NHL's Sutter brothers come to Yellowknife for KidSport
'It's helped us get…to where we've gotten to today,' says Ron Sutter on sports at an early age
Three former NHL players are in Yellowknife Saturday to help raise money for children who want to play sports in the Northwest Territories.
KidSport is a not-for-profit organization that helps children 18 years old and younger pay for expensive registration fees and sports equipment.
In 2013, the organization raised $39,921 for 1,031 kids in 15 communities across the territory.
Tonight's Champions for Children dinner in Yellowknife is a family affair, with three of the six Sutter brothers — and their mother — as keynote speakers.
Duane, Rich and Ron Sutter are former NHL players.
"I just think it's a real good thing … to be able to give kids opportunities that they don't get if someone wasn't reaching out to help them," said Ron Sutter, who played for a number of NHL teams, including the Calgary Flames, between 1980 and 2001.
Skills learned help kids later in life
Sutter says playing sports at an early age can not only help with a professional career in sport later in life, but can also help kids socialize and meet people they might not have met before.
It's amazing what camaraderie builds — self confidence, helps with your self esteem and keeps you active.- Ron Sutter, former NHL player
He says playing hockey has taught him a lot.
"You learn about what it takes to have success together as a team and everybody has their own individual strengths, weaknesses, and I think more than anything it teaches you what team work is all about," Sutter said. "You can have kids that aren't quite as talented as other kids, but when you all pull together and support each other, it's amazing what camaraderie builds — self confidence, helps with your self esteem and keeps you active."
Ron Sutter's twin brother Rich and their older brother Duane, who are from Viking, Alta., will also be at tonight's fundraiser.
Rich had 13 seasons in the NHL, including four with the Vancouver Canucks and one at the end of his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Brother Duane had 17 seasons, most with the New York Islanders. He also coached for the Florida Panthers for five years.
Tickets for tonight's dinner are being sold at Top of the World Travel in Yellowknife.
All proceeds will be donated to KidSport NWT.