The Richmond Ravens Buddy Program has paid off well for the association in more ways than one. Not only has it created mentorship and support for all ages, it has yielded a unique relationship for two players and a new coach for the association.
Brynn Waisman, the Midget A goalie, and Hana Nishi, a Novice goalie, have created a special bond that has led to new opportunities for both beyond what the program envisioned. Brynn has often played in levels above her age group, so she says she is always aware of the nervousness of being with older girls. As such, she went out of her way to make the younger players feel comfortable being out on the ice with her. Hana took to Brynn’s kindness immediately and began attending Brynn’s games to cheer her on. Hana’s parent’s, Bobby and Mimi Nishi, saw the positive change in their daughter’s performance through Brynn’s encouragement and asked her to help assistant coach in the 2017-18 season. Bobby notes, “It’s great to see females take on leadership roles within the Ravens association. We need more female coaches and role models for our girls to look up to.”
Brynn also took up the new-found friendship with the Nishi family and began assisting Mimi as assistant coach of Hana’s softball team. This season Brynn coaches the Ravens Atom C2 team as a goalie coach and once she turns 16 will be taking Hockey Canada’s official coaching program. Brynn says that the experience she has gained has led her to think of coaching and teaching as her future career.
Mimi states, “Hana and Brynn have really come to care for each other. Seeing Hana wearing Brynn’s No. 30 jersey at her games, holding her sign, and cheering her on is truly amazing.” And for Hana, she says “I’ve become a better goalie and that when I’m scared, I know that she’ll be here for me.”