By Hayden Godfrey
In their annual tradition, the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team will be hosting a community skate at Regent Park South Arena on Dec 8.
This is the second year that the team is holding the event.
“We take a lot of pride in doing events like these,” Rams goaltender Taylor Dupuis told The Eyeopener. “We visit schools every week and it’s great to socialize with kids and members of the community.”
The day will feature a quick open practice followed by a community skate from 11:20 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Rams men’s hockey lead assistant coach Kori Cheverie expects between 30 and 35 people in attendance. The event is open to the public.
“It puts things into perspective for us as athletes and as members of the community,” Cheverie said. “This event really ties everything together for us as a team. We always want to give our athletes the chance to give back.”
According to Cheverie, per Ontario University Athletics (OUA) rules, teams are not allowed to make events in December mandatory for players to attend, given the stress of exams and the potential need to travel home for the holidays.
Still, most of the players on the active roster will attend, barring any major issues or injuries.
Rams players and coaches regularly tutor students at Nelson Mandela Park Public School in Regent Park—which is just walking distance from the arena.
“We’re not only building our brand here as a university,” Dupuis said. “We want to make a difference, and every community event is unique.”
Last year, 16 players attended the skate and interacted with 50 kids who live in and around Regent Park.
“It allows us to interact with the kids in a setting outside the classroom and allows them to see our guys in an environment they’re very comfortable in,” Cheverie said. “It gives them an outlet and gives our guys an idea of how important it is that these kids have someone to look up to.”
Between the community skate and Christmas, the team will hold several optional workouts and practices, said Cheverie.
The team’s next game after the skate takes place on Jan. 2. They’ll head to St. Catharines to face off against the Brock Badgers.