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From Yarmouth hockey town to a far north hockey hamlet – the gift of skates and helmets

Kelly Goudey with some of the skates and helmets that have been donated so far for youth in the far-north hamlet of Cambridge Bay.
Kelly Goudey with some of the skates and helmets that have been donated so far for youth in the far-north hamlet of Cambridge Bay. - Carla Allen

Skates and helmets in good condition being gathered for youth in Cambridge Bay

YARMOUTH, N.S. —

Cambridge Bay is 3,500 kilometres from Yarmouth, but the town and the far-north hamlet do have things in common.

Fishing is an important industry in both communities and young folk enjoy skating and playing hockey.

In Cambridge Bay, however, there’s a problem connected with the skating. Folks in the Yarmouth area and beyond are working to address it.

Two years ago former Yarmouthians – RCMP Constable Brandon Goudey and his wife Kayla – were posted to Cambridge Bay.

Kayla says when they attended public skates at the local rink, they were inspired by how many kids went regardless of not having skates and helmets that fit.

“Most didn’t own their own skates and used the skates available to them at the rink,” said Kayla.

“If their size wasn’t available, it didn’t deter kids from skating, they would just use what was there and so kids were skating in skates two to three sizes too big.”

Those who didn’t have a hockey or bike helmet used baseball helmets. But regardless of not always having the proper gear, Kayla says the youngsters were smiling and “so happy to be out on the ice.”

In 2017 the rink closed due to mould, but after much work it reopened this spring to an excited community.

Youngsters enjoying the rink at Cambridge Bay, Region of Nunavut.
Youngsters enjoying the rink at Cambridge Bay, Region of Nunavut.

“Everyone was so appreciative to have it open again. It didn’t faze them one bit that their skates were three sizes too big. It would be so nice to be able to assist them by making more skates available,” said Kayla.

She says the skates and helmets are available at the arena free of charge, but there are still insufficient numbers and sizes to meet the need. The community, which has a population of 1,700 and is located on Victoria Island in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut, is remote and it’s expensive to have items shipped in.

When Kayla told her mother-in-law, Kelly Goudey, she decided to do something about it and launched Skates for Cam Bay.

“I thought, the amount of skates alone in my house, or in this community - we’re a big hockey community - and kids outgrow skates all the time. There must be a lot of skates in people’s basements and attics and they might be willing to donate them,” Kelly said.

The biggest hurdle is the shipping cost. The maximum-size box Canada Post will take will be $300.

People who don’t have skates to donate can still help get this initiative off the ground by donating funds towards the shipping of the skates and helmets to Nunavut.

So far, nearly a dozen helmets and close to three-dozen pairs of skates have been donated. Skate sharpener Geoff Baker is also donating his services.

“I think there’s definitely a need for these and they’ll be appreciated. We’ll make it happen. We’ll get them there,” Kelly said.  

Charles Zikalala, director of the Department of Healthy Living with the Municipality of Cambridge Bay, says the items could be shipped via cargo flights and the department could cover the freight costs.

“The skates will be greatly utilized,” he said.

“There are kids who may not necessarily have the funds to purchase or to rent skates. Your donations will make such great difference in their lives and it also shows that the community cares about them. The Department of Healthy Living seeks to provide a place for ‘hope and belonging’ for all community members,” he said.

How to help

Any size or make is accepted.

Drop-off locations in Yarmouth:

Runners Attic, 346 Main St

BRAMAC Plumbing & Heating, 44A Starrs Rd.

Or email

For further information, contact Kelly Goudey 902-740-0518

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