Most of our student body is Canadian (70%) and most of our Canadian students are from British Columbia. A large portion of these British Columbians are hockey fans and they overwhelmingly support the professional team, the Vancouver Canucks. At a boarding school, this causes some interesting banter as the trading deadline passes and the playoffs loom on the horizon.
Here is why.
If anyone has ever been to Alberta, they realize quickly how passionate Albertans are about their hockey teams and how profound their dislike is for the Vancouver Canucks. 17% of our Canadian students are from Alberta, and they tend to be either supporters of the Calgary Flames or the Edmonton Oilers. So, while Albertans are proudly displaying their team jerseys and bantering back and forth with each other about which Albertan team is better, they do have a common enemy: anything to do with the Canucks!
Then there are our students and staff from other regions of Canada who are often supporters of Les Canadiens , Jets, Senators and the Leafs. I do feel for them; they don’t receive much love in BC. Indeed, even our Head Hockey Coach, Mike Flynn, and his wife, Maggie Flynn (Houseparent of Mackenzie House) die-hard Canadiens fans, find few people who will listen to their passionate pontifications about their beloved ‘Habs’. Nor does our Ottawa Senator fan and Head of IT, Kevin Lawrence, receive anything but a sympathetic smile whenever the Senators are mentioned. Like it or not, this is Canuck country.
But what about our international students? What do these young men and women from across this globe think about this love of ice hockey and the ardent support shown by our Canadian staff and students? How can anyone understand the passion so many Canadians feel for hockey? While they may not like the sport or understand the game of hockey, they do understand the passion. They see it in their own countries.
Whether it is soccer in Brazil, Mexico or Colombia, or cricket in India and Pakistan; whether it is basketball, football and baseball in America, or rugby in Wales, Australia, New Zealand, France and England, our students understand the transformative nature of sport and its ability to unify a city, region or nation. It can create bonds between strangers and a shared hope between friends. No matter where in the world our students are from, they understand that passion.
Though this is ‘Canuck’ country, Brentwood is unified in its passion, its zest for life, and its hope for a brighter future. Go Brentwood Go!