After all, in a hockey mad country like Canada, to watch your child work hard for years, experience the trials and tribulations of arena life, and earn their way onto national championship ice, must feel like a parenting podium moment.
Helping to make those moments happen for spectators, athletes, volunteers and coaches is what Esso hockey sponsorship is all about -- enriching our community by coming together through sport, and all the opportunity that provides for young Canadians.
For Strathcona Refinery Reliability Leader Frank Arthur, the pride of watching his daughter – swift, nimble, right-winger Megan Arthur— step onto the ice with the rest of the St. Albert Slash, will expand even a bit more when he looks to the rafters to see the tournament sponsorship banner bearing the Esso logo.
“I’m not sure an employee’s child has ever played in the Esso Cup before,” says Frank, who has worked at the company’s Strathcona Refinery outside Edmonton for 20 years. “Of course, I am proud of Megan’s achievement but I am also proud to work for a company that is such a keen supporter of female hockey.”
As Alberta provincial champions, the Slash edged out the Greater Vancouver Comets to grab the Pacific region spot in the Esso Cup that will determine the Canadian crown. There they will meet the host Pembina Valley Hawks, Mid-Isle Wildcats of PEI representing Atlantic region; the West region winners, Prince Albert Bears; Durham West Lightning for Ontario region; and an as-yet-undetermined Quebec team.
“To make these competitive teams is really something. These ladies have worked hard for many years,” says Frank. “For my wife Catherine and I, a large part of our social network revolves around hockey because our children have spent so much time dedicated to it.” Frank is the announcer at all Megan’s home games and the Arthurs are thrilled to travel to the Esso Cup to watch her play once more.
After facing off against the best 15- to 17-year-old players in Canada, Megan and the rest of the tournament athletes will meet Jennifer Botterill and Sami Jo Small, Manitobans and Olympic gold medallists, who will speak at the tournament awards banquet.
Who knows how many of these young athletes will also one day skate for Canada?
Whatever the future holds for them, it will undoubtedly be golden. Says Frank, “It sure is nice to see strong, confident young women that are interested in pursuing their own goals.”
Imperial has been closely linked to hockey in Canada since sponsoring the first national radio broadcast in 1936. Our sponsorship today is focused on hockey events, activities and programs that support kids and local communities across Canada. Imperial has been the title sponsor of the Esso Cup for more than 20 years.