by Tim Garvie
01 Mar 2009
EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada -- Dreams. That's what the start of every hockey season is all about.
The Whip-It Welding Vipers embark on a new season in Ball Hockey Edmonton starting at the beginning of April, and there's a lot to play for. There's the matter of pride. A playoff spot. A division win, which will be no small feat with a promotion to Division 7 from Division 8. Most of all, there's playing for each other.
But for the Vipers this year, they will have to do so without one of their own. Tragedy struck the team in December of 2008 with the news of the passing of one of its original members at the tender age of 27.
Yogindra Persaud was one of the original members of the Vipers from 1995 to 1998. Born in Guyana, Yogindra, or Yogi as he was known by friends and teammates, came to Edmonton in 1993 and fell in love with the game of hockey almost immediately. In 1995, he became one of the original members of the Vipers, becoming a valuable addition as a multi-purpose forward. He was known as a fierce competitor, blazing down the court and making deft passes for his forwards.
But, above all else, he was known as a kind and lion-hearted teammate.
On December 15, 2008, Yogi was found by friends in his apartment after passing away peacefully. He is survived by his mother, Hemma, of Edmonton, and his father, Robin, of Toronto.
In memory of their fallen comrade, the Vipers will play the balance of the 2009 Ball Hockey Edmonton season in his honour. Plans are underway to hold a memorial exhibition game before the end of the season in July.