Feature Sports Stories

A reason for Alberta athletes to pack in the hockey bag

Football provides benefits to athletes that they can't get from hockey

footballFootball in Alberta is considered the underdog sport when it comes to attracting young players, but older athletes are finding a switch to the gridiron can be a beneficial move.

Football Alberta's technical director, Tim Enger says that other sports are scooping up kids that are as young as age four.

"Notably soccer and hockey ... identifying the talented ones, and creating a year-long list of activities that not only chain these kids to one sport but create diehard supporters of their sport in the form of their parent," Enger explains.

Moreover, Calgary Bantam Football Association president Ron Logan states, "A lot of parents want to replay their childhood through their kids. Hockey is a big ticket item and when a kid is a pretty good player, they are going to the NHL as far as mom and dad are concerned."

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The fastest growing sport on ice

How ringette is attracting more players, particularly male athletes

ringette1In Alberta, like most other provinces, ringette is a female-dominated sport. However, just across the border in British Columbia, larger numbers of males are also playing the sport because of a mix of league policies and social connections. But officials in that province say there are many more reasons why men should take the sport up.

Sam Jacks created the sport in 1963 in Ontario when his only niece had no on ice sport to participate in.

According to Ringette Canada, roughly 30,000 players registered to play ringette in the 2012-2013 season and less than three per cent were male.

Natasha Johnston, executive director of Ringette Canada, says the high concentration of females provides these athletes with a safe environment, as well as opportunities for leadership and gaining more confidence.

But, in British Columbia, where there are a total of 1,800 players, almost 9.79 per cent of them are male.

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Roxie (The Ram) Lam: Fighting with God in your corner

Roxie Lam is a deeply spiritual person, and a seriously talented fighter, who believes that his faith in God lends him strength in the ring

Roxie Alvin thumbnailThe Ram, a devout Christian, will fight Friday night in downtown Calgary in the Teofista Series 16.

Roxie (The Ram) Lam (5-0, 3 KOs) faces his "toughest fight to date" at the Chinese Cultural Centre against Kyle Oliveira (1-1, 1 KO), according to Lam's trainer Eric De Guzman.

Oliveira, although an inexperienced professional boxer, has a three wins and one loss pro mixed martial arts career, and a first-round boxing knockout last month against the experienced Antwan Robertson who has a total of 23 fights.

"He's coming off of an impressive first-round win about a month ago actually. He kind of fights like a mini Mike Tyson," De Guzman said.

Lam is not worried about Oliveira.

Lam explained that he was more nervous to fight his last opponent, Wayne Smith, than he is about this upcoming bout.

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First Nations high school basketball team achieves the unthinkable

The Bassano Broncos make provincials for the first time in over 40 years. Despite ultimately coming up short the team has changed the schools sports culture.

Tristen-WeaselHead copyAn all-First Nations high school basketball team, The Bassano Broncos, recently made it all the way to Alberta’s provincial finals. It’s the first time the team has done so in over 40 years. But even though they didn’t win that tournament, their success has changed the sports culture of their school - all without their head coach and star player.

 The division 1A basketball provincial’s is a tournament where the teams who finished first and second in their league compete for the provincial championship.

The tournament was held in Hines Creek, Alta, a small village that’s eight hours north of Calgary and home to around 400 souls. 

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