Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 28, No.12

March 18, 2004


Stingers a buzz in Baie d’Urfe

By John Austen

Community spirit has always been a big part of university life at Concordia. That was driven home in spades early last month at a small elementary school in the West Island community of Baie d’Urfe.

Monday, Feb. 9, was Hockey Day at Dorset Elementary. The guests of honour were the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team.

Wide-eyed youngsters got to spend a day hanging out with the players. Activities included an introductory assembly, a series of ball-hockey games, a reading session and even some entertaining videos of the Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs.

“We’ve been coming to Dorset for three years now and it’s a real fun time for everyone involved,” said Stinger coach Kevin Figsby, a Baie d’Urfe resident whose two daughters used to attend the school.

“I’ve always believed that it is important to give something back to the community. These young people love it when our players come here. It’s a big day for them.

“These kids may be at universities like Concordia some day,” he continued. “It’s important that they get a good impression and I’m sure they do. Our players love doing this and they’re all classy people – great representatives of Concordia and university life in general.”

One of the highlights for the students was the appearance of Buzz, the Stinger mascot. The oversized bee is always a big hit both at Stinger games and wherever he goes to represent the varsity sports teams.

“Buzz is kinda like (Montreal Expos mascot) Youppi,” said Stephen, 10. “He doesn’t say anything. He just fools around with the kids.”

Asked if he likes it when the Stingers come to his school, Stephen said, “Yeah, it means we get to play hockey against them. I go to their games sometimes. I actually don’t play hockey much, but I like to watch games at the Bell Centre or on TV.”

One thing that Figsby likes to drive home to the young students is the importance of getting a good education.

“We stress to the kids that it is important to work hard at school and to keep their marks up, whether they are playing sports or not,” Figsby said. “We get involved in a number of community projects each year.

“I really think it does our guys good to be role models for a day as well. Being a Concordia Stinger has certain responsibilities that come with it and our players know that. They really are good ambassadors for our university.”