Nicole and Liam Bateman are heading to Vancouver on Friday.

Local gets chance to skate with Canucks

Nicole Bateman is quite possibly one of the luckiest girls in Smithers right now.

Nicole Bateman is quite possibly one of the luckiest girls in Smithers right now.

The six-year-old is getting the opportunity to fly to Vancouver to skate with players from the Canucks this weekend.

“It’s awesome,” she said excitedly.

Colin Bateman, Nicole’s dad, entered her name into a draw a few weeks ago for the Canucks’ annual First Strides Initiation Program.

“We saw an ad on their webpage just saying that they had this opportunity for initiation kids to come down and skate with the Canucks,” said Bateman. “We put Nicole’s name in, but we didn’t expect anything of it.”

This was the first time they’ve entered contests like this; when they didn’t hear anything from the organization after the draw a few weeks ago, they assumed she wasn’t selected.

“We thought it wasn’t going to happen and then I got an email last night saying she’s heading down there,” said Bateman.

Nicole is one of 80 kids across the province who have been invited to skate with the team.

According to the Canucks’ website, as part of the program, local minor hockey association coaches will work side by side with qualified BC Hockey course conductors to teach young players the first strides in becoming accomplished athletes.

Nicole, along with her parents and her older brother Liam, are heading down this Friday for the two-day camp.

“She’ll be on the ice and the Canucks will be on the ice with them, and then the following day there’s a coaching session with Willie Desjardins,” said Bateman. “They’re going to be showing them some skating drills, it’s a proper coaching session.”

The young forward, who plays with the Roi’s team, said she’s excited to hit the ice and skate with Smithers’ Dan Hamhuis.

For Nicole and Liam, it’ll also be a weekend of firsts — this is the kids’ first visit to Vancouver, first time flying on a plane, and they’ll also get to see their first NHL game when the Canucks take on the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

“We’ve been to a Steelheads game, but not the Vancouver Canucks,” said Nicole.

And though she’s never been on a plane, she’s already getting some quality advice on making it a pleasant first experience.

“Always chew bubble gum when you land,” she said.

As for Liam, he has his own agenda when he gets to Rogers Arena.

“I want to see the Sedin brothers side by side to see if I can tell them apart,” he laughed.

 

Just Posted

Muheim class repeats 2017 award for interaction with seniors

Liliana Pesce’s Grade 4-5 class honoured by BC Retired Teachers Association

Bulkley Valley U14 boys soccer squad wins zones

The Rapids will now proceed to provincial championship in Prince George July 4-5

Donaldson announces seal coating for portions of Hwy 16, Kispiox

Two sections of road in the Bulkley Valley have had their fate sealed.

Smithers man receives two-year sentence for fatal car crash

Over a year after a fatal crash, a Smithers man has been sentenced to two years plus a day in jail.

VIDEO: First Nations, developer call for return and protection of sacred B.C. burial site

Dozens of First Nations leaders gather on grassy plateau to call on action by provincial government

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Teen stabbed after end-of-night limo dispute in downtown Vancouver

A young man, 19, is in serious condition following a dispute between two groups

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Most Read