ESPANOLA EXPRESS JR. A HOCKEY
Release date: Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016
Photo credit: Around and About
Express lay the lumber for Habitant for Humanity
ESPANOLA — Members of the Espanola Express Jr. A hockey team lent some muscle and cheer at the Habitat for Humanity build site on January 14.
The players, with the help of coach Tom McCarthy, were tasked with stacking building materials and shoveling snow out of the basement.
The cold weather threatened to slow progress, but no coats were necessary for these “winter sons” as they pushed forward.
“Some of the guys were saying they wouldn’t need to go to the gym after this,” said McCarthy. “When I was a kid, working like this was the gym.”
Coach McCarthy said he heard about the build from various people in the close-knit community and immediately knew his players could – and should – help.
“We had nine kids come out. We offered our players in any capacity they could help,” said McCarthy. “The kids really enjoyed it . . . this is the thing that not only helps to build our team, but it also helps to build the community.”
The duplex in Espanola will one day serve as affordable housing for two area families. Coach McCarthy said it was important for his young athletes to experience how a community can come together and help each other.
“It’s a life lesson . . . it’s something solid. It becomes something that is theirs,” he said. “It becomes a part of our identity, our character.”
The Express must have felt right at home chipping away at an accumulation of ice and shoveling snow in what will become the basement of the home. Coach McCarthy noted his players will always be available to lend a hand in the community when called upon.
“It’s going to be standard for all players to bring steel-toe boots next season.”
The Espanola Express play in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL).