It is with a heavy heart on hearing the news of the passing of Tracy Kitchen.
I have known Tracy for many years and always enjoyed the discussions around coaching and the players when our paths crossed in Oshawa or at Provincials. She did everything to get the most out of every player, both on and off the floor. She was a friend, coach and leader to many of the girls that came into her life of ice and ball hockey.
In 2016, she travelled to the World Championships in Prague to support her nephew who was on the U20 team. At the time I was aware that the World Ball Hockey Federation would be hosting the Girls U20 in two years and thought who better to get involved and so we discussed the Girls U20 program.
It didn't take long for her eyes to open up and interest peaked in representing the country and sport she loved for so many years. It also didn't take long to ask for our Team Canada caps so at our next game, I presented her with one of my team hats.
Tracy and I have been great supporters of the sport and specifically girls and women's ball hockey. I felt it was important to have her involved like I was given the opportunity many years ago.
Tracy was a member of the Oshawa Ball Hockey League for over 20 years playing, officiating and coaching.
I will miss her insatiable quest for knowledge, not just about the sport, but for life. Always wanting to know what someone else's opinion was on subjects to be able to see things from different perspectives. I will miss her easy laugh and her being able to make me laugh.
She was exactly how every person should be, so accepting of everyone, loving, kind, engaging, entertaining, humbling and that smile that would light up any room.
The world is emptied without her yet somehow fuller from the many gifts she left behind .
My heart is heavy for her family, friends and players she came across she adored you.
Her smile will continue to shine bright in our hearts and her loss is immeasurable to her family, friends, players and our thoughts and prayers are with all of them.
On behalf of the National Ball Hockey Association of Canada, condolences to the family and friends of Tracy Kitchen.
Rest Easy My Friend