Rebels assistant coach leading women’s team

It’s not the normal group of hockey players he instructs nor is it the regular time he hits the ice for practice, but Steve O’Rourke was out there just the same.

The Rebels assistant coach was at the Dawe Arena for 10 p.m. to run a group of ladies through the paces at their first practice.

“One of our guys in the front office got a call about this and they looked at me and said it was probably something I’d want to do,” he said. “With my background of a ton of hockey schools and different things like that, I’ve actually worked with the female program in the past. It kind of fit. I’m in.”

The players range from having not skated on anything other than figure skates to some ringette players, but O’Rourke says while they might be good skaters it is a different element in chasing a puck around instead of a ring.

His years as a coach at various levels paid off in a small way at the start of the practice in an unusual manner.

“No one mentioned I had to brings pucks,” he said. “So with a little coaching experience, I went straight to the Zamboni guy. He’s always got pucks.”

O’Rourke says it’s a part of being with the Rebels organization to take on tasks like this within the community.

“Our kids are always involved in things from D.A.R.E. programs to school reading to anything that comes across to sports orientated – we’re always involved and welcoming people to invite us out.”

Becky Jardine, the organizer behind this push for women’s hockey, was delighted to see a member of the Rebels’ team out on the ice with them.

“I just went in and said this is what I’m trying to get started, would you let somebody come,” she said about approaching the Rebels. “I didn’t realize they were actually going to send me a coach, which is perfect.”

O’Rourke said he had a little bit of a template to work from heading into this practice but he expected he might have to wing it at some point as well.

“You don’t know what the levels are going to be, the enthusiasm and everything,” he said. “Essentially it’s always the foundation of the basics, the passing, the skating and the receiving. This is just going to be fun and anytime I’m doing something with hockey it’s good.”

The women meet Mondays at the Dawe for 21 sessions over the winter.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer’s Westerner Days kicks off to a smoking hot start

Thousands take in the food, entertainment, rides and more at Westerner Park

WATCH: 2018 Westerner Days Parade brings 1000s to downtown Red Deer

The parade begins five days of western fun and culture in Central Alberta

Innisfail RCMP seize eight dogs from hotel room following earlier arrest

Dogs were in distress and taken to an animal rescue organization

Westerner Days opens today

Lots to see and do for the whole family

RCMP Major Crimes South make arrest in Red Deer homicide investigation

Gabriel Juma We Agotic of Red Deer arrested in Calgary

WATCH: Tune into What’s Up Wednesday

An overview of the week’s news in Red Deer

Two charged near Sundre after dog, cat, horse and five lambs stolen

Witnesses give valuable information to police, stolen property recovered

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Price no guarantee for safety with horse riding helmets: new report

A Swedish insurance report reveals that many brands of equestrian helmets do not protect riders as well as they could.

Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic launches into its second decade

The Gord Bamford Foundation is continuing to support youth supporting charities

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors send DeMar DeRozan to Spurs in colossal NBA trade

Toronto also sent Jakob Poeltl and 2019 first-round pick, gets Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Wetaskiwin man facing charges after allegedly impersonating war veteran

Wetaskiwin RCMP lay charges for unlawful use of military uniforms/certificates

Kitten OK after being rescued from underground pipe in B.C.

An adventurous feline has been rescued after getting trapped in an underground pipe in Kamloops, B.C.

Most Read