Bruno Arena played host to the Adam Herold Legacy Foundation Hockey and Leadership Development Camp on November 4 and 5. The camps are designed to work on skill development, but perhaps more importantly, on character and leadership development. With one of its credos being “More Captains Needed,” the camps attract the best hockey coaches, trainers and talent, all who subscribe to the idea that character on and off the ice is not simply about winning and losing – it’s about being the difference that helps shape a better world. Adam was the youngest Humboldt Bronco player to lose his life in the bus tragedy in April 2018.
For Adam’s parents, Russell and Raelene Herold, the creation of the foundation was an important part of sharing the young hockey player’s commitment to being a leader but doing it in a humble and always non-assuming way. That was one of the things that impressed Adam’s coaches, teachers, and even people who were passing acquaintances. For kids coming up through the hockey ranks, they look at Adam as a role model with an understanding that he came from a rural background, just like them.
“This morning, they’ll see a video talking about Adam, who he was and where he comes from, just so the kids can relate that he’s just a small town kid like they are,” explained Russell Herold who always attends the camps. “He hunted, he snowmobiled, he waterskied, he wake boarded, he played hockey in a small town, so they realize he’s no different than they are.”
Perhaps what set Adam apart was the calm, open, caring and always humble demeanor that defined how he progressed through both hockey and his life.
“When you think of Adam, one thing that comes to mind is how humble he was,” Russel commented. “He was a good athlete, he was a bright kid in school, he was well-liked, but he was still a down-to-earth, local farm kid who never forgot where home was. He’d always try to include everybody and make everybody feel important.”
As the captain of the Regina Pat Canadians AAA team, Herold had a strong on ice presence, but he didn’t stand out as a gifted athlete in the halls of his Regina high school. He conducted himself in that same low-key and humble way that simply commanded a quick and knowing respect.
It’s those sensibilities that Russell and all the coaches and leaders in the Development Camp try to impress upon the students, coach participants in sessions, and even parents. Curtis Hunt, GM for the Prince Albert Raiders, was on hand providing a session for coaches.
“If there’s any advice I could give to parents, it’s to enjoy every minute of your child’s growth through hockey, gymnastics, dance, baseball, football, band, or whatever their passion is. And the most important message for parents to tell your kids is ‘I love to watch you play.’ And if they want to tell you about their game or a mistake they made, you want to support them.”
The messages about leadership and character are relayed in the video by some pretty heavy hitters in the world of sport – former PA Raider and current Winnipeg Jet Josh Morrissey, Roughrider Trevor Harris. On the ice and in the training sessions, skill coaches from the Raiders were on hand, along with power skating by Chad Mazurak. Many of the coaches were connected to Adam’s development throughout his hockey career
A key component of the November camp is the commitment of participants to go out into the community and perform volunteer service. At the return camp in March, participants will be asked to show their volunteer contributions and share the impact on individuals, the community, and on themselves. It’s all in aid of strengthening both the resolve for success on the ice, but also to foster an understanding of how youth can contribute to the success of others.
Information about participating in camps, bringing a camp to your community, and the list of scholarship opportunities available, along with the video introducing Adam, are on the Foundation’s website at www.adamheroldlegacyfoundation.ca.