Beth Williams believes a hockey rink is a great place to grow up so she has no problem giving back when it comes to keeping the game alive in her hometown.
The 28-year-old single mom, a native of Deer Lake and proud momma to 18-month old Nate Williams, is the assistant general manager of the Deer Lake Red Wings of the West Coast Senior Hockey League.
A registered nurse who serves as the community health nurse for White Bay, Williams played minor hockey and high school hockey with her female friends.
The rink was a safe haven, a place to hang out with friends. It helped keep her out of trouble and allowed her to grow up free of drugs and alcohol, so she’s thankful for the great upbringing she had.
“I was a rink rat and I spent so much time down there,” she said.
Last winter, a west coast senior hockey league was reborn with a mini-season and Williams helped her dad Clyde, who was heavily involved with the team as general manager.
This year, with the team back in the fold again and looking for people, she had no qualms about helping out in a volunteer role.
Being the assistant GM involves a lot of work, but she’s only too happy to help. She plays a key role in being the go-to-girl for the players who have any concerns or need something for a game.
She runs the bar for the home games and plans everything from booking buses to meal plans for the players when they hit the road.
She admits it’s been a blast sitting around the kitchen table chatting about hockey and what needs to be done before the next games with her dad, but she insists her real interest lies in doing what she can to ensure hockey is viable for years to come.
She still has her Donnie Gosse Red Wings jersey from the 2001 Herder win. She’s a fan of the game, a fan of the team and becoming a fan with the players who she says have shown her the utmost respect while she interacts with them on a regular basis with hopes of making the experience great for all players.
She has a little boy who comes to mind when she thinks about the hours she punches to keep the Red Wings on the ice and the town proud to be able to continue being part of the great history of senior hockey in this province.
“I want hockey to be here for him when he grows up just like I had it,” she said.
Williams is on the bus headed west as the Red Wings get set to tangle with the Port aux Basques Mariners at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Bruce II Sports Centre.