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Young players hit the ice at Alberta hockey camp
Three Fort Providence youth spend week at Sylvan Lake hockey camp

April Hudson
Northern News Services
Thursday, August 25, 2016

The tail end of summer is still in the air but three youth from Fort Providence are already looking forward to what the winter - and ice - will bring.

NNSL photo/graphic

Three hockey players from Fort Providence left the community for a week at the beginning of August for the opportunity of a lifetime - the chance to train at a hockey camp in Sylvan Lake, Alta. From left are Kole Landry, 10, Evan Nadli, 12, and Tyrell Nadli, 12. - photo courtesy of Edward Landry

Kole Landry, 10, Evan Nadli, 12, and Tyrell Nadli, 12, all took a week at the beginning of August to head down south for a hockey camp.

The camp has been running since July in Sylvan Lake. The trio from Fort Providence attended from Aug. 1 to 6.

Landry said he enjoyed the camp and his favourite part was being able to actually play the game.

"I learned some new skills," he said, adding he plans to continue playing as part of Fort Providence's minor hockey team this coming winter.

The trio were chaperoned by coach Edward Landry and James Nadli, father of Tyrell.

Landry said the three youths were regulars during hockey practice last winter, prompting him to enroll them in the hockey camp.

"Tyrell, he always had a stick in his hand," Landry said, adding both Kole and Evan had experience skating in Hay River.

Last season, Landry took on the responsibility for coaching the youth, a role he had played before in the community before taking a break. During that break, he hoped someone would step up to the role of coach but as time passed no one did.

"I thought someone would pick it up. But you have to go forward and say, 'There's potential here,' and try to be leaders," he said.

"I love the game, and the kids came out as much as they can."

The hockey camp was made possible through donations from the hamlet, the band office and the Zhatie Koe Friendship Centre, although much of the cost also came out of Landry's own pocket. The hamlet paid for the youths' registration, while the friendship centre donated $500 and Deh

Gah Got'ie First Nation donated $400.

"It was for the kids, and they were really happy. They had a lot of fun," Landry said.

As for the camp itself, the youths had skating from morning until late afternoon, as well as off-ice exercise and fitness. Additionally, they spent time in a classroom learning about the sport they were playing.

They also had the opportunity to have some fun in their free time, hitting the beach and going down water slides.

Landry says the highlight of the trip for him was seeing how many other aboriginal youth were involved in the camp.

"I saw a busload of aboriginal kids from a reserve near the Saskatchewan boarder, and another busload south from Rocky Mountain House," he said.

"To see that, and that they could all skate, was really good. To see that there's people who are starting to slowly get involved - it was an eye-opener."

He was also happy to see the three youths pushed to learn new skills.

"There's a lot of stuff where I knew the kids were behind," he said.

"I'm going to work them hard this year."

This year, Landry's focus is on getting more youth involved in hockey, as well as other sports in the hamlet.

Already, the minor hockey team has been able to recruit some new volunteers, and Landry says they hope to hold a meeting soon to recruit more.

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