Coaching the Future

Lloydminster, AB ? The Lloydminster Bobcats Organization had the opportunity to host three separate weeks of youth hockey school in the month of August.  The Bobcats annual two-week youth camp was a lot different this year from what would have been in a normal August month  With COVID-19 restrictions in place in many areas, including the arenas in Lloydminster there was a time when it looked like no camps would be happening in 2020. As the start date loomed, the Bobcats Organization felt it was necessary to take all the required and proper steps to host a camp which is open to all skill categories, boys and girls of all ages, and affordable to attend. Stark changes such as the dressing rooms being outside, chairs in hula hoops marking social distancing, and not a person in the stands, did not change and no one would think a thing different from the smiles shining so bright on the ice.

The coaching staff included Bobcats coaches and players, but the coaches of the future who may have had the most impact were three local female hockey players in Alex Spence, Tyra Anderson, and Erin Bygrove.  All three have grown up on and off the ice in Lloydminster and continue to pursue the sport with Spence off to her first year at Mount Royal University, Anderson off to her second year in Red Deer, and Bygrove set to begin another season in the Lloydminster Steelers program. ?Words cannot express how important it was for these three young women to be a part of our hockey camp for three weeks. We had a little girl in camp on the first day ask if Coach Alex was back again; her excitement finding out she was showed how much impact these ladies have on the game. All three connected with the athletes in camp in different ways. I feel it is very important and powerful!?  said Bobcats GM & Head Coach Nigel Dube.  Spence was part of the 2019 camp coaching staff when the format was changed from previous years giving camp a fresh look.

The Bobcats are looking forward to the 2021 youth camp already, with hopes the three coaches will be back to share their wealth of knowledge and passion for the game. ?In hockey we always talk about the impact one can have and how important it is to have role models in the sport. Alex, Tyra, and Erin will be followed by all these youngsters through the year. They do a fantastic job exemplifying what an athlete and great person is like which is imperative for our youth? added Dube. All three of the girls grew up in the Lloydminster Minor Hockey Association and continued their play in the PWM Steelers Programs showing how important those programs are in the community and the people they develop.

Anderson and Spence were both recipients of the Bobcats RBC Legacy Scholarship awarded in June this year for their commitment to community and dedication to continuing their education at a post-secondary institution. ?It just shows the commitment and dedication these ladies have for working towards their goals on and an off the ice, true role models for all the boys and girls coming up in the Lloydminster Minor Hockey Association? finished Dube.

The Bobcats would like to thank Erin, Alex, and Tyra for being committed to creating a fun learning environment at the Lloydminster Bobcats youth camp! Good luck this season girls!