Playing varsity hockey at Waterloo is one of the most important events in my life.

I don't think you can replicate the type of camaraderie that you build by being "all in" as a student athlete in a sport like hockey in Canada. My best friends are guys I played with on those teams in the ‘80s, and we're still having as much fun now as we did back then.

I can’t emphasize enough the value of being a varsity athlete. Not only are you making a contribution to the university, but you also get to greatly expand your social network. It’s like a fraternity that you enter, with lifetime membership. 

I found very soon after graduation that the experience opened doors for me.

As a university professor, I see how alienating university life can be. This is a fact of life that is becoming more a reality as we further immerse ourselves into technology. But the more students engage with sports, recreation or other programs, the richer the experience in the end.

Once a Warrior, always a Warrior

My teammate Pete Crouse (BES '86) really should be credited with the development of the committee, as well as our friend and fellow hockey alumnus Blair McArthur (BASc '85). Pete recognized the need for something different in the way programs approach fundraising for varsity teams. Blair held a dinner at his house in Niagara-on-the-lake, with some alumni and friends from Waterloo’s Athletics and Recreation department. The seeds of the Warrior Hockey Alumni Committee were planted at that meeting, and I merely helped to round out a few of the rough edges during subsequent discussions with Pete.

Today, I’m co-chair of the committee with Pete. It's a group of professional, cooperative guys who are committed to developing the best model possible for the long-term success of Waterloo’s hockey program. It's nice that we're all competitive, so realizing the vision is something that I think all the members take seriously. And there's definitely some fun along the way, too.

It’s like a fraternity that you enter, with lifetime membership.

DAVE FENNELL, Men's Hockey Alumnus

As co-chair, I work directly with the hockey coaching staff, Waterloo staff, past players and other members of the committee. Key areas of emphasis include engagement with hockey alumni and others, fundraising and sharing team heritage. More specifically we:

  • set and deliver the strategic plan for the committee, which includes ongoing efforts in the refinement of philosophy (e.g., setting goals and objectives), planning (e.g., periodic needs assessments) and the implementation and evaluation of all events;
  • facilitate the committee agenda, meetings and regularly communicate around all short- and long-term activities and needs of the committee;
  • facilitate the communication between current and past players, coaches and staff; and
  • pay close attention to the activities and needs of Directors involved in the key areas of emphasis (above), resources, and budget to responsibly execute the strategic plan.

No question that we all have busy lives with plenty of competing interests. But if you find yourself rooted or centred by the Waterloo hockey experience, like I do, you find a way to make it happen. We are all connected through a common endeavour and through time.

A big part of me wants to see our hockey team succeed at the highest level. There’s lots of ways to lend a hand to help the many people, at many levels, who are pushing hard to make that happen.