Hockey in the Hollow: RCMP, Middleton Rec team up for youth engagement

Lawrence Powell
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By Lawrence Powell

The Spectator


There were slap shots, balls bouncing off cars or splashing through puddles, and stick-handling on asphalt and gravel. It may not have been Sidney Crosby standard, but hockey’s most famous player and fellow Nova Scotian would have been proud.

It was Ball Hockey in the Hollow today at lunch time in Middleton as the RCMP, the town, and a host of other groups and organizations picked teams and dropped the bright orange orb on the first in a series of fun times in the community.

Rodena Renaud, RCMP Community Policing Officer said today’s event was the launch of a series called YES or Youth Engagement Series.

“We want to actually go to the community instead of expecting the community come to use and ask what we have for services,” she said. “And it’s focused on making relationships, meeting someone on their dooryard, sharing a hotdog together, and playing, just playing.”

She said today’s fun included employees from the Department of Community Services, Schools Plus, the library, RCMP, and the Town of Middleton Recreation.

“They all came out just to meet the community, tell them what they do, and to celebrate community – and play real hockey together,” said Renaud. “Get to know each other. A face to the service or relationship.”

There were about 25 youngsters from age two to 19. All necessary gear was supplied in this come-as-you-are event. Water and hotdogs were supplied to keep four teams going at all times.

When noon hour was over, the extra hotdogs were handed out to the residents in the nearby apartment buildings.

“I think it was one of the best examples of what intergovernmental partnerships can do when they work together,” said Jennifer Coolen, head of Middleton Recreation. “It was really great to have representatives from Restorative Justice, the Department of Community Services, RCMP, and the town come together and have community members come out and watch and participate, really like a low-maintenance, fun, short event that was very successful. I hope it’s an ongoing thing and the start of many, many good partnership events.”

From a community policing perspective, it was a great way to spend the noon hour said RCMP Sgt. Scott MacMillan.

“Spectacular,” he said, “absolutely spectacular to see the community engaged with the local police and every other local agency that came, the town councilors, everyone else, the members of the town – to see that support that’s spectacular to see. You don’t see that in many towns.”

Today’s event was held just off Main Street in the dead-end street between apartment buildings in what is known locally as The Hollow.

Organizations: RCMP, Youth Engagement Series, Community Services Town of Middleton Recreation Schools Plus

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