Sports equipment valued at $200,000 has arrived in Fort Providence thanks to a partnership between police and the community's minor hockey team, RCMP said on Thursday.
Corporal Cagri Yilmaz, the Fort Providence detachment commander, worked with hockey coach Edward Landry to get help from an Edmonton-based charity.
The charity, Sports Central, responded with a vast quantity of hockey equipment, golf clubs – the community's mayor has built a golf course – lacrosse gear, volleyballs, basketballs, soccer balls, and more.
Almost 4,200 items arrived by truck this week. Hockey equipment was due for distribution to players on Thursday evening.
"I wanted to help our kids," said Yilmaz in a news release issued by RCMP. "Team sports can boost kids’ self-esteem, coordination and general fitness, and help them learn how to work with other kids and adults."
Landry said: "We have been praying for something like this to happen. To have an organization donating to a small northern community like us, it’s awesome."
Landry hopes 50 youth in the community will sign up for hockey next year. The community's hockey season is due to start next week, when the ice is scheduled to be ready at the local arena.
RCMP said the remaining sports equipment will be provided to Deh Gáh School and the Hamlet of Fort Providence.
Speaking to Cabin Radio, Landry said even snowboarding supplies had made the journey on a 27-foot trailer up to the community. Asked if Fort Providence had any good snowboarding locations, he replied: "We'll just make a big pile of snow."
Landry said the hockey supplies would have a "big impact" on his team.
"We were running short of equipment and everything else. We were spending all our money on equipment, not going to hockey tournaments, and now we don't have to," he said.
"Now we want to go out to tournaments, and hockey camps, and develop leaders among the kids."