Racing And Hockey Connect The Hope Family
Brett Hope is currently the head coach of the Blenheim Blades. He’s spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the Chatham Maroons, and himself played a four year NCAA Division III career, captaining Buffalo State. All this following a stellar Junior career, and being an OHL Draft pick.
Brett is the oldest child.
Above him is middle brother Kyle, who has spent the last two seasons playing professionally in the ECHL, EIHL, and Denmark after completing a spectacular OHL career, and playing USports hockey for Windsor.
The youngest, Shawn, played Junior hockey for both the Wheatley Sharks, and Blenheim Blades, who he is currently serving as an assistant coach with.
Oh, and they all race at South Buxton Raceway / Southern Ontario Motor Speedway.
It’s a sports family for sure.
“It was awesome growing up in a sports family, no matter what we did it turned into a competition and made us all better at whatever it was we were doing,” says Kyle Hope. “My brothers and I pushed each other to be our best everyday which was a blessing.”
“Growing up my biggest competition was always my brothers,” says oldest brother Brett. “It didn’t matter what we were doing, it was a competition between us. The support we got/gave from the family was the best throughout all of our lives, no matter what we were doing. It was so helpful cause we were always honest with each other. Sometimes it wasn’t well received when it was constructive criticism but at the end of the day we all knew it was cause we wanted the best for each other.”
Because Brett is the oldest, and Shawn is the youngest, the age gap typically prevented them from being on the same team, which is why the brothers are now enjoying coaching their hometown Blenheim Blades together.
“With the age gap me and Shawn were never able to play together so finally, we were able to be on the same team. To see the passion he has for this team and players is amazing,” says Brett. “He wants to have success as a team and he wants every kid to have a great experience. As the head coach, I don’t want an assistant who is going to agree with everything I think. I want guys to bring new ideas and suggest a different way of doing things. With being Brothers he has no problem holding me accountable and speaking his opinion which is huge for our success as a group. In Blenheim We don’t want to be a team, we want to be a family and that every teammate is a brother. No better way to build that than with a true brother.”
“I think it’s awesome they are coaching our hometown team together, I am always checking how they did the next morning,” says Kyle, who lived in England and Denmark this season. “We are always texting each other and they are asking my opinion on certain things as well. They will do a great job in Blenheim in the future.”
For the trio, racing, hockey, and every other sport they could try was a part of their every day life growing up.
“Growing up as a little child my parents allowed us to play any sport we wanted to play,” explained Brett. “I played volleyball, basketball, badminton, football, golf, and hockey. After making the Chatham Maroons, as a 16 year old, I stopped playing all other sports and focused on hockey. The only other sport I participated in was Dirt Track Racing. To this day the two major sports in my life are Hockey and Racing. Racing was something we did as a family, whether it be in the shop working on the cars or going to the track we did it as a family. Hockey, I was able to play on the some of the same teams as Kyle but never able to play with Shawn.”
“Our parents turned our basement into a hockey arena so we would play everyday with our dad and have friends over to play lots,” said Kyle of the constant family support.
“We have always been there for each other in our hockey journeys and all of us going threw it together we could relate to each other and talk about how to handle the ups and downs of a hockey season.”
Even now, with their journeys still taking them in different directions, but Blenheim being home, the trio show support from texting after games, and watching games live when possible. One thing they know however, is that their family will always be there for them.
“I firmly believe that no matter what you are doing in life, not just sports, your family is biggest support system,” says Brett. “It’s the people in your life that you trust and care about more then anything and you know it is reciprocated back. Your family will always be there for you.”
Happy Family Day