Her husband told her that their son would play hockey from the time he was born. “That sounded dangerous to me and I had no interest at all in encouraging him to pursue this sport. That all changed on the day of his first “Mini Watts” session. The social aspect was undeniable from day one. He was making fast friends and so were we. I looked forward to that 7:00 am gathering at the rink.”
During his first year in house league, her boy was on a rag-tag team with very few wins under their belt at the holiday break. With all the goals being scored on them, none of the kids wanted to play net. When her son Eddie’s turn came, he threw on the pads and got a few wins under his belt right away. He helped his team go from last place to the “A” finals that season and became known as Steady Eddie to teammates and parents alike.
Rep hockey soon followed and he became a “Toro” for life. His teammates and the coach he has had since his Minor Atom season have become a central part of our family’s lives. Their entire family plays a role, Dad as an assistant coach, big sister as the music coordinator for home games and Kirsten as fundraising manager. Eddie made the transition from Goalie to Defenceman and has never looked back.
Shortly before our son Minor Atom season, Kirsten was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had fabulous care and underwent surgery within a few weeks. Unfortunately, her surgery fell on the first day of tryouts. “My husband works a midnight shift and drove me to the hospital early in the morning after a night at work. We had made arrangements for our son to attend tryouts with a teammate but when the hour drew near, my husband wanted to be there for him. We decided that he should make the 1.5 hour drive to the rink while I was in the recovery room and return for me later. Eddie made the cut that night and my surgery was a success.”
While she underwent treatment and was away from her job, Kirsten took the opportunity to become more involved with team. “I had a bald head and needed a lot of sleep, but I was determined to make our team’s pub night fundraiser a success. I secured a ton of silent auction prizes, put on a wig and went to the party!”
“Our team was very grateful for my efforts and showed their appreciation in the month of October. It is custom for the teams in our league to wear pink laces and sport pink hockey tape in October for breast cancer awareness month. During this season, our team went a step further and surprised me with a beautiful plaque signed by the team. For the entire month of October, the team used blade tape with the words “Kirsten’s Warriors” on their sticks. I was so honored!”
When her treatment was finished and she returned to her full time job, she decided that she would continue to make time to be a hockey volunteer. “I have since joined the board of directors for our league and now lend assistance to all of our teams in their fundraising efforts.”
Adding to their commitment back to the game, they became a billet family supporting their local junior program.