James Stewart, Dave Cassidy, Kevin Hamlin, Manuel Cardoso, Mike D’AgnoloLancer men’s hockey coach Kevin Hamlin (centre) accepts a cheque from Unifor 444 officials James Stewart, Dave Cassidy, Manuel Cardoso, and Mike D’Agnolo.

Rebuilding project to engage Lancer hockey players

Players on the Lancer men’s hockey team will travel to British Columbia to rebuild homes in First Nations communities damaged in 2021 by wildfires and floods.

The trip will take place during the team’s training camp this fall, said head coach Kevin Hamlin.

“We want to do something that will foster a positive relationship with the First Nations community,” he said. “The natural disasters combined with the horrific news of the residential schools is more than anyone should have to deal with.”

The Lancers have partnered on the project with Unifor Local 444, the First Nations Emergency Service Society, the city of Merritt — located in the Nicola Valley about 270 km northeast of Vancouver, and the Merritt Centennials Jr. A hockey team. Unifor donated $50,000 and will contribute expertise in building trades.

Local 444 president Dave Cassidy said his members are proud to join in this “fantastic cause.”

“We learned early on in our association with the blue and gold that coach Hamlin and his staff were not just about teaching their athletes the art of hockey, but building young men of character and decency,” Cassidy said.

In addition to rebuilding work, the Lancers will run a skills camp for Centennials players, present to youth on other social issues, and play exhibition games against Trinity Western University and the University of British Columbia, with ticket proceeds to support hockey programs for Indigenous youth.

“We are hopeful that we can leave a legacy in Merritt that will challenge others to do the same,” Hamlin said.

Read the full story at goLancers.ca.