Local hockey coach Rod McLeod named a finalist in national hockey contest

March 19, 2013

Coach Rod McLeod and members of the Cornwall Fastbreakers

A long-time Cornwall girls hockey coach and community volunteer has been named a finalist in the Kraft Hockey Goes On contest.

Rod McLeod is one of 100 finalists who are in the running for a cash prize in the contest, which celebrates and recognizes local hockey supporters.

The top five nominees will win a grand prize of $100,000 for their selected Minor Hockey Association. In Mr. McLeod’s case, that would be the Cornwall Girls Hockey Association. Another 20 nominees will also win $20,000 to be awarded to their selected Minor Hockey Association.

Residents can play a part in selecting the winners by voting for their favourite nominees on the Kraft Hockey Goes On website on Saturday, March 23rd and Sunday, March 24th. Local hockey enthusiasts are rallying around the effort by asking residents to vote often for Mr. McLeod ‘to bring $100,000 to Cornwall girls hockey.’

To help support the cause, the City of Cornwall will have computer terminals set up at the front desks of the Benson Centre and Aquatic Centre on Saturday and Sunday, and residents are encouraged to take a minute to stop and cast their votes. Residents who may not have access to a computer at home can also stop by the Cornwall Public Library and use one of the many public computers available to vote for Mr. McLeod.

Mr. McLeod was nominated by members of the Cornwall Fastbreakers, a women’s hockey team that he coaches in addition to his role as President of the Cornwall Girls Hockey Association. Fastbreakers captain Dominique Laroche noted that Mr. McLeod makes hockey go on for both young and old.

In addition to instructing the Girls Tyke program for years, Mr. McLeod recently started a learn to skate program for women of all ages who want to learn how to play hockey. This program is creating new opportunities for local women who want to play the game, regardless of their skill level.

“The same lessons he’s giving to four year old girls in the Tyke program, he’s now giving to 40 and 50 year olds in the learn to skate program,” said Ms. Laroche, the owner of Play It Again Sports on Ninth Street.

Mr. Laroche said it is quite a feat in itself for Mr. McLeod to have been selected as a finalist in the contest given the volume of nominations received, however she isn’t surprised.

“There’s a reason why we felt he had a good chance to be selected,” she said of Mr. McLeod, a past Citizen of the Year. “He’s done so much for the community and he’s always at the rink.”

For his part, Mr. McLeod said he is honoured to have been nominated and chosen as a finalist.

“It makes me proud of what we have accomplished as a city and a region in the way of healthy lifestyles,” he said. “Over the years I have witnessed first-hand how sports activities can truly make a difference in a person’s life. The kids that have grown into adults and are still active in weekly sporting activities are proof of this.”

The cash prizes can be used for a variety of things such as ice time, equipment, upgrades and the like.

“If we were to win, it wouldn’t just be spent on (the) Cornwall Girls Hockey (Association),” said Marc Campeau, a director with Cornwall Girls Hockey Association. “Some of it would definitely be going back into the community in some way, shape or form, especially for those in need.”

The focus at this point is to get people ready to vote, and vote often. The voting period runs from 9 am on Saturday, March 23rd until midnight on Sunday, March 24th, and voting is unlimited.

“We’re hoping as many people as possible will be clicking for Rod’s name,” said Mr. Campeau.

You can read Mr. McLeod’s Hockey Goes On nomination in full by clicking here. A Facebook page has also been created to help rally the community.

The winners of the Hockey Goes On contest will be announced on Wednesday, April 3rd.

Mr. McLeod is pictured here with the Cornwall Fastbreakers team that he coaches.

 

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