Sunday, 11 February 2018 06:05

SW Alta. AMA Safety Patrollers meet Hurricanes

Written by  Demi Knight
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SW Alta. AMA Safety Patrollers meet Hurricanes Demi Knight

Grade five and six safety patrollers skated into Lethbridge this January to meet their hockey heroes.

On Jan. 30 almost five-hundred local patrollers from schools around southwest Alberta gathered at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge with skates in hand and dreams to be fulfilled as they joined hockey heroes the Lethbridge Hurricanes on the ice for a morning of fun, food and lessons on teamwork.
“This is our 80th year of celebrating the AMA school safety patrol program,” says Allison Pike, regional coordinator and spokeswomen for AMA School Safety Patrol.
“We do this each year and the kids really love being a part of it; we have students from schools all over southwest Alberta come to join in. The kids work really hard throughout the year as safety patrollers, and they get to come here because of that on this day.”
The AMA safety patrollers, which began their work in 1937, with funding from the Alberta Motor Association, have been helping communities across Alberta become a safer place for families for eighty years now. With nearly 16,000 children involved from over 500 different schools, the patrollers guard designated crosswalks to keep their community safe from motor and vehicle-related incidents, while also learning the importance of coming together with a common goal to help others.
In celebration of all their hard work, the safety school skating party came to be, as hundreds of kids took to the ice from Lethbridge, Cardston and Fort Macleod, as well as students from Pincher Creek, Raymond, Claresholm and Vulcan for an exciting morning alongside the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
However, it wasn’t just a morning of meeting these hockey players the proud patrollers were able to enjoy, but also brain games, skating with friends and a lot of pizza.
“It’s funny actually, because we’ve had a lot of feedback from students and parents on how much they love the day, and one principal even told us that for this event it’s the fastest he ever sees permission slips returned so the kids can attend,” laughed Pike.
With attendance being completely free, the only rule standing in the way of the day of fun was that the youngsters must have participated as safety patrollers within their community prior to the event. However, patrolling can also be a dangerous activity and Pike added there are also safety measures taken to protect the patrollers themselves as they do their work. These including not going alone to patrol and always working well with their partner to survey the road from all angles before crossing.
“Being a safety patroller is fun because you get to help people cross the street safely,” says a young female student from Canyon Elementary in Pincher Creek. “Also, being able to come here is so much fun, and I really like the food.”
With the day giving the patrollers the chance to connect with their hockey heroes and share their experiences of working with a team to accomplish common goals, the students were all smiles as they hit the ice and celebrated the important work they do for their community every day.
“These kids give so much to their communities and take on a lot of responsibility for their age,” says Pike.
“But just like the Hurricanes, they understand the value of hard work. Banding together and working towards a common goal is something the kids and players alike can be proud of.”

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