The Future is Bright
|Many Dundee CCS Stars fans are very aware of Michael Ward Snrs role in the management, direction and operation of the Dundee CCS Stars. The club’s director and former Dundee Rocket and Team GB internationalist has been key component in the growth of the Stars organisation since the club was formed at the turn of the millennium.
What is perhaps understated is the role of his son Michael Ward Jnr. The younger Mike has been instrumental in rolling out the club’s community and school programme this season. The project, which receives hands-on support from Dundee CCS Stars commercial manager Elliot Shaw, has been taken to a completely different level this year with weekly visits to schools and youth organisations in Dundee, Perthshire and Angus.
In addition other community work under the stewardship of Mike and Elliot has included circuit training workshops and hockey taster sessions amongst a variety of other hockey related activities.
There is a big world out there and the Stars want to be part of it. With this in mind the club’s Community Team believe they have a strong role in continuing to maintain the strong link between the city and the surrounding area and the Dundee CCS Stars.
The visits are more than just about hockey. It is also about spreading the word on wellbeing and inspiring youngsters and everybody in the community to live happier and healthier lives. Michael Ward Jnr takes up the story “We are looking to get a strong and positive message out to the community that participating in sport can bring a long list of benefits to everybody who gets involved. Participation can come in different forms. Not everybody will be an elite ice hockey player nonetheless there is place for everybody and there are certainly a lot of opportunities available at the Dundee Ice Arena for those who want to try ice hockey. That said all young kids should reach for the stars and the Stars.” Mike added “We also encourage further education as part of the programme and the benefits that can be derived for kids if they apply themselves in the classroom. Our message is all about activity and education and we believe it has been very well received by all the stakeholders and in particular the kids.”
The programme has reached out across the local area. Mike explained “It has been a great success to date. There is template for each visit which is interactive. The kids’ direct involvement in the event makes a big difference on how the visits are received. We recognise that each youth club and school may have their own specific needs and we always look to tailor our visits to meet these particular needs.”
This season the Stars will visit more than 2,000 primary 7 school pupils. Mike explained “As the club’s community officer it was important to focus in our first year of the full blown programme on an age group that would be highly responsive to our message. Moving into next season we plan to broaden the age group.” He continued “The players have been great and I think some guys like Matt White have a great future in teaching once they hang up their skates, if that is what the want to do. The players have been integral to the programmes success and I am very grateful for their contribution.”
Mike continued “We are also working with local charities who directly support the most disadvantaged and vulnerable families and children in the area. This has been particularly rewarding. We are as keen to broaden and maintain this link and enable these kids to meet the Stars players and come to our games. A core aspect of our programme is to be inclusive and we believe that this work means that everybody is part of our community.”
Michael Ward Jnr has this season turned what was previously a handful of school visits into a weekly occurrence. The benefits to the wider community and the Dundee CCS Stars will be short, medium and most importantly long term. The future is bright in Starland
Michael concluded “We have a strong vision of where we want to get to. It was a lot of hard work to get the programme up and running but it certainly has been worth it. We are delighted with the outcomes so far. We have come a long way this season and we are dedicated to its continued growth.”
If you would like to contact to Michael Ward Jnr please feel free to do so either by phone, email or letter. Mike’s contact information is detailed below.
Dundee CCS Stars
Dundee Ice Arena
7 Dayton Drive
The Dundee CCS Stars next home fixture is on Saturday, 4 March 2017 (faceoff 7.00pm) when the Braehead Clan will be our visitors