Larry Reid Fund gives back to minor hockey

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INNISFAIL – Coaches with the Innisfail Minor Hockey Association will benefit from development projects this season, thanks to a generous allocation from the Larry Reid Memorial Coaching Development Fund.

The first disbursement of funds, totalling $1,375, was presented to the Innisfail Minor Hockey Association (IMHA) during a pre-game ceremony at the Innisfail Eagles’ home game on Dec. 17.

The fund was launched in Innisfail last July and was established by the 1962-63 Innisfail Pontiacs midget hockey team to create a legacy fund that supports coach development within the IMHA.

“This is a great way for that group of guys and a bunch of others that played for dad over the years to give back to minor hockey,” said David Reid, the son of Larry Reid, who noted that in just a few months more than $25,000 has been raised for the fund.

“We’re going to put the money directly back into the coaches with some different development initiatives,” said Randy Graham, hockey development director with IMHA. “It gives us an opportunity as an association to do some development and give our coaches some opportunities that we normally wouldn’t be able to afford to do,” he added. “It takes us to a next level of development that we can do.”

The money will help with skills development sessions for IMHA coaches with Red Deer Rebels and ND Hockey Academy staff, coach sessions with a Thrive Sports Project, IMHA coach participation in Red Deer Rebels Game Day Coach Development Series, and with the purchase of coaching whiteboards for IMHA to use during practices and games.

“The trends are changing with how us coaches deal with kids,” said Graham. “Things are changing and it’s important for us coaches to learn each player as individuals. They’re not all the same and we can’t treat them all the same.”

Graham noted the impact Larry Reid had on his players and on hockey in Alberta.

“Larry Reid was a pioneer with coach development in Alberta,” said Graham. “The fact that his former players have decided to do this allows his legacy to continue on with Innisfail Minor Hockey, which he was so dedicated to.

“It goes to show the impact Larry Reid had on that group of individuals as players and into their professional careers. To come back many years later and give back to minor hockey and pay tribute to their coach is pretty amazing,” Graham concluded.

Randy Graham, hockey development director

“It gives us an opportunity as an association to do some development and give our coaches some opportunities that we normally wouldn’t be able to afford to do.”

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Kristine Jean

Kristine Jean is a reporter with the Innisfail Province, joining the newspaper in 2013. She covers Penhold municipal politics, news and community events as well as sports in and around the town as well as in Innisfail.