The players in the RBC Cup might be big kids, but that doesn’t mean the younger kids shouldn’t be able to experience the event as well.
In fact, there is a whole committee devoted to making sure students in all the schools in Lloydminster get a chance to take part in the hosting of the tournament in some way.
“The excitement when a community is hosting something, especially something like this that’s on the national level, that’s an important part of education, to realize what it takes to put these events on,” said Morgan Mann, RBC Cup school events chair.
“And if you’re looking for energy and spirit in a community you don’t have to look any further than the youth.”
Mann also pointed out that it would be hard for many Border City students to get out to an actual game, based on things like cost and the fact that it’s a sold out show, so the reality for many of them to take in a game is just not going to be there.
The committee came up with three main events and activities for students across both the Lloydminster Catholic School Division and the Lloydminster Public School Division to take part in.
One of them is a floor hockey tournament that will take place at the Civic Centre from May 16 to 17, which will see RBC Cup players filling in as coaches and referees while on their off days.
Each school was tasked with putting its own team forward, mostly by in-school tournaments, and will have a proper tournament starting May 16 to see which school wins.
“Kids have great energy and often when they have these opportunities they not only appreciate it, but they thrive with the opportunity to be involved, and the floor hockey tournaments were a lot of fun in the schools,” Mann said.
Another activity saw each school make its own mural that had to incorporate the themes of Lloydminster, hockey, or the RBC Cup, and Mann said the students really ran with the idea, with some schools putting a great deal of hours and effort to come up with something truly creative.
A few of these murals can be seen on display at sponsoring businesses around town, and all of them will eventually be displayed at the Civic Centre during the main event.
“Some schools did them in the form of a collage, where students each did an individual picture and that picture contributed to the whole piece,” said Mann.
“Some schools it was just a group of three or four students that took it on and it took a lot of time to put together what they did; a lot of time invested.”
He also said members of the committee enjoyed watching the murals grow and seeing how imaginative some of the students were in how they approached the art.
“As a whole committee it’s something everybody enjoyed seeing, what the schools were doing and the energy they brought to this event leading up to it,” he said.
Then, thirdly, a commercial was made to tie it all together, in which Newcap News went around to the schools and filmed students playing the floor hockey games and working on the art for the murals.
The three partners involved with the RBC Cup—Hockey Canada, the Lloydminster Bobcats and the Royal Bank of Canada—have a mandate that requires a certain amount of effort be put toward involving the local schools in the hosting community.
“We appreciate the support we got on all three levels and I think our students in Lloydminster got a taste or feel of what this event is all about,” Mann said.
“Hopefully many of them will be able to come watch a game, or experience in some way some of the other things that are happening while it’s here.”