So… if you happen to be a diehard Leafs fan (guilty here), you have likely found yourself watching a good deal of hockey lately. The experience and skill set it takes to get to that level of play is undoubtedly huge. But like every journey of a thousand steps, it starts with one.
One potential launchpad for any aspiring ice hockey player is ball hockey. Whether it is the first step or a complementary one, keeping kids in shape and their skills sharp during the off-season, the value is there.
Gus Kourousis, Head Coach of the Caledon Kings Minor Ball Hockey League’s U15 rep program, is among those who see that close relationship, and its value, crystal clear. Gus himself is a Canada Ball Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee.
Gus, who joined the Kings as Coach about five years ago as soon as he realized there was a ball hockey league running in town says “I started playing as a kid on the streets like most kids and then I was part of the Boys and Girls Club of Toronto.”
“We played many tournaments against other clubs which led me to loving the game and wanting to play at a more competitive level. I was fortunate enough to play in a junior league at 16 and 17, winning one Provincial title. Eventually I moved up to men’s leagues and won three national titles and two world championships representing Canada.”
Profoundly Canadian, as all hockey seems to be, the game of ball hockey could be looked at as the evolution of street hockey as it moved off of the streets and into arenas.
The Caledon Kings Minor Ball Hockey League is a member of the Ontario Ball Hockey Federation (OBHF). It has a variety of age groups that range from 3-6 year olds Learn-to-Play, U8, U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18.
They play house league every Saturday and occasionally Sunday. They also have the option of trying out for rep teams in their age group, and then they get to go to the Provincials every year representing Caledon.
“This is a sport that enables kids to develop great friendships, develop strong team-building skills, and have a lot of fun” says Gus.
This summer, from July 26th to 29th, the Caledon Kings U15 rep team will be representing Ontario at the Canadian Junior National Championships in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. They have worked tremendously hard to get to this point. If they are successful there then they will be off to the Worlds.
If you would like to help this dedicated team along with a sponsorship you can contact Gus at email@example.com