After having to postpone last year’s game due to pandemic restrictions, 13 and 14-year-old players were once again back on the ice Sunday at the Tri Leisure Centre In Spruce Grove for the annual Parker Tobin memorial cup.
“This will be the fourth year after the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash which claimed the life of our son Parker as well as 15 other people,” Parker Tobin’s father Ed Tobin said.
The 18-year-old from Stony Plain west of Edmonton played goalie for the Humboldt Broncos.
Not long after his death, the annual memorial game was organized to honour him and give back to the community through the Parker Tobin Memorial Fund.
“We’ve had the opportunity to help families that not only in financial need but some of them have gone through heartbreak, like us, where they’ve lost family members,” Parker Tobin’s mother, Rhonda Clarke-Tobin, said.
Money raised at the game and from various donors helps goalies pay for things like fees and equipment.
“This is the way that Parker would have wanted it, he loved to give back to his community, loved helping younger kids, he always pulled for the underdogs. We can feel it in our heart, this is what he would want us to do,” Rhonda Clarke-Tobin said.
The game also is a chance to tell people about their son and inspire a younger generation of players.
“It’s so cool to be able to play for his name and I hope to be like him one day and play in the AJHL,” said Easton Kitura, who is playing goalie in the memorial game.
“It’s important that we remember Parker Tobin and what his impact on the community, the impact of Rhonda and Ed Tobin, that they’ve had on the community and what they do through the Parker memorial fund,” Parkland Athletic Club director of operations Tom Tremain said.
While the Tobins look to continue to share their son’s legacy and love for hockey, they admit these events are bittersweet.
“Honestly, it’s what probably keeps us going some days, knowing we have these opportunities to help other people,” Rhonda Clarke-Tobin said.
“He would be proud of what’s come forward out of this, it wasn’t just a wasted tragedy, his life is going to continue to mean something,” Ed Tobin said.