HUMBOLDT — During his three seasons with the Humboldt Broncos, Reid Arnold greatly embraced being involved in the community.
“It’s important to be active in the community because a lot of the kids are looking up to you in the community and also Humboldt welcomed me with open arms, so I wanted to give back to the community,” said Arnold, a 20-year-old forward from Yorkton who completed his junior eligibility this past season.
Last week Arnold was recognized for his work in the community as the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League announced he was the team’s RBC Community Ambassador. The honour is bestowed upon one player from each SJHL team for displaying a commitment to volunteerism as well as outstanding citizenship and sportsmanship on and off the ice.
“Reid Arnold has been an ambassador here for our community since he came here… He’s always out doing any event we have here in the community,” Humboldt head coach Scott Barney said. “Always the first to raise his hand up to get out there. He’s a big part and has been a big part the last three years. We are definitely going to miss him going forward next season – not only on the ice but off the ice and in the community.”
The Broncos bench boss said that due to the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team was not able to be as active in the community as usual. However, he emphasized how important it is for the whole squad to be involved in events and be out in Humboldt.
“The community gives to us,” Barney said. “We need to give back as much as we can. The more we can get the players involved in different initiatives, it is very important for our organization. It is a big part of being a Humboldt Bronco.”
With the pandemic limiting the team’s community activities, Arnold focused on doing what he could. For example, “Seeing a kid at the rink, you would say ‘hi’ to him and talk to him,” Arnold said. After the season was cancelled, Arnold returned to Humboldt to skate with a team connected to his billet family.
Helping out with minor hockey was a regular activity for Arnold and the Broncos. He noted that, in past seasons, one of his favourite activities was serving hot lunches at Humboldt elementary schools.
“It was always fun to interact with the kids and play some floor hockey against them,” Arnold said.
Broncos defenceman Jackson Bohan, who was in his 19-year-old season, also enjoyed the school visits.
“It’s definitely a lot of fun and I know the kids really enjoy it,” the Cranbrook, B.C. product said.
Another community effort for the team is when they help remove snow from driveways after a storm. Bohan recalls one time Humboldt received a dump of snow. Players loaded up Arnold’s billet family’s snowblower and drove around helping out people out.
“They were really appreciative of us working for them,” Bohan said. “I think that showed a lot of people how appreciative we are for everything we’re given from the community and we just wanted to give back to Humboldt as much as we can.”