Noonan and her University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs women’s soccer teammates.
Noonan connected for the lone goal in the Bulldogs’ 1-0 win over Northern State University on Saturday, then UMD made it a perfect weekend with a 5-0 shutout of Southwest Minnesota State University.
The Bulldogs now are 4-0 (6-3-2 overall) and in first place in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. They play their final home games of the season this weekend against Wayne State College on Saturday and Concordia University-St. Paul on Sunday.
Both games take place at 1 p.m. at Griggs Field in Duluth.
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I refuse to let an unaccommodating schedule derail my baseball playoff picks.
With both the National and American League championship series still up for grabs as of press time last night, I am left to cover all possible World Series match-ups involving the remaining four teams in contention.
So I’ll keep it simple. Take the National League champs in six games, either Chicago or Florida, if Boston overcomes New York in the ALCS. If the Yankees prevail, take the Bronx Bombers over the Marlins in five—but stick with my adopted Cubbies over the men of Steinbrenner in seven.
Yeah, it’s a pick from the heart, but it’s my column, right?

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