Grayson (left) Griffin (right)
Grayson is from Ajax, Ontario and is in grade 2 right now. We tried putting him on the ice when he was 3 -- he did NOT like it at all. So we came back to it the year after with the Timbits program as well as a local skating club to help him get up to speed. He took to it, though was holding his stick like he was a witch. He's always been a very big boy, even among his 2013 cohorts despite being born late in the year, and today he is one of the best skaters his age in the area.
Although still very young, our boys have seen first hand some of the racist micro-aggressions that are engrained in hockey. The HPOC Movement is about changing that. We love the messaging that is coming from HPOC and would love for our boys to stand for the same things. Furthermore, being in the Greater Toronto Area, it is commonplace for some of the elite hockey players to have a social media presence that displays private sessions, camps, all the swag that they get with their AAA teams, etc. It's the kind of thing that we're not certain is good for the game when it comes to inclusivity. We feel that a balancing social media presence from our boys with a more inclusive message is a much better way to go.
One thing Griffin said earlier this year to us was that he wanted to be white. We also read an article in the Huffington Post that touched on racial identity issues for mixed kids:
Huffington Post Article: Click here
We have discussed with our boys how they should be proud of who they are and their racial identities. We have put up posters in their rooms of Evander Kane and Jarome Iginla. So in terms of what we look forward to with them as HPOC Ambassadors, we look forward to them having a positive mindset about who they are within the context of hockey. In the bigger picture, the more kids just like our kids do this, the more others will feel welcome in the sport.
Grayson is a huge Pokemon fan, loves roller skating, and is a social butterfly. The oldest of three boys, he is a very responsible older brother, except when Griffin pushes his buttons.
If I could sit down and have dinner with one fe/male hockey player, it probably be whoever the biggest Pokemon fan is in hockey!
The best advice I’ve ever been given in hockey or in life "Go out there and have fun"
My hockey dream is a Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup victory.
Griffin is from Ajax, Ontario and is in senior kindergarten. He saw his brother on the ice when he was 2 and that year for Christmas said he wanted shoulder pads so he could be just like Grayson. We didn't get him shoulder pads, but we signed him up for skating lessons and took him out on the ice every chance we got. The next two years, I was coaching Grayson's team and Griffin was out for every practice and game. He just loved skating and going after the puck. With all this time on the ice to go along with his extremely competitive demeanor, Griffin has become a top player for the 2015 cohort in the area.
You don't want to go into the corner with Griffin! He actually punched Grayson in the mouth earlier this year and knocked one of his teeth out. He also plays soccer and his competitiveness shines through there as well.
If I could sit down and have dinner with one fe/male hockey player, it would be probably Mitch Marner, but we've been trying to tell him about Wayne Gretzky.
The best advice I’ve ever been given in hockey or in life is "shoot faster. And don't trip anyone."
My dream for hockey is also a Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup.
Words by Grayson & Griffin, written by Dad
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