Giancarlo Nadeau


There was lots of excitement surrounding the inaugural Spring Team Program, and it did not disappoint! The development-based program welcomed U11 and U15 players to the GACC on April 6 and 7. 


The program is tailor-made for the Sunshine Coast and includes four training weekends, mini-tournaments, and a “Players Kit” that consists of a practice jersey, socks, training shorts, a T-shirt, a team hoodie, and a hat. Some players even trek from Powell River to participate in the program. 


The program is overseen by Coastal Tsunami Head Coach and General Manager Brad Wingfield, and each team has three experienced coaches. “I think we got off to a great start this weekend,” said Director of Operations Rick Hopper. “As you know, the players have classroom sessions, and hopefully, they will retain some of the things they will be taught over the four training weekends,” he added. Players are on the ice twice for 1.25 hours during the weekend and also spend time doing off-ice training. 


Players were taught hockey concepts in the offensive, defensive, and neutral zones, amongst other valuable lessons. “Our program is more than putting these kids on the ice and playing games…our goal is to improve their skills and TEACH them some foundational knowledge that will help them play the game, AND, most importantly, have FUN! If your player has had a positive experience at the end of our program, then it’s a job well done,” said Hopper! 


The program allowed players to interact with high-level coaches and make new friends. “He’s enjoying it very well! We live in Sechelt, and I’m very excited about the TSUNAMI,” said Jason Fodchuk, whose son Chance is in the U15 program. It gives the young kids something to aspire to. It’s bringing the community together on the weekends,” he added. 


Another parent learned about the program from Rick Hopper, who has been part of hockey in Powell River for years. “We have a lot of experience with junior hockey in Powell River because it’s been around since I was a teenager, and I think it will be awesome for the Sunshine Coast,” said Chris Marshman. His son Ryan is part of the U15 program, and claimed his son had a great weekend. “He liked being with all the young coaches. He had a positive experience. He was pretty impressed with the first weekend, and has already learned a lot,” he expressed. 


Spring Team Program coaches are Joe Caldarone, Gilbert Brule, Braedan Cross for U11 and Caymen Froude, Tyler Graham, and Nevan Flay with the U15 squad. “It’s amazing the kind of coaches they have for the program. It’s unbelievable to have such a great coaching staff for a U11 program,” explained Powell River’s Peter Kollar, whose son Harrison is part of the U11 program. “He was happy. Everybody was nice and friendly. I think everybody was pretty pleased with how everything was going that weekend. It’s only been one weekend, and it’s only going to get better,” he added. 


Staff and players will be back at it this weekend and should have no problems enjoying themselves.