The legacy of the 2019 Canada Winter Games and Games prior was on full display this past weekend during a Canadian Women's Hockey League matchup between the Calgary Inferno and Toronto Furies.
Played at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, a legacy infrastructure project of the Games, the game featured Canada Games 17 between the two teams, including Furies captain Natalie Spooner, who represented Team Ontario in 2007 in Whitehorse.
"The Canada Games was a big step to getting to where I am now," Spooner says. "It was my first experience in a games environment, cheering on athletes from different sports and being on a team bigger than just my hockey team."
Spooner has since gone on to become an Olympic gold and silver medallist with Team Canada.
Inferno blueliner Kelly Murray played for Team Alberta at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in halifax.
“Everyone was so proud to represent their own province,” Murray says. “The atmosphere of the games was amazing, and the crowds that we had out too – it was just a special moment and experience for both myself and (sister) Eden.”
A Medicine Hat native, Murray was named an All-Canadian while playing for the UBC Thunderbirds in 2017.
Multiple community agencies stand to benefit from the upcoming 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.
The upcoming Mitts for Many project will encourage Games athletes and attendees to donate a new or gently used pair of mittens or gloves. The efforts represent the 2019 Games' social legacy.
A donation bin will be set up beginning Feb. 16 inside the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. After the Games, all donations will go to The Mustard Seed Red Deer.
On Saturday, during a ceremonial puck drop prior to the game, each team’s captain donated a pair of team mittens to the cause.
"We want to thank the Toronto Furies and Calgary Inferno for contributing to the Mitts for Many program," says Scott Robinson, CEO for the 2019 Canada Winter Games. "It is inspiring to have Canada Games alumnae continue to contribute to the positive legacies of the Canada Games across the country."
The 2019 Games (Feb. 15 to Mar. 3) will be the first in which all provincial and territorial teams contribute to a social legacy project chosen by the host. In the past, each team would contribute to individual legacy projects.
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