Chasing dreams in the great world of sports

By Curtis J Phillips

Rambling thoughts from a rambling mind.

Not all kids may have the financial backing to play organized sports, especially nowadays with hefty registration fees and equipment costs, so its hats off to organizations like Kid Sport Wood Buffalo and the local chapter of Canadian Tire Jump Start.

Both of these amazing groups continue to go above and beyond in unlocking the enthusiasm in kids through assisting them to chase their dreams in the great world of sports as. Year to date alone, more than 70 local kids have been assisted.

The people behind these organizations have a passion for sports and many reasons for volunteering their time.

“I grew up playing almost every sport available in Fort McMurray. I did soccer, judo, skated with Canskate, and then I did biathlon and was part of the curling club. Playing sports was always an option never a question for me as we could afford it. I can’t imagine not playing sports. It should be a right for every child to play,” Emile Rainville, Kid Sport.

Sauve Steady in Service

It’s hard to believe that the Noralta Figure Skating Club (NFSC) has been in existence for somewhere around 40 years. Part of that stability is the fact that Ben Sauve has been coaching there for nearly 20.

An inductee of the 2013 Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, Sauve along the way has trained more than 10,000 athletes sending more than 1,000 to the competitive level.

This does not go unnoticed.

“It means everything for the club,” said Tania Murowchuk, NFSC assistant director. “To have someone who is coming up on 20 years having mentored the coaches making sure that we have the quality coaching is instrumental in the continued success of the club.”

The NFSC has 600 registrants for each semester.

Sobchak a Quicksilver Sensation

Keyano Huskies men’s hockey coach Nate Bedford said prior to the season “watch out for Owen Sobchak, he is going to surprise a lot of people.”

Standing 5-foot-5, give or take an inch, this quicksilver forward from St. Catherines, Ontario opened the 2014-2015 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) season last Friday scoring three goals against the host Concordia Thunder in Edmonton during a 7-5 win.

Such was his prowess that Bedford said: “I was surprised how impressive Owen Sobchak (three goals) was in the first game. For one of his goals he absolutely undressed the (Thunder) goalie and he did it at such a high speed. It was one of the best goals that I have seen so far in the ACAC.”

Vermillion Golfs for Three

Fort McMurray’s Megan Vermillion, two-time ACAC women’s golf champion (2013-2014, 2011-2012) had a hard go of it last weekend as the Grant MacEwan Griffins star placed fifth at the 2014 ACAC golf championships held September 27-28, 2014 at Cardiff Golf & Country Club in Morinville.

Morinville is also the new home of former McMurrayite – hate to use the word former as your heart always remains here – of former, there’s that word again, sports print/electronic journalist Jerry Skowronski.

Jerry gave me my local start way back in 1982 and for that I am and will be always grateful. He also taught me a hard day’s work is a good day’s work.

Before we leave the links, Kaitlyn Durocher is another local girl swinging the clubs down south as she plays golf for the NAIT Ooks in Edmonton. She should perform well if she learned any tips from her dad Mike.

Hyde Heads to Hall

Congrats to Rod Hyde as he will be inducted into the McMaster University Sports Hall of Fame.

Hyde, who was principal at Fort McKay School for eons, was a member of the University of Alberta’s first men’s hockey championship, way, way back in 1963-64.
A year prior he was part of the first-ever CIS hockey title with McMaster coming out on top.

Anyone Going to the Games?

The 2015 Canada Winter Games are just around the corner and it should be interesting to see how many local athletes qualify for any of the 19 sports to be held in Prince George, British Columbia from February 13, 2015 to March 1, 2015.

With archery, biathlon and target shooting as part of the schedule, it would be great if we had entrants from the Fort McMurray Fish and Game Association. In the past they have produced several national champions including Monique Marquis in archery and John Vaughn in pistol just to name a few.

Catch you on the rebound.