Lawson “Boots” Boutilier will have a lasting presence in local arenas.
The longtime Director of Hockey for the South Delta Minor Association has spent endless hours in city rinks nurturing players. Now he’s chipping in with an “assist” to coaches too.
With generous community support and the blessing of the City of Delta, the custom-made “Boots’ Locker” has been installed in the Ladner Leisure Centre, South Delta Recreation Centre and Tilbury Arena.
The storage box provides coaches a haven for practice equipment and tools, such as pucks and cones, which typically would have to be hauled in from their cars for each practice and then taken home. Now it can be shared between numerous teams.
“Every single coach has to have a bag and pucks. Now, they are not having to lug all the equipment in and out of the rink all the time. Guys just have to come to the box and take the stuff to the bench. It is way easier,” said Boutilier. “Even the savings of not having to buy so many pucks every year is going to be great.
“It is something I had been thinking about for a while, but I just wasn’t aggressive on getting it done. (City of Delta Recreation Facility Complex Manager) Pat Ansell has been fantastic and so accommodating. He gets it. He’s a hockey guy. If it wasn’t for him, they wouldn’t be here.”
Boutilier shared his idea with longtime SDMHA volunteer Rick Albus who reached out to some of his contacts to see if they could help.
Bob Taylor of Samuel Son and Company, made a contribution towards the supply of aluminum that was required. Albus then turned to Steve Heim, Andy Hayton and the team of the locally-owned Brenco Industries.
“I work in the metal industry and couple companies I work with do these exact kind of things. Samuel stepped up to the plate and gave us a great deal on the aluminum. Brenco helped us with the design, process and fabrication of the material,” explained Albus.
“Boots came up with the original concept of what he wanted it to look like and we sat down one day over a cup coffee and sketched it out and it went from concept to completion.
“(Calling it) Boots’ Locker just made a lot of sense. It was his idea and there’s not one kid in the last two or three decades who doesn’t know who Coach Boots is. Now, Boots will be in the rink for eternity.”