GREGG CHAMBERLAIN Community hockey tournament helps residents dealing with cancer toire, founders of the annual tournament. Both are more than happy with the results of what began, more than two decades ago, as a dreamof starting a fun sports event that could help bring the community together and maybe also help raise a bit of money for local causes.

There is nothingmore Canadian than hoc- key. Unless it’s helping out others. Which makes the 21st anniversary of a local com- munity hockey tournament in Clarence- Rockland one of themost Canadian events of the area for the spring season this year. The Rockland Community Hockey Tour- nament marked its 21st anniversary this month, as the five-day rec hockey event saw 28 teams fromall around the area shoot and score, every evening, on both pads at the Clarence-Rockland Arena on the Canadian International Hockey Academy campus in Rockland. Taking their turns, both on the ice and behind the scenes, were Luc and Serge Lavic-

“We had six teams at the start,” Serge La- victoire recalled during a phone interview over the Easter long weekend. He chuckled at an observation that Rockland’s commu- nity tournament began 21 years ago with the same number of teams as the NHL did a century ago come this November. “We started small and we grew over the years,” he said, adding that his brother Luc deserves most of the credit for the whole idea. “He loves hockey and he wanted to create an event for the community that would bring everyone together.” “Everyone grew up with the tournament,” stated Luc. “It’s now an important moment in the year.” The current cause that the tournament, its organizers, participants, and supports are now championing is a program of the Canadian Cancer Society to provide cancer coaches to areas where there are individuals or families afflicted by cancer. “I think it is a fantastic idea,” said Serge Lavictoire. “That is something that is very dear to our family’s heart.” Serge Lavictoire himself is a cancer sur- vivor. Brother Luc has not had to deal with cancer himself but he too has felt the effects of the scourge through his brother’s own ordeal and that of their father, who was twice diagnosed with leukemia when the brothers were both children. “I experienced cancer in a different way, ” Luc recalled. “I was eleven when my dad was in the hospital for two months. He told me: ‘you’re in charge of the house’. Seeing my dad go through cancer, thenmy brother: that’s when it gets you.” The Lavictoire brothers presented a $10,000 cheque to Josée Quenneville, an official with the Canadian Cancer Society. Themoney represents the proceeds from last year’s tournament and this year’s, and will go towards the costs of providing a cancer coach program for the Clarence-Rockland area One of the benefits of a cancer coach is having someone available to help both can- cer victims and their families learn to com- municate their feelings about their situation. Serge Lavictoire recalled how he started to shut down during his treatment period when he was diagnosed. “I didn’t talk about this, about how I felt, with my brother. I didn’t want to tell him about the little things. Same thing with my wife. I didn’t want to show her everything, because I wanted her to keep her spirits for the kids. My wife would have definitely benefited from these services, even if it was just to talk to someone.” Cancer coaching always starts with what matters most to the client. Coaches are health professionals who provide one-on- one guidance for problem-solving, decision- making and skills development to support patients, families and caregivers. Registration information for cancer coa- ching is available by calling Joëlle Perrier 613-247-3527 or at jperrier@ottawacancer. ca.

Chayer Electrique (vert) et Kool Tech (bleu) y vont à fond, vendredi soir dernier à l’aréna de Clarence-Rockland, dans le cadre du 21 e tournoi annuel de hockey communautaire de Clarence-Rockland. Les produits du tournoi récréatif de cette année aideront à financer un programme de formation afin d’aider et d’encadrer les patients et leurs familles relativement à l’expérience du cancer. —photo Gregg Chamberlain

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