The Ice Hockey Classic is a proud supporter of the Ice Factor program in Adelaide. We have been able to support them over the years on the ice in Adelaide and now on the ice in Edmonton, Alberta this January!
The only High School ice hockey program in Australia, where young people learn to play the coolest and fastest team game on earth!
JANUARY 10-19, 2020
ICE FACTOR TOUR EDMONTON ALBERTA
AUSTRALIAN DOWN UNDER MEETS CANADIAN GREAT WHITE NORTH
Presented by: The Ice Hockey Classic
Supported: United Cycle, StopConcussions, Sport Central, Rink of Dreams, Wilf Brooks, Lyle Best and Kerry Goulet
Ice hockey players from Australia’s first representative indigenous ice hockey program will travel to Canada on January 10, 2020 to make their international debut. The Kaurna Boomerangs will play in a series of cultural exchanges with one of North America’s largest groups of First Nations people, the Cree, in Northern Alberta.
Some team members are as young as 13. Four wards of the state will travel with the team, including 19-year-old Jasmine Taylor-Harding. “I will be representing children in child protection, indigenous youth and young women,” says Taylor-Harding. Jasmine is one of two women on the team. At nine years old, she was removed from her home and placed in 40 homes over 10 years. She currently works for the Department of Child Protection and one day hopes to be the department’s Minister.
The Boomerangs emerged from the Ice Factor Program based in Adelaide, Australia, which was created 15 years ago to help re-engage disadvantaged students at risk of leaving school. Marie Shaw, a QC in Adelaide leadership has been able to put together the funding to make such an important trip become reality. Kerry Goulet, Director of the Australian Ice Hockey Classic and StopConcussions has been instrumental in developing the program with Marie over the years and one of Kerry’s first engagements was with the NHLPA Goals and Dreams, thanks to Matt Langen and Devin Smith, for a donation of over 20 sets of equipment. This program would not have grown without this amazing support. When Marie first contacted Kerry in early October to see if there would be any interested in having the Kaurna Boomerangs play against Canadian indigenous players, the first cultural exchange of its kind, the dream came alive.
With overwhelming excitement, Kerry then contacted Wilf Brooks, a former owner of United Sport and Cycle in Edmonton. Wilf and Kerry have put together a once-in-a-lifetime cultural exchange tour for the team from Down Under. The home base for the team will be in Edmonton and while there, they will enjoy the tremendous hospitality of the City of Champions. They will also visit the world-renowned West Edmonton Mall and perhaps a skate while there. The visiting players will also attend Edmonton Oil King’s game courtesy of United Sport and Cycle. The players will attend an Edmonton Oilers game to complete their trip. The Oilers game is a very special event, as players will get a chance to see Ethan Bear play who was raised on the Ochapowace Cree Nation in Saskatchewan.
The team will travel to Calling Lake in Northern Alberta to experience the hospitality of the Calling Lake Minor Hockey Association and the Woodland Cree of Bigstone Cree Nation. Angela Lightning Manager of Calling Lake Recreation remarks, “We are extremely honoured to host the first Indigenous Hockey team from Australia. We have planned an actioned packed three days, where they will experience fishing, snowshoeing, hockey training and many of our cultural experiences.” The group will visit the Four Bands Community of Maskwacis in Central Alberta for a cultural experience with the Plains Cree as part of their visit. Sport Central has generously donated full sets of equipment for kids in need in Australia for the Boomerangs to take home.
Newly appointed commissioner of the Australian Ice Hockey League David Turik has shown his support by supplying 25 AIHL Scarfs and toques to the players who have never experienced minus degree temperatures. “When they step off the plane and the cold frosty North wind hits them they will need some warming up. This is an important trip for not only the young players but for ice hockey in Australia. This will let people know around the world we have ice hockey and to recognise the great accomplishment of Nathan Walker playing in the NHL now” states Turik.
In closing Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia has shown his support by securing a travel grant.
AUSTRALIA - ICE HOCKEY CLASSIC 2020
Back by popular demand after successful events in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, 2019, the 2020 Ice Hockey Classic will make an announcement soon.
NEW ZEALAND 2020 TBA