Smithville teacher’s cheer selected as finalist for national hockey team contest | Edvance Christian Schools Association
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Smithville teacher’s cheer selected as finalist for national hockey team contest

Written on October 26th, 2009

[caption id=”attachment_2407” align=”aligncenter” width=”348”]IMG_5805FS Hockey fan and Smithville District Christian High School teacher Joan Buma is one of three finalists in the Join the Cheer contest for Team Canada hockey.[/caption]

Joan Buma is incorporating her love of teaching, hockey and Canada through a few words that are in the running to be the next national Team Canada hockey cheer: Eh! O’ Canada Go!

Buma entered the Join the Cheer contest by Pepsi, Gatorade and Hockey Canada to create a national hockey cheer. From more than 1,000 entries Buma’s was selected as one of the top three.

“I’ve been an avid hockey fan all my life,” says Buma, a science teacher at Smithville District Christian High School (SDCH).

“I am such a proud Canadian and to me one of the fundamentals of teaching is to be a good encourager and to create a cheer to encourage our national hockey team just puts several of my passions all in one place,” the Grimsby resident says.

Buma learned about the contest on television and started working on different cheers. She says she would tell her husband her ideas as they came to her, and when she created one that he didn’t roll his eyes at she knew she had something good.

She designed the cheer to be a call and response style, with one side of the stadium yelling “Eh!” the other responding with “O’” and then together yelling “Canada – Go!”

“I went to the Calgary 1988 Olympics and that just worked so well when one side of a stadium is calling out to the other side and they respond,” says Buma.

With her cheer completed Buma logged onto the Pepsi website for the first time, discovering the deadline to submit videos was in 48 hours.

Buma called her colleague Jim Vanderlinde, an English and shop teacher who is also a videographer and video editor, and he agreed to film the cheer.

With the “bribe” of doughnuts and coffee, Buma asked that her colleagues dress in red and white and take part in the video.

“They will support you whether times are tough or times are good, there is just tremendous camaraderie on the staff,” says Buma.

After performing the cheer on the school bleachers, they edited and uploaded the 30-second cheer. Buma found out Oct. 19 that her video was one of the finalists.

The winner is decided on based on fan support. People can register at the website and vote once per day until Nov. 1.

“The most exciting part was to watch the staff come together to support me on this venture, and then to see them all in the video every time I go into vote and you can just see we are having so much fun,” Buma says.

SDCH director of communications and admissions Marlene Bergsma says the school is encouraging others to support Buma and vote every day.

“We would like Canadians and especially Christian school supporters to either visit the website or click from our website to the website, register and then login daily to vote for Mrs. Buma,” says Bergsma.

Buma says word spread quickly and students started cheering to her in the hallways, giving her high-fives and telling her when they saw the cheer on TSN. During the school’s Tuesday assembly students were shown how to cheer on their teacher through the online voting.

The winning cheer will be taught to fans at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championship in Saskatoon in January. If Buma wins, she will receive a free trip to the championship and be invited to lead the fans in her cheer. The winner also receives a free trip to the 2010 World Championship in Germany in May.

“I have to say going to the games and watching and being part of thousands of people cheering this cheer to encourage our hockey teams — that would be beyond thrilling for me,” she says.

“It’ll be so exciting (if I win), and I think it’s really special to see all the staff just on a moment’s notice coming together to help produce that video,” she says.

“They say I’ve got to do better than doughnuts if I win,” she adds with a laugh.

Visit to watch the video, and log in to vote.

If you have feedback on this article, e-mail jennifer(at), or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.

Update November 9, 2009: Joan Buma won the Join the Cheer contest. Read a press release by clicking here.