Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a five-part series on behind-the-scenes personnel who do a wide variety of duties that contribute to the success of the Prince Albert Raiders. All of the people featured in these stories seldom get any recognition as the spotlight is generally focused on the players and coaching staff. The Daily Herald takes great pride in acknowledging the contributions of everyone associated with the team.
They are seen by thousands and known by just a few yet Kim Jackson and Mike Weleski are important cogs in the operation of the Prince Albert Raiders.
“I can’t really say enough about the work they do,” says Raiders’ business manager and director of marketing Bruce Vance. “They do a lot of great work behind the scenes and are absolutely dedicated and passionate about the team.”
Jackson is in his second full season with the Raiders and in his role as an office and hockey assistant his hat rack is definitely full. The Melfort native orders the alcohol that is served in the Ches Leach Lounge and the luxury suites, transports and collects players from the airport in Saskatoon, sets up the lobby for game days, works on-ice promotions during games, takes care of media requests for interviews following games, does all of the laundry, both for the Raiders and visiting teams, takes care of the Raider dressing room and completes his tasks with some office duties.
It is an exhausting schedule, but Jackson says he enjoys every minute of it and being a part of the team is the role he takes the most pride in.
“Being around the coaches and players is a lot of fun,” says Jackson. “We have a really good staff.”
While Jackson is a full-time employee, Weleski, or ‘Nugget’ as most people affectionately know him, is with the club on a part-time basis. Weleski is in his 11th season with the team doing most of his chores on game days.
“When Clint Anderson was here, he called me one night when they needed help and I’ve been here ever since,” says Weleski. “Game nights are the best part. It is a lot of fun.”
Weleski is also on the ice during promotional events that are staged as part of the game-day experience and assists with media requests following the games. Like Jackson, he is ready to help with any task when called upon.
Both feel their roles contribute to the club’s success and being with a winning team is certainly much more enjoyable.
“After we win it is great,” says Jackson. “When they lose, it is tough to go in the room.”
“Win or lose, we have to get ready for the next day – the next game,” adds Jackson.
They seldom, if ever, miss a day and if they ever did, they would certainly be missed.