[caption id=”attachment_953” align=”aligncenter” width=”348”] The CBC filmed live coverage from Thunder Bay Christian School Feb. 11 during Hockey Day in Canada. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Vis Photography, Sunny Creek Studio[/caption]
Thunder Bay Christian School had the unique opportunity to showcase their school and have some fun when it was featured Feb. 11 on CBC television for Hockey Day in Canada.
Thunder Bay was one of several communities featured during the CBC broadcast.
NHL players Jordan, Eric and Marc Staal, as well as NHL hopeful Jared, are school alumni and donated funds for a nearly NHL-size outdoor rink on the campus. The rink opened in January 2010.
During the day-long show there were several cut-ins from Thunder Bay Christian School, which invited the community to the rink to watch a three-on-three tournament.
CBC commentator Scott Russell and father Henry Staal were at the school for the broadcast. Eric and Jordan joined the show from other locations.
School principal Bea Hayen says the Staals are good supporters of the school.
“It’s really nice for them to share this day that in a way honoured their sons but also to share that with the school,” she says.
With between 200-300 people braving frigid temperatures, Hayen says many of the people who came out were school families and supporters.
Through the event, she says they hope the school — which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this fall — became more familiar to the community.
“It also generated a lot of fun, a lot of community school spirit, camaraderie,” she says, noting it was a nice family outing day.
Darryl Staal is a cousin to the Staal brothers, a school board member and alumni. He helped organize the event.
He also notes the event was an opportunity to showcase the school in the community and with media coverage. In addition to the CBC, several local media outlets covered the event.
“It opened the doors for visitors and curious people and potentially others in our community who may wish to send their children or gain more knowledge,” he says.
The tournament had divisions for junior kindergarten to Grade 3, Grades 4 to 6, Grades 7 to 10, and a division for anyone older. There were six teams per division. The two younger age groups played boot hockey, while straw bales split up the large rink for the ice hockey.
A highlight from the day that drew a large cheering section was when Henry Staal and Scott Russell faced off in a three-on-three game, says Darryl.
He notes the event required quick planning, and with mild temperatures in Thunder Bay it was hard to keep any form of outdoor ice this winter. However, for four days before the event cold weather came and volunteers spent hours flooding the ice.
Darryl says they “were blessed” with the weather, noting by the next day the ice was melting.