Being a teenager who figured he could use his own cash flow to purchase cool things for himself he successfully completed the Level 1 hockey officials course this winter.
He loves being on the ice. It’s fun and a chance to hang with his friends so he spends as much time as he can at the rink.
He recently wrapped up a memorable season as a member of the Western Kings entry in the provincial AAA bantam hockey league so this week his focus shifted to being an official as he made his debut in a provincial minor hockey tournament — the provincial peewee B tournament held in Corner Brook.
He’s part of a different team, but it’s proving to be a good experience for him because he’s getting a better understanding of the game and receiving a helping hand from some of the seasoned officials he shares the ice with on a regular basis.
He’s also having fun working games where the participants are young players he has seen around the rink for years. He likes being able to share the knowledge of the game to other young players who may want to follow his lead at some point.
It’s not an easy gig by any means. Parents can give officials a hard time by shouting from the crowd when they don’t get a call or has a call go against their team and players give them the gears from time to time.
He doesn’t want to be heckled by the fans, but understands that it comes with the territory. He only thrives on doing his best and tries his best to ignore those who give him a hard time over a call he made or one they felt he missed.
He knows he has to be patient as he learns the ropes because if he don’t he figures a person could go crazy, but at the end of the day he just wants to be able to say he did his best and will try to be even better the next time around.
“I just like to come off the ice knowing I had fun, that I reffed a fair game and I never lost any friends from it,” he said. You’re not going to get every call right so you just got to do the best you can.”
At a time when the country is experiencing a drop in the numbers of fresh faces willing to don the stripes, Veitch’s venture into new waters is a welcoming moment for the future of the game in this neck of the woods.