Team Canada West • Regina • Floor Hockey
Team Canada West lives by an "all for one and one for all" philosophy. Members of the floor hockey team have been together since 2013 and many of the athletes have been playing together for over 10 years.
"We play as one and have taught the team to play for each other," said coach Ryan Unruh. "We have a definite team leadership group that we have taught how to lead by example through hard work and dedication. We have helped each person gain their own identity, whether it be a goal scorer, playmaker, or emotional character."
Team Canada West is a finalist in the 2017 Team of the Year for the Saskatchewan Sport Awards-an annual awards program of Sask Sport Inc. designed to celebrate and promote the outstanding achievements of Saskatchewan amateur athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers.
The team won a silver medal at the Special Olympics World Winter Games and were awarded the Special Olympics Canada Team of the Year National Award.
Unruh said the team was overwhelmed by the whole experience; from a training camp in Montreal, to interviews with TSN, to watching broadcasts of their games…the team overcame a lot to achieve victory.
"We have had to work through work schedules, injury rehabilitations, family problems and mental health struggles," he said. "Becoming accustomed to the level of expectation put on the guys to train was a steep climb, but they pushed through."
What made the victory even sweeter for the team was representing Saskatchewan.
"It means everything to us," Unruh said. "We are all very proud of where we come from and the victories and achievements we have attained are all because of the great qualities that are bred into us by hailing from this great province."
Unruh said competing together at this event has helped the team become even closer. He described them as "a family", noting that they saw each other more often than their families at times. Training together has also helped team members benefit outside of the sport.
"Throughout this process our athletes have gained confidence in all aspects of their lives, not just sport. They became more physically fit and learned a lot about eating properly to maintain a high level of health," he said. "The team unity helped the guys learn about success derived from teamwork and how everyone has unique abilities that help build a strong team. Improving their lives and the success achieved has also taught the athletes the results and benefits of hard work."
What makes Team Canada West #SaskProud?
"One of our main motivational points was to ask the boys who this journey was for and their answer was always 'For everyone back home.' Our motto has always been to do it for Regina, Saskatchewan and all of Canada. It proves once again how hard working Saskatchewan people can persevere against all odds. We're tough and hardy. We'd have to be, to live where we do. We appreciate all of the work done by volunteers, coaches, officials and organizations at a grassroots level in Saskatchewan. Without their dedication and sacrifices none of the success for the athletes would be possible. They are the difference makers."
For more information on our Saskatchewan Sport Awards program please visit www.sasksport.sk.ca/SportAwards. This program can also be found on social media in support of the #SaskSportAwards and the #SaskProud campaign on twitter @CSCSaskatchewan and Facebook CSC Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan Lotteries is the main fundraiser for amateur sport in Saskatchewan. On behalf of over 300,000 registered participants, Sask Sport Inc. and its membership of provincial sport organizations, thank you for your support.