With a tireless work ethic and a love for the sport, Nancy Johnson is a
game-changer for the Gimli Minor Hockey Association (GMHA).
“Nancy goes above and beyond for Gimli Minor Hockey. She wants things to
run smoothly, and she wants to see minor hockey be successful and fun for
the kids,” says Steve Moore, president of the GMHA.
“She has spent countless hours towards hockey, and she is the main person
that keeps Gimli Minor Hockey going. She is so helpful in answering parent
questions and concerns, looks out for the kids’ best interests, and always
takes the time to help out wherever the need is.”
Johnson has been the league registrar for the past four years and spends
many hours volunteering on the board and as a team manager.
As a mom of three boys in hockey, Johnson is at the rink four to five times
a week. She helps plan tournaments in Gimli and across Manitoba, as well as
fundraising efforts. She also helped teams start a campaign for the
Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup.
“We are a busy family,” Johnson says. “I run my own business, and I would
say that three-quarters of my time is on my own business, and the rest is
spent at the rink or with hockey commitments. We manage our time between
all those things.”
Johnson joined the Gimli Minor Hockey Association board to meet new people,
help her community and get involved in the sport her kids love, despite not
playing the game herself growing up.
Not originally from the small Manitoba community of 2,200, Johnson felt
volunteering was a great way to get involved and give back when needed.
“I initially got involved with my kids’ school activities, but not being
from here, this was a great way to meet people. And the club needed some
volunteers, so I stepped up,” she says.
Johnson started as a parent volunteer on the ice when her oldest son
started at the U7 level. Once all three of her sons were playing, she got
more involved as other board members left their roles.
“Like every [community] group, it is hard to find volunteers to join and
step up. So I went to a general meeting, and the former registrar asked if
I would be interested in taking the role over from here,” she says. “I
ended up taking over that role and then took on additional duties because
if the club can’t operate, the kids can’t play, and that’s not fair to
Johnson identifies as a planner, and being the league’s registrar and
tournament lead allows her to plan and organize events, which is a
favourite task. She is also the team manager for each of her kids’ teams.
“I enjoy learning the ins and outs of the club, but I love being organized,
and I like to organize hockey tournaments and fundraising efforts,” she
says. “As the registrar, I enjoy being able to help the kids that come from
other towns get transferred, because if they didn’t play here, they
wouldn’t have the opportunity to play. It is nice to be able to do that for
the families and the kids. It’s also nice to contribute and being a part of
the program that my kids participate in.”
As president, Moore oversees the daily operation of the GMHA, but Johnson
is a valuable resource.
“She does most of the work,” Moore says with a laugh. “She is so organized
and makes everything better for the coaches, managers and the kids. She is
so good with the kids, especially those that maybe aren’t that into hockey.
She wants those kids to excel and spends time making sure they are
comfortable and having fun.”
With 120 young players in Gimli, Johnson hopes her enthusiasm will help
grow the game and get more players involved.
“I hope that through my role, I’m learning something new and recruit some
new volunteers so the club can grow and be successful.”