Chase Clayton and Greg Chase field the tough questions

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The broadcasters of tomorrow had the opportunity to interview the future NHL stars of tomorrow during an event held at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday, March 1.

The Cardel Kidcasters program gave 36 Grade 7 students from T.B Riley Junior High School the chance to ask any question they wanted to Calgary Hitmen stars Chase Clayton and Greg Chase.

The event started in silence as the students stared in awe at the Hitmen players who awaited the first questions. Minutes before the players stepped inside the room, the kids were being put through a quick tutorial by CTV reporter Lisa Bowes, the mastermind behind the project.

Bowes had a tough time keeping the students quiet. With the players in the room, no one wanted to break the ice.

Eventually the questions started to flow out and the kids each got their opportunity to speak up.

“Many hockey players have a lucky stick or lucky underwear, what are your lucky items?” one of the young students asked.

“I’m not that superstitious, but probably my knob on my stick,” Chase Clayton said. “I get bugged about that a bit.”

Following the question period, the students had the chance to get their picture taken with both Clayton and Chase and get some autographs. For some of the girls, they even got the chance to get up close and personal with the players.

“My favourite part was hugging them,” Alex said with a giant smile on her face. She was one of many seventh-grade girls who attended the event and gave new meaning to the phrase ‘giddy teenager.’

Opportunity of a Lifetime

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Bowes holds four of these opportunities every year giving kids from all over Calgary the chance to interview and meet sports stars from the Hitmen, Stampeders, Flames, Roughnecks, and even Olympic athletes living in the city.Grade 7 students from T.B Riley Junior High School had the opportunity to interview Calgary Hitmen stars Chase Clayton and Greg Chase.
Photo by: Derrick Newman

“We always get asked to go into schools and talk about our jobs,” Bowes said. “So I thought we have to make this more interactive somehow.

“So I’ve taken it to the middle-school age because I think it’s important that they get this experience before they get to high school. The goal is to introduce them into the broadcast industry and to our three main tenets, which are research – which gives us knowledge – writing, and then the on-camera piece.”

Bowes started the program when she was stationed back in Toronto and has continued the program when she moved out to Calgary.

“It gives them a chance to see a career choice that they maybe hadn’t thought of. It’s probably the most satisfying work I’ve ever done.”

Fielding the Questions

Both Chase Clayton and Greg Chase are 18 years old and rising stars with the Calgary Hitmen. They both said they relish opportunities such as these to give back to the community.

“It’s lots of fun,” Chase said, who is in his first full season with the Hitmen. “Anything we can do to give little kids a little taste of what we do is always awesome. The kids have a lot of good questions. I think it’s pretty cool that they do this for them.”

But how did this compare to a regular press conference with trained journalists?

“It’s pretty similar,” Clayton said. “They ask some pretty good questions. It’s pretty cool because it wasn’t long ago that we were that age and aspiring to be where we are now.’

The students asked a variety of questions throughout the 30-minute session. Anything ranging from the players’ superstitious nature, to pre-game meals, and what became the topic of the day, Greg Chase’s love of shopping and fashion.

“I haven’t really been asked that much about my fashion, but these kids seem to like the questions,” Chase said.

Both players couldn’t help but hold back their laughter.

“It was just kind of ironic how we were just talking about his high maintenance style literally two minutes before we walked up here, so it was pretty funny,” Clayton said.

For more information visit: Bowes Knows Sports

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