L’expérience d’une vie - par Bobby Hanson
Être hébergé en famille d’accueil rend l’expérience du tournoi encore plus inoubliable. Chaque joueur en ressort grandit, chaque joueur créer des liens d’amitié qui pour certains, dureront toute la vie! Nous en avons une preuve juste ici! Un article à lire absolument...
Author: Bobby Hanson Head Coach – North Shore Shamrocks Team 2019
It was 29 years ago this week, when I came to Quebec City for the first time to play in the 31st edition of the Pee Wee Tournament. The 10 days I spent here would prove to be life changing. Up until this point in my hockey career, I had participated in several tournaments in various countries, but this was the first that required the players to stay with billet families – a special tradition engrained in the fabric of this fantastic tournament. Eventually I would be united with my billet parents, Ray Parent and Guylaine Fortin. All these years later, I can still remember driving home with them in their car, winding through the streets of Old Quebec, not knowing what the rest of the trip would have in store for me. The memories I have of those 10 days spent in Quebec in 1990 – from sledding at the Village Des Sports, to playing an exhibition game at the Galeries de la Capitale, to playing 5 games at the Colisee (ultimately losing in the finals to Chicoutimi) – all pale in comparison to the friendship that formed between my family and Ray and Guylaine. The summer immediately following the Pee Wee Tournament I spent 3 weeks at their house while attending hockey school at Laval University. Over the years, our friendship grew – my family would take annual trips to Quebec City in the summers and Ray and Guylaine would take their annual trip to our summerhouse in Maine every Canada Day weekend. During my 4 years playing hockey at Boston University, Ray and Guylaine would oftentimes make the 6-hour trek down to Boston to see me play, and attended several away games as well. Ray and Guylaine have taken numerous trips with my parents to Aruba, Hawaii, and Antigua amongst other places. They have been more than friends to us; Ray and Guylaine have truly become part of our extended family. In fact, Ray was a groomsman in my wedding. Now, almost 30 years later, it has all come full circle. I will be coaching my son’s team in this 60th edition of the Pee Wee Tournament. Our team has been coming up to Quebec City for the past 4 years, playing in the Levi Tournament (twice) and last year playing in the BSR tournament. This year will be extra special, as our players will be billeting with friends and family of Ray and Guylaine. Of all the successes and experiences I have enjoyed in my own hockey career, nothing beats the lasting impact the Pee Wee Tournament has had on my life. I am proud to say that my family and I consider Quebec City our “second home”. Here we are 29 years later, and the only thing sweeter than having lived through this experience as my 12-year-old self, is being able to relive it once again through the eyes of my 12-year-old son.