SuperHEROS player Meghan of Edmonton, Alberta, was recently awarded the Air Canada Fan Flight Award, in recognition of the positive change she has been making in her community. She knows what makes a good leader is someone who respects and understands what their teammates need and acts accordingly.
Meghan has come a long way since her start in the Edmonton SuperHEROS program two years ago. Once quiet and reserved, Meghan has now transformed into a great leader with an abundance of compassion and strength which she shows both on and off the ice. Meghan leads warm-ups and cool-downs at the start and end of SuperHEROS practice but she also lends a hand when she sees her teammates struggling. Meghan who lives with autism along with her service dog Wilber, understands that things can get overwhelming at times.
This last season, Meghan noticed her teammate, who also lives with autism and without the ability to verbalize his frustrations, needed support. Without hesitation Meghan skated to the SuperHERO and sat with him until he was able to re-join his team. It marked the first time that a teammate was overwhelmed on the ice. “Meghan taught all the adults that day that sometimes all a person needs, is for you to just sit and be present” said Kevin Hodgson HEROS’ Executive Director. Hodgson was also a recipient of the Air Canada Fan Flight this year for his work with HEROS, the implementation of the SuperHEROS program, helping families and communities across Canada for the last 15 years access hockey and supporting the players to achieve their goals.
Meghan was presented with the award in outdoor ceremony with her family, friends, alongside Kevin Hodgson and a representative on behalf of Air Canada, in front of Edmonton Oilers balloons and large banner. She also received a special message from Edmonton Oilers head coach Dave Tippett.
“I hear you’re doing incredible things with HEROS hockey,” said Tippett. ”I hear that you even helped your teammate on the ice the other day. Way to go Meghan! Because of all the great stuff you’re doing I’ve been in touch with my friends at Air Canada, we want to give you, your family, including Wilber, an opportunity to travel when the time is right. We’re proud of you Meghan for showing great courage and determination.”
Each recipient chosen as part of the award receives a personalized jersey with their name on it from their favourite NHL player. Meghan received an Edmonton Oilers jersey for herself and Wilber. Recipients also receive tickets for both a home and an away game to watch their favourite team. “I can’t believe this is happening. Thank you,” said Meghan, while accepting the award and showing Wilber his very own jersey.
From everyone here at HEROS we would like thank Meghan for everything she does to make HEROS a better place. Congratulations Meghan!