Crisis creates opportunity and new HSN Canberra writer Julian Hall gives us his take on the recent events in Canberra
The typical underdog story we all love to hear in this great country of ours, down and out, only to rise up to the occasion and show the world what were made of; grit, hard work and determination.
No I’m not talking about the Australian Cricket teams achievements this past summer. I’m referring to an Ice Hockey team from the nation’s capital which, 8 days ago, was told they were no more. The club folded only 6 weeks out from the start of the Australian Ice Hockey league (AIHL) season.
Citing financial costs, lack of local players and poor performances as the reasons behind the move, owner of the Canberra Knights ice hockey team John Raut, gave notice to the team that operations would cease immediately.
What followed was a true example of community spirit and pride. A consortium, led by Knights team captain Mark Rummukainen and backed up by the vocal support (and financial support) of the Canberra community, were able to meet the requirements set down by the AIHL for re-entry back into the league for the 2014 season.
A public donations page was setup, which has raised over $27 000, with donations coming in from around the world. Along with this, various sponsorships and a $29 000 grant from the ACT government for local sports, help sealed the deal.
This is no mean feat given that the group were only given four days to raise the funds, ensure they had the player depth and seal a deal with the ice rink management.
A meeting was arranged with the AIHL on Monday night, and three days later the verdict was given to allow a Canberra team into the 2014 AIHL season.
Although the new team cannot be identified as the ‘Knights’, due to legal reasons, the new team, to be known as the CBR Brave, will maintain the spirit that has helped it to rise it up from the ashes to once again be part of the 2014 AIHL season.
A sell-out crowd is expected for the Canberra team’s first game of the season at home on April 12 against the Newcastle North Stars.