Brody Bridgwater wore a distinctive brand of hockey hair to an assembly of hundreds of cheering students at Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Simcoe Thursday afternoon.
The hair hung loosely over his shoulders, about eight to 10 inches long, wavy and chestnut brown.
It was the Grade 11 student’s version of “the flow,” a hairstyle many hockey players at the school wear until playoff time, then trim off.
“It was always naturally long,” said Bridgwater, 16, a defenceman for the Ontario champion Port Dover midget rep squad.
“And then I always had the flow for the hockey season and stuff.”
Bridgwater was one of five Holy Trinity students who had their hair trimmed for The Flow Must Go, a fundraiser for Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program.
The other students were Ian McCann-Williams, Adam Laning, Daniel Czikk and Spencer Blake.
Over a two-week period, members of the school community made donations to determine which player would have his hair trimmed in front of the entire school.
Bridgwater won, raising over $1,000. He sat in a chair facing most of the student body in the assembly Thursday as a hairdresser gathered his hair into ponytails.
School principal Kathy Evans snipped the ponytails off one at a time. They were to be donated to a charity that makes wigs for boys who have lost hair due to cancer.
“It feels a lot different,” Bridgwater said after the haircut.
“It feels a lot better, but really short. I don’t know. (It’ll) take a while to get used to, that’s for sure.”
The fundraiser was the brainchild of Carly Procyk and Marcus Johnson, both Grade 12 students and members of the student council at Holy Trinity.
“Our goal was to raise money to a good cause, but at the same time create a lot of excitement and create more donations because of this excitement,” said Procyk, the council’s athletic rep.
Jumpstart was the closest foundation that gives kids in the community the chance to participate in sports, she said. The program offers financial help with the cost of sports registration, equipment and/or transportation.
“There’s things that you don’t find anywhere else, other than sports – just a sense of team atmosphere,” said Johnson, a student council treasurer who also plays hockey.
“Nothing feels better than coming back to the bench and a whole group of guys is cheering your name for a play or a goal you just scored. And then there’s memories like the tournaments where you kind of hang onto forever.”
The fundraising campaign gathered $5,000 for Jumpstart, a cause that appealed to Bridgwater. He plays soccer and golf as well as hockey and knows the impact sports can have on a life.
“I just know how great the experience was when I did it – when I play all those sports,” he said.
“So I thought I should give them the same chance that I had.”