Bruins host Swift Current and middle school students

Around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, 600 students at Chilliwack middle school stood up in the gymnasium and unleashed the most ear-splitting of cheers.

Up front, Chilliwack Bruins president Darryl Porter had just announced that they, along with 2,400 other middle schoolers in Chilliwack, will be attending a Bruins home game at Prospera Centre on Dec. 7 as part of the Chilliwack Bruins/Great Canadian Oil Change ‘Celebrating Youth’ field trip.

Getting out of class at 10:30 a.m. on a weekday morning and going to see Chilliwack take on the Swift Current Broncos?

Certainly cheer worthy.

But wait kids. Wait for the catch.

“The theme of this game is going to be healthy living and nutrition,” Porter continued. “I know you’re cheering loud because you get to come watch the Bruins, and that’s great. But you’re going to get homework.”

And, cue the boos.

It’s true. The educational component of the day includes workbooks for the students to fill out at the game and curriculum connections to social studies, math, art, music and health. The Bruins and the school district are also teeing up a number of Videotron and concourse displays related to healthy living skills, fitness, nutrition and good citizenship.

Chilliwack school district superintendent Corinne McCabe talked about the benefits of that, and then drew a few more boos when she casually mentioned that teachers would also be making the trip. Then she quickly turned things around with a challenge.

“Let’s see if we can show them how much noise we can make,” she said. “I want to hear you cheer as loud as you can.”

And, cue another ear-splitting cheer.

Bruins season ticket holder Bill Coombes, who attended CMS five decades ago, egged the students on when he took to the stage.

“When I go to the games, I sit with a bunch of really old people like me who don’t like whole a lot of noise, and they get annoyed when I use this,” he said, waving his cowbell. “So on Dec. 7, I’m hoping to sit with a group of students that will be the loudest at Prospera Centre. But someone told me I’d have to sit with a group from Vedder middle school.”

Oh it’s on now Mr. Coombes.

Cue the biggest ear-splitting cheer of the afternoon, followed by 600 kids simultaneously yelling ‘Go Bruins go! Go Bruins go! Go Bruins go!”

Coombes took a moment to the thank some sponsors. In addtion to Great Canadian Oil Change, Kel Mor Enterprises, Maple Leaf Foods, Charter Bus Lines and John Les (Chilliwack MLA) and Barry Penner (Chilliwack/Hope MLA) stepped up with financial support for the event.

The assembly concluded with two students receiving autographed hockey sticks from Bruins forward Dylen McKinlay.

Get more info by calling the Bruins at 604-792-4625.