Nova Scotia

Halifax hockey team honours Special Olympics volunteer

As the minor hockey season ramps up, one Halifax team has decided to recognize a dedicated member of its support staff.
Ian Wright high-fives Halifax Hawks Bantam AA players before they hit the ice. (CBC)

As the minor hockey season ramps up, one Halifax team has decided to recognize a dedicated member of its support staff.

The Halifax Hawks Bantam AA team is third in their league so far this year. They credit much their on-ice success to hard work and good coaching, but this month their website also salutes Ian Wright, their assistant equipment manager.

Wright has been a Special Olympics athlete for the past 21 years. He has a bronze medal from a national floor hockey competition and won gold as part of a provincial basketball team.

For team captain Noah Anthony, Wright is their number one fan.

"He congratulates us a lot and he can pick out the positive even in a really bad game we just played. He can go around the room and say something positive about every single one of the players in the room," said Anthony.

It's Wright's first season as a volunteer with a minor hockey team, but the Hawk's coach Dave Tzagarakis said he isn't shy about offering advice.

"Who should be on what line, who should be on the ice when, absolutely," he said laughing.

Tzagarakis said Wright never misses a practice or a game. He even tries to travel with the team for their regional tournaments.

Wright said he has high hopes for his adopted team.

"If these guys can win, then they can go for the gold," he said.

Wright said he will be behind the bench cheering them on while they try.

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