A couple of weeks ago Dylan McKenzie put on his hockey gear and stepped on to the ice to begin his hockey career.
For eight-year-old Dylan it was a dream come true. For the past two years his love for hockey has grown. He’s been watching it on TV, playing it on the computer as well as the good old fashions street hockey, but this year with a little help he’ll be lacing it up with the Prince George Minor Hockey Association. Dylan along with Jesse Cardinal had their registration paid for this year from proceeds from the Warren Little Memorial three-on-threePond Hockey Tournament which was held at Nukko Lake in April.
Dylan’s grandfather Pierre is very appreciative with the help.
“Dylan’s autistic. He’s high functioning autistic. That means he can do more things than certain children. He’s been watching hockey and hockey games and he’s really into hockey games. And it’s very expensive to get started. Having help has really made the difference,” said Pierre. “We received some equipment, about 70 per cent. If you go into the store and price the equipment it was very expensive. Myself I have problems with my health and my wife has MS. It’s difficult when you live on a fixed income to plan for that and this year we needed help and we got it. I must say I thank the association for their help.”
Dylan has been enjoying his time on the ice and getting a chance to learn more about the sport.
“It was fun. I liked skating,” said Dylan, who’s a Montreal Canadians and Prince George Cougars fan. “It’s scary [playing goal]. Everyone gets a goal on me. Defence is my favourite position.”
Pierre said this year will be a year for Dylan to learn the skills of the game and not concentrate on the competing.
“Mentally he’s about six or seven. Skating wise he’s a beginner. I’ve spoken to the coach and he said not to worry they will work on his skating. He loves it, he’s been to three evaluations and he liked it. The last one was particularly difficult but he’s got a lot of courage.”
The Warren Little Memorial three-on-three tournament was put on with support from the Sheriff’s Athletic Association. It will be held again this year being moved indoors to one of the ice rinks. There will also be a kids division this year. The tentative date is set for April 3, 2005.