As manager of the Georgian Bay Blades AA Hockey Team in Collingwood, Doug Richardson knows just how much his young players get out of their time on the ice.

Bronze medal winnersMade up of kids from all around Georgian Bay from such towns as Elmvale, Barrie, Midland, Angus, Thornton, Owen Sound, Chesley, Lion’s Head, Durham and Collingwood, the team ranges in age from 14 and 15 years.

In the past year, the players travelled to three separate tournaments as well as hosting their own tournament. They competed hard in all events, coming out as B-side Champions in Niagara Falls and as B-side Finalists in the “Best of the Best Tournament” in Toronto, and a few players even went on to play at higher competitive levels.

But no matter how much the Georgian Bay Blades push themselves to excel, they simply couldn’t play the game they love without the financial support of local business.

“When I spoke with Wayne Noble, I did not need to sell this opportunity to him. Wayne was excited at the fact that Noble was being given an opportunity to give back to the community.”

“With the rising cost of ice time and the cost of liability insurance, it would be financially impossible to run these developmental programs,” says Doug. “The harsh reality is that the ‘bottom line’ often negates a business’s ability to provide the ‘hand out’ to programs that so desperately need the assistance.”

When he inquired with Noble Insurance—his wife Cindy’s employer—about whether they would be interested in helping his program out as a sponsor, he didn’t have to ask twice.

“When I spoke with Wayne Noble, I did not need to sell this opportunity to him. Wayne was excited at the fact that Noble was being given an opportunity to give back to the community. Noble Insurance represents small towns and cities with their business, so Wayne felt he was giving back to a number of communities by sponsoring us.”

back to benchThe Richardsons believe that supporting active lifestyles is an important value for Noble Insurance to uphold.

“It’s important because it involves supporting families,” says Doug. “With Noble being a family-run business, they understand the importance of health and well-being. In business you are only as good as the people that work for you. So to promote an active lifestyle within your workplace, as well as in the community you live, shows me that this is a company that cares as much for the people they don’t know as they do for the ones they are close with.”