Writing a sports column is straight-up fun – in fact, you might think that writing in a relatively small community paper wouldn’t be all that great, but I’ve always loved it because of how we directly touch people’s lives.

It’s great to read about the Habs, Als, Impact, whoever, but you can read the Gazette or any other major daily for that. For us, our community is

NDG Hockey players in action during the 2009-10 season (Photo courtesy Ray Mason, NDG Hockey)

what’s important.

With that in mind, I’ve written about all sorts of things over the year, but every once in a while a story really reaches out and grabs a piece of my heart – and those are always the best to write.

Recently, I received an email from an NDG parent who wished to sign her son up to play in our community’s wonderful hockey program – only, she couldn’t afford the equipment and was about the can the whole thing, much to her son’s dismay.

This is a family that has been through some very hard times and could use the help. Of course, I won’t use their names here, but the gist is that it’s a single mother with three kids and more than her fair share of trouble making end meet by herself… let alone pay for her son to play hockey, one of the most expensive sports around.

This mother emailed me having seen a story I wrote last year about NDG Hockey helping families in need with equipment and registration fees. NDG Hockey’s philosophy has always been that no child should be turned away from playing for a lack of funds.

So with that in mind, I forwarded the email to Margaret Lambton at the hockey association, and a few days later she was ready to welcome this parent and child into the league.

“I have been involved well over 19 years this time around, and I know we have helped out since then and before. We always believe that everyone should be able to play and if we can help in any way we are proud and privileged to do so,” Lambton said.

“We have many families that give us their old equipment and we use this and any other gear we receive. Play-It-Again Sports (on Décarie) has helped us out on numerous occasions as well if we do not have something that is really necessary.

“We have outfitted many children with the full equipment, others who only need partial gear, and some others to trade up in sizes, etc. Many people donate their equipment to us, which we really appreciate as then we can help out the families that are in need.”

If you are a family in need of equipment or help with registration fees or would like to donate, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at noahsidel@gmail.com or call NDG Hockey directly at 514-487-6799.

For more on NDG Hockey, call the number above or visit www.ndghockey.com. And, as always, email me any time at noahsidel@gmail.com.