On July 23rd at the Langley Events Centre Civic Luncheon, ProMOTION Plus, the Township of Langley and the Township of Langley BC Summer Games Society honoured Connie Klimek and Bobbie Reber with two Leadership Awards for their outstanding work in the world of sport. These two excellent leaders have inspired women and girls throughout the community of Langley for many years through their participation and mentorship in hockey and equestrian sports.
In 2005, Connie Klimek attended one of her first meetings as a member of the Executive for Langley Minor Hockey Association (LMHA). In that fateful meeting, Connie learned that LMHA had lost a grant in the amount of $35,000 because they were not seen as “inclusive”. Not one to simply accept a loss and move forward, Connie instead set out to restore the grant and to make hockey “inclusive” rather than “exclusive”. Out of this loss rose a dream – Promoting Community Through Kids In Sport – now known as PuCKS.
PuCKS affords opportunities for marginalized children to participate in hockey but it also comes with obligations, which are imposed, on the participants. The primary obligation is “Lit Fit”, which requires the students to participate in special classes designed to assist with their current academic achievements and to mentor them in life skills. The participants are not only those who face financial challenges but also those with physical challenges and those who are new to Canada, notably the Karen Refugees in Langley.
PuCKS is not just a “hockey” program or a “sports” program, it is a Holistic Approach that provides access to sport, life and education. This is embodies in the PuCKS slogan “Building Hockey Scholars… Putting Kids on the Powerplay ~ For Life!”