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Former NHLer gives hockey boost
Wayne Babych brings hockey camp to Arviat, Rankin Inlet

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hundreds of young kids received a double shot of hockey excitement in two Kivalliq communities late this past month.

NNSL photo/graphic

Tina Lindell gets help from her dad, Jackson, during the Wayne Babych Hockey Camp and Calm Air Hockey Gear Giveaway in Rankin Inlet this past month. - photo courtesy of Noel Kaludjak

Former NHL star Wayne Babych rolled into Rankin from Nov. 25 to 27 as part of the Dave Babych Hockey Camp and Calm Air Hockey Gear Giveaway, before heading to Arviat for three days.

The event was originally scheduled to be held in the two communities this past July, but had to be rescheduled due to logistical problems. More than 100 kids turned out in Arviat for the event.

"Wayne's (Babych) time in the NHL may have been a little before most of the kids at the camp, but they understood who he was and it's always a big deal for any age group to be on the ice with an NHLer," said Rankin rec co-ordinator David Clark.

Pallet upon pallet of top-notch hockey equipment was distributed in the two communities, with much of the gear going to minor hockey-aged kids who weren't playing this season due to their lack of equipment.

The camp and gear giveaway were supported by the hamlets of Arviat and Rankin Inlet, as well as the Kivalliq Inuit Association.

"There were a lot of smiling faces leaving the community hall after the gear giveaway," said Clark. He's been involved with a number of projects bringing new or gently-used gear to kids in the community.

He said it's always a bonus when an individual or an organization helps get kids on the ice who maybe wouldn't be able to play otherwise.

"This project was fairly well organized, so I didn't have to get too involved, which was nice," said Clark.

"I helped out on the ice with the age bracket (peewee) I coach here in Rankin, and they all seemed to have a really good time."

The hockey camp side of things welcomed all minor hockey players in the initiation, novice, atom, peewee, bantam, girl and midget-aged categories.

"All the kids who attended the camp ... had a lot of fun, that's what it's about," said Clark.

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