Two Aamjiwnaang brothers were recognized by their school last week after helping their team win gold at a major hockey tournament in Europe this summer.
Darrius and Julius Sinopole received certificates of achievement from Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley during a student assembly at Lansdowne elementary school.
The brothers helped a team of Ontario selects win the North America Draftday European Summer Series, a 10-day, seven-game tournament played in Finland and Sweden.
“There’s so many teams and it’s the best of the best of that country. It’s something else,” said father Dallas Sinopole, who attended the school presentation.
“I think it’s important to recognize … all the youth at this age group. Leaving the country, representing the country, their home communities, whether they’re successful or not.”
Darrius, 11, and Julius, 10, faced teams from Sweden, Finland and Switzerland. They lost just one game.
Hockey is played at a much faster pace in Europe, said Darrius, a defenceman with the Sarnia Jr. Sting AAA squad. This was his second year in Draftday’s program, after travelling with the team to Italy last year.
Julius, a goalie, plays on the Sting’s peewee AA team.
Their dad watched every game via livestreaming on the web.
“Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money,” Dallas Sinopole said. “I played a lot of sports as a young man to keep me out of trouble. It was important to me to put these guys in sports.
“It’s very special to me to see them do better than I ever did.”