Hockey parents in it for the win
|By Alex Coop - Staff Writer | November 19, 2015
Hockey parents do more than cheer.
The noise they make behind the boards can be intense, but so are the countless hours they dedicate to hockey associations around the country. In Haliburton County, it’s no different.
Greg and Lisa Turner have three boys playing rep hockey. Their story as hockey parents resonates with thousands of others.
Up until Trevor, Paul and Tim finally outgrew their hockey bags, they carried it for them to and from the arena. The long drives to games, which frequently last hours, are only a small part of their dedication to the organization.
But it has always been worth it.
“We love the game,” Lisa said. “And we’ve developed life-long friendships.” Lisa has been a member of the Haliburton Storm’s executive committee since 2011, and is largely responsible for the association’s registration process.
Greg is a trainer for the Bantam team. Their restaurant, the Pepper Mill Steak & Pasta House, has been a sponsor of the Storm since the league’s inaugural year in 2001.
The cherished memories are just a small part of the whole experience.
“There are a collection of moments,” Greg said. “Watching a player score his first goal, or watching someone come
out of their shell ... I watched a kid go from super quiet to captain of his team.”
Their own children have created special moments as well. From winning provincial championships to simply getting better each year, the Turners have lots to be proud of.
Shannon Walker, parent of Bantam hockey player Shawn Walker, feels the same way.
“I love to see his excitement,” Walker said. “He eats and breathes hockey.” Walker is this year’s manager of the Bantam team. She helps organize tournaments and keeps tabs on where the money goes.
She also keeps other parents in the loop regarding schedules and cancellations.
“It can be a lot of work but I try to do the best work that I can because it’s a great group of kids and a great group of parents,” Walker said. She added that after a short amount of time, other parents’ children start to become like her own and a new family flourishes during the winter months. When it does come to their young ones, however, the bond is truly special.
Joanna Sisson’s son plays goalie on the Storm Bantam team. Watching a son or daughter skate around the ice is one thing, but knowing your child is the last line of defense, she explained, adds another layer of pressure.
“Everyone almost always asks me during games, ‘how’s he doing, are you nervous?’ And it still is a little nerve-wracking sometimes,” Sisson said. But after many years of watching Carson stop shots, it’s become less of a challenge for her to watch him from the stands.
“Shootouts are still tough,” she laughed. “If he loses a shootout, he’ll talk about what he could have done
differently, but he’s not someone who dwells on a loss for very long.”
Sisson describes the role of a hockey parent as a unique social life that can’t be found anywhere else.
“It’s just great meeting new parents each year and forming friendships,” she said.
ALEX COOP is a reporter for The Highlander.