Drumheller FunTeam Hockey

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What does FunTeam mean to me?

By: Nicky Sereda, Drumheller FunTeam Hockey

Our family is no stranger to the words volunteer and sports. I began helping my Dad coach little league baseball over 40 years ago. I really liked baseball but unfortunately was not a very good player and as a result had learned how to sit on the bench for a number of years, as it was all about winning in those days. At first, that is how I approached coaching - "win at all costs". Then it hit me and the memories came back at how I felt about having to sit on the bench because I wasn't good enough. A few years later Dad let me take over the reins of coaching. By then I was in high school and soon after off to university where I was able to take some coaching courses. I continued to coach over the years and continued to learn not only from courses and books, but from the many coaches I met along the way. Then came the day I was able to coach our own children. Darlene and I were blessed with four boys. At a young age they all wanted to play baseball and hockey. I had never coached hockey, so I decided to volunteer. For nine years Darlene and I spent a lot of time at the local rink as I learned the game of hockey with our boys. The boys were close enough in age that every second year two of them could each play on the same team. Thus I would be either assistant coaching or managing two teams versus the next year when I would be coaching or managing four teams! We were at the rink "8 days a week"! That was our life and things seem to be out of control as everything revolved around practices and games. For the most part our boys played house league and occasionally one or two ventured onto a travelling team. We did this for 9 years. In 1993 our oldest son turned 12 on the last day of the year. We asked the president of minor hockey if our son (who would be too old by one day) could still play in house league atom hockey with his brother...the answer was no. He either played on the travelling peewee team or he did not get to play. Then it hit me - in Drumheller there were approximately 60 players in each age category, but as soon as it came to peewee that number dropped to 20. Forty kids disappeared. I brought this to the president's attention. His answer was "it separates the boys from the men". Not a good answer in our opinion. So that year I coached two house league teams and managed the peewee travelling team. We shared the extra cost of travelling with Darlene's sister & brother-in-law whose son played as well. We took turns driving, packed lunches, shared motel rooms and at the end of the season it still cost an additional $1500 for one son to play never mind the juggling of time for us to make all of our son's games/practices!!! Minor hockey was not willing to entertain house leagues for players peewee age and higher, so then it was time to look elsewhere. In October 1994, the Drumheller FunTeam Hockey Club was born - thanks to the generosity and direction of FunTeam Alberta.

Sereda Family (left-right) - Chris, Kyler, Nicky, Garrett, Darlene, Nick
The first year we retrieved almost half of the 40 kids that disappeared. Within three years our phone was ringing off the hook! Parents wanted to know if we could open up our program to all ages, as minor hockey was making changes to their house league program which involved travelling to some nearby smaller centers. Many families were limited by transportation, cost or time issues and were unable to travel. We found more ice times and today we offer Rookies (ages 4 & up), Juniors (ages 11 & under), Varsity (ages 12 & up), Intermediates (ages 18 & under) and Senior (ages 18 & over). We have ice time every Sunday for 1 hour and 15 minutes. From November to March we offer optional out of town games twice a month to play out of town teams on their home ice. This year we will be hosing our 17th Annual FunTeam/RecTeam tournament between Christmas & New Year's, which is a two day event that hosts over 250 youth playing Rec hockey! Our annual theme is "Everyone is a Winner". Throughout the season we also participate in three other tournaments, the All-star & Provincial Games that are held annually at the Red Deer Centrium and weather permitting, we also host an annual outdoor Heritage Games.

FunTeam is about our youth being able to enjoy a healthy activity in a safe environment where regardless of skill and ability, they feel comfortable learning a sport and do not have to worry about "not being good enough or having to win at all costs". They have an opportunity to grow and improve at a rate comfortable to them and in a positive environment. They learn respect, sportsmanship, citizenship and about giving back to their community. The entire program is run by volunteers and made affordable to families at a cost of $75/year/participant (price has not changed in a decade). We have collected refurbished equipment which is available for use at no cost and for those who need additional help there are Kid Sport applications to ensure that all youth who wish to participate have an opportunity.

The time commitment for families is a couple of hours every Sunday afternoon from October to March. Away games and tournaments are optional. This allows families to do other activities whether they are family, church, school or community based, thus not having to give up or sacrifice these things because they are committed to one sport or activity, which in turn encourages our youth to become well rounded individuals.

In FunTeam, "Everyone is a Winner". As we have heard over the years from more than one family, "FunTeam is a breath of fresh air"! Yesterday I met a family who has been involved with the Drumheller FunTeam Hockey Club for the last 10 seasons and their 14 year old daughter said to me "only 52 more sleeps until we start hockey again"!

It is an honour to be able to coordinate this program for our community youth over these years and to be able to count on so many selfless and dedicated volunteers who have the best interests of the whole program and not just their family in mind. This, together with the great support and vision we receive from FunTeam Alberta, has made Drumheller FunTeam Hockey Club the success story it is today! Drumheller FunTeam will be celebrating its 18th season this October, it started off in 1994 with 19 players whose ages were 12 to 14 and today it offers non-contact rec hockey to an average of 130 players ages 4 to 56!

For more information on Drumheller FunTeam hockey or starting up a FunTeam group in your own community please contact the FunTeam office at 1-888-FUNTEAM or FunTeam resources include everything from equipment to funding sources and any sport can be a FunTeam sport.

2016/2017 Drumheller FunTeam Season

First Tim Hortons Hockey Day in Drumheller!

The Drum 99.5 Radio Station partnered up with Drumheller Dragons and Drumheller FunTeam Hockey to host its annual Tim Hortons Hockey Day in Drumheller along with a fundraiser BBQ on February 18th. The event included a day filled with free road hockey, ice hockey scrimmage and public skating for everyone! Tim Hortons brought to the site a truck to warm participants up with  free coffee and hot chocolate. A grand total of $283.45 was raides which will go towards building a permanent team photo wall inside Drumheller Arena displaying FunTeam hockey players from 1994!

Shout out to participants including: Arland Z., Hayden C., Kevin H., Kat H., Kamryn H., Colin G., Rowan G., Angus G., Elizabeth & Casey for volunteering. Special thanks for Nathan Crosbie from 99.5 FM, Nicky Sereda from Drumheller FunTeam Hockey, Drumheller Dragons and Tim Hortons. 

Thank you for your support!

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Highway Cleanup Event

On May 6th, Drumheller FunTeam hockey groups gathered over 50 volunteers to clean up 13km of roads. This was an opportunity for the hockey group to give back to their community as well as fundraise for their team. All volunteers were awarded a BBQ after to enjoy a sunny Drumheller. Well done!

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Annual Dinosaur Valley Half Marathon 2016

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2016/2017 Drumheller Hockey Tournaments!
  • Annual 22nd Drumheller Hockey Tournment December 29-30, 2016
  • Annual Heritage Classic Outdoor Games
  • Annual Christmas Hamper Benefit Games
  • Annual All Stars, Varsity &Intermediate Hockey Games @Red Deer Centrium
  • Annual Rec Junior, Intermediate and Senior Hockey Provincial Games @Red Deer Centrium
  • Canada 150 Recteam Intermediate Challenge Cup @Centrium Drumheller
  • Annual Drumheller Rookie All Star Games
On November 27th 2016, Drumheller FunTeam hockey gathered together for it's 23rd  annual Christmas Hamper Benefit Games. Players brought in money donations or non-perishable food items needed for the program.
On December 3rd 2016, Drumheller RecTeam Chinook brothers Nicholas & Thomas Chapin along with their parents Marnee & Cam Chapin hosted a parking lot BBQ courtesy of Drumheller Freson Bros Food Store. They collected $575 from hungry patrons! This money was used to purchase items needed for the Christmas Hamper Program.

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2015/2016 Drumheller FunTeam Season 

On February 28th, Drumheller Junior FunTeam had an opportunity to try Sledge Hockey. The Calgary Sledge Hockey Association invited Drumheller FunTeam Hockey to help and showcase the sport at the Memorial Arena.
This was an amazing opportunity for Drumheller FunTeam players to get a first hand experience on sledge hockey and admire a different type of sport.
The Drumheller FunTeam hockey group was amazed at the Calgary's group skill and abilities. According to the organizer Jacquie Kolm, "The Calgary Venom Sledge Hockey teams were excited to showcase their sport in Drumheller".

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On November 29th 2015, Drumheller FunTeam Hockey hosted their 22nd Annual FunTeam Salvation Army Christmas Benefit Hockey Games. A total of 4 games were played which encouraged players & families to bring non-perishable food suitable for the Christmas Food Hamper program. This gives a chance for the team to support the community and make players better citizens. Players are encouraged to donate money from their own pockets and purchase items they would like to donate to the program. This teaches young (and older) players the idea of what true meaning of giving is rather than asking their parents for the money instead.

On December 29th & 30th, Drumheller FunTeam Hockey hosted their Annual 21st FunTeam Hockey Tournament. This is the longest running and largest tournament of the season! A total of 19 teams and 280 participants took place this year. The theme of this tournament is always "Everyone is a Winner". Every team plays two games each, dividing playing time equally and always focusing on the fun element. At the end of the tournament everyone goes home with a tournament trophy sponsored by Tower Trophies.

2014/2015 Drumheller FunTeam Season

On Sunday December 7, 2014 Drumheller FunTeam Hockey held their 21st Annual Christmas Benefit Games for the Salvation Army Christmas Food Hamper Program. Despite the bad weather all went well and the Salvation Army was impressed with their efforts & donations.

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FunTeam Rookies & FunTeam Juniors Varsity RecTeam, Intermediate & Senior RecTeams

2015 Drumheller FunTeam Awards Night

20th Annual Drumheller FunTeam Tournament

11th Annual Heritage Classic Outdoor Games

2013/2014 Drumheller FunTeam Season

2012/2013 Drumheller FunTeam Season

15th Annual Drumheller FunTeam Rookie All Star Game

On December 4, 2011 the Drumheller FunTeam hockey group hosted their 18th Annual Christmas Benefit Games for the Salvation Army Christmas Hamper Program. Every year for the last 18 seasons FunTeam players and families earn extra money from odd jobs or after school jobs and purchase non perishable food items that they would like to donate to the Christmas Food Hamper Campaign. Family & friends are also invited to bring food donations. This year Santa also came to visit and accept the donation on behalf of the Salvation Army.

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FunTeam Rookies & FunTeam Juniors Varsity RecTeam, Intermediate & Senior RecTeams

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Drumheller FunTeam/RecTeam 2010/2011 Annual Awards Supper 2011 Alberta Provincial & All Star FunTeam/RecTeam Games at the Centrium
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Drumheller FunTeam at the West Edmonton Mall Anniversary Celebrations  

All T-shirts and hoodies were made possible as result of the great job everyone did on the annual Co-op Fundraiser.

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Drumheller FunTeam Rookies & Coaches try on their florescent T-shirts they received at their annual season windup in April. Drumheller Junior FunTeam & Coaches displaying their new hoodies at annual season windup in April.
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Drumheller Varsity & Intermediate RecTeam & Coaches enjoy their new hoodies they received at their annual season windup at the end of March.