March 24, 2016
Juma Amisi is a young man who has grown up through the Hockey Education Reaching Out Soceity (HEROS) program. When he began with HEROS, Juma was shy, introverted and cautious. Where he lacked confidence off of the ice, Juma excelled on it. Juma had the natural athleticism that made him a talented player from the very beginning.
Year after year, Juma attended HEROS’ free programs and continued to gain skills on and off the ice. His hockey skills became so pronounced that he was identified to play organized hockey and was even invited to the Western Hockey League’s Prospect Camp in Calgary.
Unlike many players who grow up watching Hockey Night in Canada on the family television, Juma’s access to hockey did not come easily. Juma came to Canada as a refugee from Tanzania. He arrived in Canada to live with his Aunt while the remainder of his family stayed in Tanzania. For years, Juma was taken under the wing of a volunteer in Edmonton who became his “hockey dad”; driving him to the rink for practices and games as he made his way up the hockey ranks.
Since joining HEROS in 2008, Juma has become “a leader among his peers and a great role model for other HEROS participants in Edmonton” says Kevin Hodgson, Director of Program Development for the Canadian charity. “Juma has taken every opportunity that has come to him since he began living in Canada and has thrived.”
For many years, hockey was Juma’s primary focus. His natural talent and support of dedicated HEROS volunteers lead him to play rep hockey in addition to his commitment to HEROS. In recent years, Juma’s new found confidence and leadership has driven him to become an elite rugby player. In 2016, Juma attended the Under-17 National Team Tryout for the Rugby Canada.