Scotia Bank’s Hockey Day in Canada became a lot more meaningful to residents in the Elk Valley, as the first Hugh Twa’s Hockey Day in Elkford was underway at the weekend.
The event was organized in the memory of Dr. Hugh Twa, a beloved Elk Valley resident who passed away in August 2011 after a battle with cancer. Most knew Dr. Twa as a coach and a mentor. He was always very involved in the sport of hockey as well as many other sports. “Hugh made sure to include all kids, no matter their skill. Children were his life, and he had a connection with so many of them. He would work with kids who were getting into trouble. He kept them busy, gave them a goal and kept them on the right path,” says longtime friend David Beranek. Dr. Twa was well known for his enthusiasm for sports, and his devotion and passion for helping youth become successful, and accomplished athletes. For over 30 years Hugh was in roles of coach, teacher, principal and role model. Dr. Hugh Twa was especially driven by his zest for life and profound love for his wife Conny and four children.
The Hugh Twa Hockey Day was filled with fun for players and spectators alike. A mini tournament with the Elk Valley Wild Team began with a skills challenge followed by a three on three tournament with some members of the Ghostriders team. All athletes and children who attended received a jersey and a mini stick, and mini stick games were held through the day while teams took a break from the ice. “This was all about fun,” says Elk Valley Minor Hockey President Kevin Atherton. “We knew this is the type of day Hugh would have wanted. What better way to honour such a great man, than with a day filled with lots of children happily enjoying the sport of hockey,” he says.
During the day, a touching tribute was made in memory of Hugh. A hand crafted plaque in between two hockey sticks was presented. It was made by Hugh’s friends David Beranek and Bill Hanlon and will be placed permanently in the arena. As well, Hugh’s widow Conny was presented a jersey, reading Twa, 1 on the back.
Trevor Vienneau, Elk Valley Minor Hockey equipment manager and coach coordinator organized the event. “I would like to give many thanks to those that helped prepare for today, and to our sponsors who made it all possible. Of course, to the Elk Valley Wild Team and the Ghostriders for particpating,” he says. Vienneau also hopes that the day brings awareness for the sport of hockey. “There are so many benefits of playing hockey, we wanted everyone to see how fun it is and how big of a sport it is to Canada. This day has been a great success, and we will definitely plan on doing it again next year,” he says.