Garth Brooks spent Saturday on the ice with Calgary Flames players Kris Versteeg, Troy Brouwer, and about 50 lucky children.
The event was for Brooks’ Teammates for Kids Foundation, a charity which provides scholarships for children to attend sports camps with professional athletes.
“Here’s the thing I want you to remember more than anything that you take from this camp today, this one word right here. That word is love. There it is. You’ve got to love the sport, you’ve got to love your teammates, you’ve got to love your coaches,” said Brooks, addressing the kids.
The children, aged 9-13, spent a few hours doing drills, culminating in a relay race where the first skater passed their stick on to the next one, so the final skater had an armful of sticks while they raced down to the boards where Brooks was standing.
Versteeg and Brouwer got in on the fun at one point, doing the final leg of the relay as the children cheered them on. Brouwer’s team gave him a small lead and, with about a dozen sticks pressed tightly to his chest, he managed to hold Versteeg off in the final stretch.
Brooks holds Teammates for Kids events thoughout his tours, typically partnering with local professional athletes.
Teammates for Kids was founded in 1999 and has since raised over $100 million in over 60 countries. Originally the foundation started with baseball players, but has expanded to include over 4,300 professional athletes from a wide range of sports including: hockey, soccer, basketball, and professional rodeo.
The Calgary Flames Foundation made a donation to Brooks’ foundation Saturday and presented him with a certificate. They declined to say how much money they were donating.
Brooks was on the ice in a pair of neon sneakers — asked whether he knew how to skate he offered an emphatic “hell no.”
The country superstar said he loved all sports, and hoped that kids would enjoy the day.
“If one of these kids walks away knowing one more friends than they did before, this camp was a success,” said Brooks.