By Lethbridge Herald on December 14, 2023.
By Justin Seward
While a friendly game of ringette between the U19 Lethbridge Rattlers ringette team and one of the Tier 3 Hurricanes hockey teams will be played on the ice on Monday night in the fourth annual Battle of the Sticks, it will be the fun off-ice initiative that will be the biggest goal scored on the night.
Friends and families are encouraged to come and take in the game and bring a non-perishable food item which will be a part of the filling a whole car for the Lethbridge Interfaith Food Bank.
U19 Rattlers coach Chris McIntyre has often times tried to emphasize the importance of giving back to their community.
“It gives us an opportunity to bond with each other and to connect as teammates,” he said.
“But also to connect over a common cause and in this case, we know that there’s a need in the community for providing food for those less fortunate or for those who need a little bit of a boost at times.”
McIntyre thinks it’s important event in realizing to be gracious and have gratitude for what they have.
“And to remember that we can go a long way to help other people too.” McIntyre.
The event is also a chance to promote the sport.
“It’s really a chance to expose the boys to the game of ringette and to gain an appreciation for the intricacies of the sport ,” said McIntyre.
The Hurricanes talk about giving back to their community in a number of ways.
“We asked them whether they’re helping out with refereeing within the game or hopefully when they get older, they give back to the sport of hockey in a coaching capacity,” said U18 Hurricanes assistant coach Gord McDonald.
“It kind of just builds from there. But ultimately what they can control right now is they can give back to the community in some fashion and that’s where we have been aligned the last couple of years with giving back to the food bank.”
The game will have that competitive spirit.
“The boys are going to get beat on the ice, we know that,” said McDonald.
“But where they can really bring that competitiveness is in trying to beat the other team in food donations. So it’s a little bit of fun banter back and forth amongst the teams and ultimately all for a good cause.”
Battle of the Sticks goes on Monday night from 8:15-9:15 p.m. at Henderson Arena.