Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Hockey star sees youth work at first hand in city

Michael McGrath and Sean McMorrow (top centre) with some of the kids from Woodvale Youth Club

Woodvale Youth Club was recently visited by Sean ‘The Sheriff’ McMorrow of the Belfast Giants as part of the Giants’ Companies That Care Initiative.

The ice hockey star, along with Michael McGrath, Irish Sea area director of leading ferry company Stena Line, met with young people from the Woodvale area and spoke with them about how he got involved in ice hockey, what it’s like being a Belfast Giant and the importance of using your gifts and talents to reach your full potential in life.

Michael McGrath also spoke about his experience of growing up in a working class community in New York City and how he used his passion for sport as a way of keeping motivated to do well in education.

Sean said he believed that connecting with kids in communities can help make a big difference in their lives.

“I see myself in many of the kids here, they have great potential to do really well in many areas of life,” he said.

“When I was a kid I wanted to be many things, like a lawyer or doctor, and an ice hockey player was one of the things I thought about being. I stayed in school because I knew it would help me have more choices in life. I hope the kids got as much out of this as I did getting to share my experiences with them.”

Michael McGrath said: “We really enjoyed the visit. They are a great group of young people and they have sent me away with a better understanding of the importance and value of the great work centres like Woodvale Youth Club play in the lives of young people. I’m looking forward to seeing them at a game some time soon.”

As part of the Companies That Care Initiative, Stena Line has donated tickets to Woodvale Youth Club, which is based in Disraeli Street in Belfast, and will be welcoming its members to a game in the New Year.

The Belfast Giants are Northern Ireland’s only professional ice hockey team. As participants in the Elite Ice Hockey League, they have entertained over one million spectators at the Odyssey Arena since 2000.

This season the Giants are sitting in third position in the league with their next fixture against the Sheffield Steelers at the Odyssey.

Tickets can be purchased from the Odyssey Arena Box Office and from all Ticketmaster outlets. You can also buy tickets online at www.ticketmaster.ie.

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