Group: Olds FunTeam Hockey
Role: FunTeam Participant
Ryan Block, 24, currently resides in Davenport, Iowa working towards his Doctors in Chiropractics at the Palmer School of Chiropractics. He also plays for the school’s rugby team, a sport that he only recently picked up but has quickly excelled at. His journey to Iowa and a promising future as a Chiropractor took him through Edmonton as a receiver for the University of Alberta Golden Bears football team while he completed his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. But his love for sport, activity, fitness, and the outdoors started in his hometown on a farm in Olds, Alberta.
Ryan Block grew up with 4 brothers. So naturally, there is a sense to always impress your brothers by competing with them. Even if we know we’ll never win. Olds is a small Alberta town located just outside of Calgary with a population just under 10,000 people. Growing up in small town you don’t have lots of opportunity to play organized sport but at 10 years old Ryan’s dad, a big hockey fan, heard about a FunTeam hockey team that played at the Olds Sports Complex and wanted to get his kids involved. Ryan had this to say about FunTeam:
“It was the highlight of my week. It was my first exposure to organized sport and it was a great way to get introduced to team drills, comradery and a sense of community. It felt like I belonged to something. Growing up with 3 older brothers, I was always on the losing end of games. Through FunTeam I learned to be competitive and actually excel playing with other kids my age.”
Ryan ended up playing FunTeam for four years exposing himself to a sport environment where the focus wasn’t on winning but rather gaining skill and being a better teammate. It opened doors later on while playing QB for his high school football team when he got invited to play for the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
With all these accolades in an already sterling career of athletics and education, Ryan goes back to his days with FunTeam as a real starting point to becoming a better athlete, person, and friend. It was a good introduction to his world of sport and it has since given him the competitive edge to be a better person off the field, succeeding at anything life throws in his way. Be that school, work, or his relationships, sport has taught him to be humble and to always work hard.
“FunTeam focused on everything positive you can think about what sport should be and dismisses the negative. It brought together different groups allowing them to feel comfortable in a very new and unfamiliar environment. One that quickly became comfortable and fun.”
When asked if Ryan would recommend FunTeam to families, volunteers, and young athletes he said:
“Definitely! It’s Fun! And that was encouraged as the main goal from the beginning. It gives common ground for people to relate with others and you meet a lot of new people.”
FunTeam Alberta wants to wish Ryan all the best in his continued work at getting his Doctors in Chiropractics and hope that that there isn’t any love lost between those games with his brothers all those years ago on the farm. We sincerely thank him for allowing us to interview him and share his story with the FunTeam community.
- FunTeam Alberta wants to hear from you! If you have a story that showcases the amazing efforts of someone involved with your FunTeam groups, Young Leader Program or event, let us know! We want to hear stories about a great coach, a volunteer, player, anything!