Etobicoke hockey team welcomes 35 kids from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut
The players, aged 10 to 13, will explore Toronto this week
Two groups of kids from different communities in Canada have come together in Toronto for the love of hockey.
The Mimico Canadiens Hockey Association in south Etobicoke is hosting two teams of players, aged 10 to 13, from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.
Kids from Mimico and 35 youths from Rankin Inlet are embarking on a 10-day trip exploring Toronto and getting involved with hockey in the city.
"We're going to learn about each other," said Chris Szarka, a Mimico Canadiens coach.
"We're from the same country and the two communities are absolutely melding. It's a wonderful experience, because the best part about this is they're realizing they're very similar," he said.
The kids watched a Toronto Maple Leafs practice Tuesday, toured the locker rooms and archives at the Mastercard Centre — the Leafs' practise facility — took part in a hockey clinic run by NHL alumni and filmed a Hockey Night in Canada segment.
Noel Kaludjak, a Rankin Inlet community member, says the trip is very exciting for the children from Rankin Inlet.
"The trip here has given them an opportunity to see and feel and take part in activities that we don't normally see back home in a big city like Toronto," he said.
He also says it's a great opportunity for the kids of Mimico to get to know children from another part of the country through a sport that everyone loves.
The kids will be exploring the city for the rest of the week. The players from Mimico will visit Rankin Inlet in April.