Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Islanders selected for top NOHA award!

Congratulations to Manitoulin ex-patriot, Pleasant Valley’s own Deb McLeod–Topash. She was recently named as the Northern Ontario Hockey Association’s (NOHA) Most Deserving Award for Officials. Deb has been involved as a coach and referee for many years. Her coaching experiences include provincially ranked girls’ teams. As an official she has worked her way up through the ranks and has had the chance to officiate many high level games. The award makes her the first woman to win the award since it was established 27 years ago in 1993.

The Most Deserving Official Award goes to someone who: has played a key role in the officiating program within their district; is someone who would be sorely missed if they were no longer involved; is rated on their own officiating skills and what they put back into the branch/division; is a supervisor who is always willing to go out and supervise younger officials; and is a person who has assisted with the assigning, instruction and administration at development camps, certification and recertification clinics.

Unfortunately, Deb comes with amazing credentials too numerous to mention everything. Deb says that she is just incredibly humbled by the award and that, “It’s more about encouraging young players to other aspects of this great game!”

Here are just a few of her accomplishments. Deb has been a Level 3 official for nine years in the NOHA and six years in the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA). She has been a supervisor for three years in the NOHA. She has been an assigner of officials for seven years not to mention vice president of the North Bay and area referee’s association. 

She has also been coaching for eight years in the North Bay and Almaguin areas for girls’ hockey right up to Midget B and the OWHA Ontario Winter Games – Huntsville (2014) when she was bench staff of silver medalist Team White. 

As far as officiating, she has gone from house league on up to in 2014 selected to officiate at the OHF Atom AA Championships in North Bay and officiated OUA (Ontario University Athletics – Women’s), PWHL (Provincial Women’s Hockey League – Intermediate AA) and several years at the OWHA provincial championships.

Deb, however, was more interested to acknowledge a young local official. Also recognized by the NOHA’s officiating awards was M’Chigeeng’s Gabe Hare as the recipient of the NOHA Keith Barton Memorial Award (Most Promising Official)! We need more refs like you, Gabe hopefully this will inspire more youngsters to give officiating a shot once we pass the COVID-19 era. 

Let’s keep active together, apart!

An abrupt end to organized sports for the very active Bridgeman family has not stopped them from staying in shape and making it fun at the same time. With no tryouts in the near future, they’ve packed away their hockey equipment and set up a gym in that room so all four are working out daily. 

Delaney and Sadie are in a running routine as well, while Jack and Liam basketball it up in the driveway and shoot pucks daily. Incidentally, Jack has posted a unique online video challenge to some of his friends and teammates: 30 goals, 10 push-ups and a 30 second wall sit. The first work-out is no small feat with his net a good 25 metres away! Jack has always been a marksman and easily wristed in nine in a row. On the next one he went “bar down” but it stayed out so he needed an 11th shot. Then to 10 perfect, elbows-in, push-ups and a run to their shed to sit on an imaginary chair with his knees right at 90 degrees! Judging by the reactions, lots of people will take him up on his dare.

Great job, Bridgemans! If anyone else know of a fun and active task and they want to throw down the gauntlet to friend, family or co-workers stuck at home, email me. Thanks as well to those workers who are required to work and are getting their regular activity.

Food for thought and fuel!

As we all know, we need to feed our bodies to stay healthy and have energy to be able to exercise. As we try to maintain physical distancing, some of our least fortunate people in our community are more likely not to be able to access healthy food. 

The Manitoulin Family Resources food bank has changed its policy in order to make it easier for people to obtain much needed food assistance. No longer are you required to have an agency refer, you can self-refer. People can call (705) 368-3400 ext. 242 to self-refer and receive instructions on the procedure to keep you and workers safe. Pick-up will continue to be Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 – 2, however you must call first.

A good sport is good for sports