Orphanage Hockey School a True Success!

As mentioned previously, a major component of the Fall trip this year was a hockey school for the children of the Chausy Orphanage.  It was sponsored and run by the Malcomson family who are long time supporters of CAC and our work at the orphanage.  Additionally they are talented Hockey coaches and have a lot of experience running hockey schools here in Canada. The week long hockey school included classroom training sessions at the “Malcomson Home for Family Living” located on the orphanage grounds as well as on-ice sessions held at the newly constructed arena in nearby Gorki.

Here the students gather around the coaches during an on-ice session:


While in Chausy a meeting was held with the Mayor of the region who presented the Malcomsons with certificates of appreciation for the work they have done to help this region.  Here Dave (left) and his son Allan (right) pose with the mayor for a photo.

010IMG_5595Dave Malcomson also presented the Mayor with an Ottawa Senators jersey!

020IMG_5601Brian Knowles worked with the goalies all week and developed a real bond with Nikita who is showing real potential as a talented goal keeper.  Also in this picture is one of our interpreters Tanya.

040IMG_5645Shawn Knowles focused on skills development with the beginners, here he is with his group of students and another of our interpreters, Nina

050IMG_5641A real bond was formed between the coaches and the students, here is Allen with a couple of his “guys”!

060IMG_5781It was unbelievable the improvement that was realized in only one week.  The beginners went from learning to skate to showing off their cross-overs and skating back-wards.  Here Kiril shows his smile as he practices his moves.

070IMG_5628At the end of the week prizes were given out in many categories including “most improved” and “leadership”.

080IMG_5932This was an amazing week for everyone, including the coaches.

090IMG_5666Here is a note from the coaches, written after returning from Chausy:

The motivation for the Chausy Hockey School in a word comes down to happiness. Whether in Canada or Belarus, there is nothing more powerful than creating an honest and genuine smile. That being said, I think when we went over the first time we were curious, we were hesitant and we certainly had not committed to a multiple year initiative. However, then we needed to come back, to see more smiles and the happiness. It is contagious. When you touch someone’s life, you want to feel that sensation over and over.  Then the cycle is inevitable, as we plan to go back for our third hockey school, we are looking to recreate the “Magic” from the first two events. We both win, the children’s lives are enriched by sport, teamwork, camaraderie and the lessons we teach them. Despite the fact we tell people we are doing it for “the orphans,” our lives are equally enriched as we learn about culture, reality and camaraderie as well.  In the end happiness and smiles, go both ways between the players and the coaches. We will never understand precisely how much joy we bring them, but at the same time, they will never understand how happy we are to go!

It is a week that these children will never forget!

Eric McKenzie

2 thoughts on “Orphanage Hockey School a True Success!

  1. Connie Lou Sebast

    It is incredible how God touches us as we reach out to “help” others.

    Mark and i experienced the same thing almost 16 years ago, in Omsk, in Russia. Every life we touched, they touched us back. I am not sure who ends up the happiest. (We adopted Gorsha at age 4. He is now 20.)

    By the way, Gorsha (born without arms) is now living on his own, in an apartment, taking on- line classes, volunteering with adults with many challenges. He has completed a two year Associates and plans to get a four year degree in counseling. He drives, skiis, swims . . .

    Give and it shall be given to you.

    Keep on giving!! You get more than you give.

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