Ottawa native, Sarah Thompson, joined the CARHA Hockey team for the summer of 2021 as the Community Programs Intern. She has come full circle with CARHA, having been featured in our iPlayHockey Drill Vault video series back in 2018 (watch here as she runs through a demonstration of the Team Canada Double Shot).
As she returns to Syracuse University for her sophomore year, Sarah reflects on her time with us. All the best in your upcoming season, Sarah!
When I had been asked to help film the iPlayHockey Drill Vault series back in 2018, I had never imagined that I would come full circle and join the CARHA Hockey team as an intern three years later. However, what I did know then was that I wanted to pursue a career in sports, to give back and bring that same joy and happiness to others the way hockey did for me. I think one of the beautiful things about sports is its ubiquitous ability to bring peace and unity among people. Although sports vary from one culture to the next and they may have an entirely different meaning or importance to its people, it is undoubtedly a universal language. There is nothing more empowering than witnessing this firsthand, than putting your own differences aside and sharing your love for sports with others. CARHA’s mission is “to be the dedicated resource and service provider for rec hockey communities in Canada by creating programs and offering benefits that enhance the experience of those involved in the game of hockey.” With that said, CARHA has given me the opportunity to work for an organization that gives everyone the unparalleled opportunity to play and to share my love for hockey with others.
What I didn’t expect going into this position was to get the chance to chat with so many of our CARHA Hockey members and CARHA Hockey World Cup participants, learning about their own journey in hockey and what it means to them. Like many other young hockey players, I share the common fear that there will be a void to fill once I finish my college career at Syracuse University. Hockey is all I’ve ever known; it’s all I've ever had and I can’t imagine a life without it. Undoubtedly, it has given me everything. It has granted me lifelong friendships, unforgettable memories and incredible learning opportunities, just like this one. But above all, it gave me purpose; it gave me a reason to wake up in the morning. Working with CARHA and having shared my thoughts and reflections on hockey with our members, I realized that my hockey career won’t end at my graduation.
One of our CARHA World Cup participants, George Nickerson, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing, shared that after decades of recreational hockey fun, he’s come to believe that on-ice play is important on a moderate level, but secondary to time spent with his team off the ice. He added that the networking and fellowship fostered through the game of hockey is what makes the sport so special. Speaking to our CARHA members has been a humbling experience, reminding me of why I started playing hockey and recognizing how grateful I am to still be playing and loving it just the same. Above all, it has helped me realize that my journey in hockey is far from over ‒ I have plenty more goals to score and more hockey friends to meet.