If she had her way, former Team Canada defence player Delaney Collins would have T-shirts made up that read ‘love’ on the front and ‘adversity’ on the back.
That’s the message the Team BC Hockey coach shared with a group of youth in Williams Lake on Tuesday evening after playing floor hockey with them in the gym at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus.
Detailing here battles to recover from serious concussions in her playing career, where she often went back on the ice when she shouldn’t have, she shared her feelings of despair with the youth.
“I was curled up into a ball in the fetal position and could only lie down on one side of my head,” she said, adding she watched the same TV show over and over for two and a half months at one point.
“Never give up,” she said. “Don’t be afraid of adversity.”
“I’m a hockey artist,” she said as she paced across the gymnasium floor at Lake City Secondary Williams Lake Campus Tuesday evening. “I’m like Jackson Pollock splashing the board. I see the game, I watch with no volume, but because I’ve been such a horrible scene and adversity I’ve had no troubles coaching.”
Delaney told the youth she is available if they ever want to contact her.
“I will volunteer for anything, you don’t have to ask me twice.”
Williams Lake Minor Hockey coach Lindsay Wood said her presentation was inspring and informative and well-received.
“I was so nice to hear from someon who played at her level and to hear her true story,” Wood said.
She was in the lakecity on the invitation of Rob Rai who has been delivering gang and gun violence prevention training in Williams Lake with Dr. Keiron McConnell.
While she played floor hockey with the youth, a presentation was being given by Rai and McConnell to parents in another area of the school.
It was her first time being invited by Rai to speak to youth, she said.
“I am into doing this a lot. It’s important and my story has value.”
Born in Pilot Mount, Manitoba, Collins played for Canada’s National Women’s Team from 1999 to 2011, capturing three gold medals in 2000, 2004 and 2007 and silver medals in 2005 and 2008.
She retired from international play in 2011.
Breaking down barriers https://t.co/CfqOk8OOnE
— Delaney Collins (@delaneyc34) April 10, 2019