Saturday, 2 April 2016

Inside Hometown Hockey

I wasn't expecting to be a part of the inside team at Rogers' Hometown Hockey, but my expertise was needed on this day. I arrived early in the morning expecting to be outfitted with some Hometown Hockey shwag and sent to a location of their choice to help out and entertain guests who came to The Forks in downtown Winnipeg. While I did get to do some of that for a few hours, I spent most of my morning working behind the scenes as I fixed a laptop for one of the many dedicated people that work for Hometown Hockey. And here I thought I'd escape my normal workday on a weekend!

First and foremost, you should know that the group that travels around and puts on Hometown Hockey is a passionate, dedicated group that really looks out for the guests first. Whether you're coming down to see the celebrities and NHL alumni, the concerts that they've booked, or to participate in the activities such as The Situation Room presented by Samsung, these men and women that work tirelessly behind the scenes are a helluva team as I've ever seen. Even when there are moments of chaos, these people have already sprung into action to ensure that nothing is thrown off track. I was very impressed.

The young lady in distress whose laptop decided to simply stop working was a little distraught at the thought of losing most of her work that she'd done over the last six months. The morning was already going poorly for her when she tossed out a plea to the crowd of volunteers she was supposed to be getting ready for Hometown Hockey.

"Is anyone technical in here? Does anyone know anything about computers"

I, of course, do that for a living, so I mentioned that I did. She, looking slightly relieved, asked if I could look at her laptop. I did. And not to make this sound overly dramatic, but it was a bit of mess.

Rather than being deployed out to my station, I was asked to see if I could get the oft-blue screening machine back to a normal, working capacity. It went slowly, but it was in this time that I was able to observe the teamwork and dedication these people have to this event and to the guests that attend. Needless to say, they work hard and they deserve the money they are paid.

I expect more of a normal day on Sunday having put the machine back on solid technical ground. It appears that the laptop was functioning better by the end of the day after I spent some five hours with it, but we'll see what happens on Sunday.

I do know that the young lady I was helping with the laptop was a tour de force all day even with her technological impairment. She was constantly on the ball when it came to things needed to be done and coordination of various tasks and staff. Things ran smoothly, all of the site supervisors had their staff complements humming along, and it seemed as though every guest left with a smile on their faces.

Having been a part of major events like this in the past, I know that good leadership and a tight leadership team make for an amazing event from the top down. I can honestly tell you that the staff behind the scenes at Rogers' Hometown Hockey are some of the best, and they give it their all when it comes to this event running smoothly.

Behind every successful event is a team of people who are greater than their individual parts when it comes to working as a unit. Rogers' Sportsnet has found that team, and they are as good as any I've ever seen at pulling off an event of this magnitude week after week after week.

Can't wait for tomorrow!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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