Moving forward

Count me in as a supporter of the Canadian Hockey Association’s latest venture to improve the state of the game at its foundation.
The CHA introduced the “Relax, it’s just a game” ad campaign last week, which aims to get parents to take a more positive approach to youth hockey—whether it be toward their own children or other players on the ice.
Certainly, the boorish hockey parent stereotype is not a fair one, as a majority of parents I’ve witnessed at rinks across the country are more supportive than destructive when watching from the stands.
But the problem is still evident enough that something needed to be done to show problematic parents that they’re ruining the game for both the players and the people around them in the arena with their high-strung antics.
The public service announcements being issued by the CHA as part of this project are a good start, but further action needs to be taken.
Tighter security that would enforce crowd behaviour regulations would be effective, but that’s obviously an expensive prospect for minor hockey associations and towns that run arenas to undertake, especially the smaller ones.
More proactive methods—such as pre-season meetings between coaches and parents to outline acceptable standards of behaviour during games—also could help improve the situation.
It would be utopian to believe the issue of overbearing hockey parents will ever fully disappear. The excuses of “It’s my child, I’ll do what I want” and “I’m investing a lot of money in this” will always be there for those who choose to fall back on them.
But it doesn’t mean the CHA and minor hockey associations everywhere should quit trying to make the game a more enjoyable time for its participants.
• • •
A bad break—literally—has sidelined one of the bright lights on the Fort Frances snowmobile racing scene indefinitely, but hopefully not permanently.
Johnny Lundon of Team Polaris broke his ankle during the first preliminary race of the season in the Sport Stock class at the Ski-Doo Duluth National at Spirit Mountain there last weekend, according to teammate Steve Arpin.
“They had to put pins and screws in his ankle,” said Arpin, who is heading to Beausejour, Man. this weekend for his opening stint of ice oval racing.
“It looks like he could be done for the season, and some people are thinking maybe for good,” he added.
It will be a shame if Lundon’s racing days are done, considering all the hard work he put in to rehabilitate a shoulder injury that dogged him throughout last season.
Here’s to a speedy recovery—and a return to the powder paths as soon as possible.
In related news, Lundon’s teammate, Brad Loveday, also was scheduled to compete in Duluth but never made the trip, according to Arpin.
Neither Lundon nor Loveday could be reached for comment at press time.
• • •
The Fort Frances Novice girls’ hockey team is missing its prized puppy, and is hoping you can help locate it. I say it because this dog is of the stuffed variety.
The toy, which serves as the team’s mascot, was placed near the boards during a team photo shoot two weeks ago at the Ice for Kids Arena.
But when Tim Fowler, president of the Fort Frances Girls’ and Women’s Hockey Association, went to retrieve the cuddly canine, he found it had gone missing.
“We’re thinking maybe some child accidentally picked it up and took it home,” said Fowler. “We hope we can get it back.”
The missing dog is 10 inches high and white in colour, with a pink lace collar and a knapsack on its back with “OWHA” (Ontario Women’s Hockey Association) inscribed on it.
Anyone with information can contact Fowler at 274-5270 (home) or 274-5311 (ext. 1952).
I hope the doggone thing turns up.
If you are planning any sporting events, or have some sports-related information or scores, feel free to call me at 274-5373 ext. 237 or by e-mail at jpayeur@fortfrances.com

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