Jeff Churchill likes his job. He works in sales and enjoys the chance to travel and work with people.
No matter how successful he is at the office, however, there's something else he finds much more satisfying: coaching minor hockey.
"It's what fills my soul," he said. "I sincerely enjoy teaching young kids all the benefits that hockey provides — the athletic pursuit, the importance of teamwork, hard work and determination.
"I like my job, it's a great job, but it does not give me nearly the internal reward that coaching does."
As this week's Our Game Star, Churchill will be featured on Hockey Night in Canada. He could also win tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Churchill's involvement in hockey is intense — he's at the rink at least nine times a week. He's assistant coach on two hockey teams, and has a son on both (eight-year-old Callum and 12-year-old Hayden).
Churchill has also taken the role of goalie coach for Callum's spring hockey team, and in the past, he's volunteered as timekeeper. He also gives his time to the Vancouver Thunderbirds Minor Hockey Association's alumni website, providing updates on players who've gone on to play in the NHL, Europe, the WHL, Junior B or for US college teams.
A player himself (he plays twice a week), Churchill says what he loves most about coaching is the chance to develop young players.
"It's being able to shape the next generation of Canadians.…At every practice and every game, you have the opportunity to help shape a fine Canadian boy or girl. I relish that opportunity and keep that in mind with each interaction with my players, our opponents, the parents and fellow coaches," he said.
The devoted Vancouver Canucks fan is well aware that not every coach or parent displays ideal behaviour at the rink — often far from it. He says all hockey parents and coaches have a responsibility to help create a more positive atmosphere.
"I encourage all hockey parents to behave the way you want others to behave, and hold your fellow parents or coaches accountable for inappropriate behaviour. If you don't want to see poor behaviours at the rink, then model how a great hockey parent should behave," he said.