in Willow Grove got a first-hand lesson in teamwork today, when members of the Philadelphia Flyers Fan Development team brought with them the popular Flyers School Assembly Program.
“We try to take hockey off the ice and go out in the community with it,” Jason Tempesta, Flyers community relations coordinator, said.
The Flyers Fan Development team visits schools throughout the Delaware Valley, and came to St. David’s this morning, Feb. 23.
According to Tempesta, in 2010-2011, the Flyers visited 95 schools, reaching over 30,00 students in grades 1-6.
The program has the theme of “Teamwork” and aims to use instill that theme in the school, sports and home-lives of the students through motivational speeches, media and hockey-related games.
The featured speaker was NHL legend, Bob “The Hound” Kelly, who is a highly recognizable member of the 1974 and 1975 Stanley Cup-champions, the Philadelphia Flyers.
“Whether you guys know it or not, you guys are the future,” Kelly said, addressing the St. David students.
Kelly, who is now the Flyers’ Ambassador of Hockey, asked the students what it means to be on a team.
Receiving some encouraging answers, Kelly eventually settled on his two favorite:
“Having fun … and to respect yourself and respect others,” Kelly said. “You’ll go a long way if you do that.”
He also spoke of the importance to continue their education, saying that it would provide limitless opportunities.
As part of the interactive portion of the assembly, Kelly helped third-grade student into the many layers of Flyers hockey gear, teaching the students the importance of physical safety, when it comes to sports participation.
“A hockey puck can travel 108-miles-an-hour,” Kelly stated to the awe of the elementary students.
He soon joined in with the St. David students’ laughter as the hockey-dressed student waddled awkwardly up and down the aisle.
After the assembly, Kelly said that he was grateful to bring the Flyers School Assembly Program from school to school.
“It starts at the top with Mr. [Ed] Snider and Comcast,” Kelly said. “We’re in a position where we can help out.”
Kelly also helped officiate a hockey-gear race between students and teachers, including, third-grade student Carie Fiedler and her teacher Jen Pitonyak.
“I thought it was a fun event for the kids,” Pitonyak said. “And, very relevant to their daily lives.”
The assembly ended with Tempesta and Kelly sharing, “The Philadelphia Flyers Formula for Success”:
During this segment of the assembly, the students watched a video that contained popular movie clips and interviews with current Philadelphia Flyers team members, each one explaining an aspect to the formula for success.
Temsto’s favorite clip was the one about Motiviation, which featured a scene from the “Little Giants” movie, in which Rick Morranis delivers an empassioned speech about keeping the right attitude in the face of adversity.
“Our Flyers players go through a similar attitude day in, day out,” Tempesta said.
He added that it’s their job to be the best of who they can be both on and off the ice.
“Our players know that we have some of the best fans in the NHL,” Temesto told the assembly. “If we can go out for our fans and make their lives better, we’re going to do it.”
A video montage was then played of the many different types of events the flyers engaged with the community, including pediatric ward visits, special-needs hockey workshops.
“That mentality of helping each other out is not just limited to professional sports players,” Temesto said, driving home the point of the assembly. “If you believe these things, you’ll get good things done to you.”
Afterward, Kelly provided the St. David students and teachers with Flyers parting gifts, including a coloring book and an offer to have the Flyers’ organization support potential St. David charitable events.
For more information about the Flyers School Assembly, contact the Fan Development Department at 215-952-5763 or e-mail FlyersAssembly@comcast-spectacor.com