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Lakers hockey goalies step up in the community

It’s no secret that any successful athlete, at any level, has had some help along the way achieving their goals and reaching their potential.

That’s surely the case with any of the Nipissing Lakers athletes and two of the Lakers women’s hockey team members decided to give back to the community this past season.

Goalies Sabrina Picard and Jackie Rochefort, on top of their season and school, took the time out of their busy schedules to help out the North Bay Ice Boltz Rep. team this season.

The two attended practices, games and helped the young girls train for their seasons.

Kristine Smith, mother of goalie Raya Smith, sent this letter thanking the two Lakers for their efforts:

Hello Darren,

I just wanted to follow up with you in regards to our working relationship with both Sabrina and Jackie this year now that our season has come to an end. 

As you know, Sabrina has been on board working with Raya privately since the summer and also continued to work with Raya and her partner on her Ice Boltz Rep team for the 2014-2015 season with the support of our entire coaching staff.  We were ever so lucky to have Jackie join us near the end of season in light of needing some extra support due to the busy schedules of our trainers.

I wanted to let you know that both ladies represented the Lakers with the utmost pride and professionalism. They were both incredible assets to not only our two goalies, but also our entire team who also came to look up to both of them.  They were on time, organized and presented well planned and organized training programs.  They were also able to manage challenges along the way and present a well balanced approach.  Positive re-enforcement was clearly important for both of them and the girls responded well to their approaches. 

Sabrina also took the time throughout her busy season to even come out to support and watch the girls play a few times.  This is incredible for both girls to share their busy schedules with not only our two goalies but entire team.  They are well respected and our entire coaching staff and group of parents were proud to see them on the ice with our girls and were equally impressed with the support and training they both provided. 

Please know that they represented the Lakers Team well and we would welcome their on-going support and partnership in the future. 

Lastly, I wanted to thank you Darren for your on-going support for Raya over the past few years in having her out at your camps and responding to my emails in regards to goalie training support.  It has assisted me in making sure that Raya is connected to appropriate and excellent training opportunities.  I feel it’s a win-win for both sides given how important it is for both the Lakers and Ice Boltz programs to build a working relationship in order to continue to support girls/women's hockey in our community.

We look forward to next year!

Kristine and Raya Smith

Rochefort said she was happy to help and the fact that the team looked up to her and Picard was special and something she’ll remember moving forward.

The second year goalie said she loved working with the Ice Boltz program and feels her team is in a position to help and give back and that’s what they are doing.

“I think it’s really important to give back to the community. As players for the Lakers we understand what a privilege it is to be a part of this great program and to be able to play at the level we do. To be role models to these young girls is truly inspiring; it goes to show how much female hockey is growing, especially in North Bay. I know for me as a kid playing minor hockey I always wanted to look up to someone and to aspire to be at the top level, so I think it’s a great opportunity to get out in the community and give back,” Rochefort explained.

“While working with Raya and other Ice Boltz teams, it definitely gave me a better understanding of what the game is all about; having fun and enjoying what you do, while improving at the same time. These girls come out and supported us at all our home games and have been awesome, it is the least we can do for them.”


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