In the world of winters, this Alaskan winter has been what we would call ‘mild.’ Very limited snow fall and temperature averages in the mid to upper 20’s. Common activities such as sledding, cross-country skiing and snow shoeing are all less accessible during a winter such as this. However, one area has thrived this winter, the ice!
At AK Child & Family, the ice rink has reigned supreme this winter. The students and staff have spent countless hours grooming and playing on the glorious ice. Typically ice skating would be an attractive activity, but the activity that our students cannot get enough of is Broomball! If you are unfamiliar with the game Broomball, you are not alone. Broomball is played on ice, without skates and is played with a 17” round, inflated, cold resistant ball. Similar to hockey, teams pass the ball on the ice using a stick and attempt to score in the opposite end hockey type goals. The sticks do not have a blade on the end of them; instead the end of the stick has a head in the shape of a straw broom about 7” in height and 5” in width.
On a mild and cloudy Tuesday afternoon, the students of AK Child & Family gave their best interpretation of a Broomball lesson to the community. The Alaska Aces professional hockey team came to play the student’s game on their ice! And what an exciting and magnificent time it was! Four teams were created with students, staff and ACES on each team. The teams played for 5 minutes at a time and the sound of fun and play could be heard loud and clear across the campus.
Recreation Assistants Chris and Papapa motivated and facilitated the games at an electric pace. The ACES, most of which had not played broomball since middle school, seemed to love the excitement of the games.
The students benefited most of all, given an opportunity to showcase their skills alongside these giant ice professionals and engage in fun on the frozen pond.
Cookies and hot chocolate were a big hit and provided refreshment during a much needed break in the ice action, although, even the ACES were back on the ice in no time at all. The ACES coming to visit our students was a great way to give back to the community and an invaluable opportunity for our students to safely practice engaging with community members.
Below are some of the student’s perspectives and quotes.
“Best day in my life!”
“It was an ACESTRODINARY.”
“It was fun and I want to do it again.”
“I didn’t know the Aces were coming and when I saw them I was so happy and astonished. Thank you so much for coming.”
Thank Yous to The Alaska Aces from Students in Oliver Cottage
We just wanted to thank Alaska Aces for spending their time and playing broomball with us and the other cottages. It was super fantastic having guys like you and also celebrating the 125th anniversary of AK Child & Family.
The community role model part really put smiles on all our faces. Talking to all of you really made us realize how it is in the community, especially playing sports like you guys do. It was really fun playing with you all because hockey players are used to the ice but only on skates, not with sneakers.
We want to wish you good luck because you only have six more games to make it into the playoffs. LETS GO ACES, YOU CAN DO IT, WE ALL KNOW YOU CAN, LETS GO, MAKE SOME NOISE!!!
The game was phenomenal. It’s definitely a great memory to remember forever and beyond. I hope we can do it again.
Thank you very much Alaska Aces. We enjoyed it, way to go. We hope to see the hockey players again soon.