The story of the pink jersey

Cole Hamblin, from St. Adolphe was a standout defenseman with the Eastman Selects at the age of 15/16 years old. He would go on to play in the WHL and MJHL with the Selkirk Steelers, Winnipeg Blues, Portage Terriers and Virden Oil Caps. In 2014, at the young age of 21, Cole was set to play CIS university hockey with the Guelph Gryphons. His hockey career came to a halt when he received a rare cancer diagnosis and returned home.

After two short months, his battle ended. Soon after, during an Eastman fundraiser in support of the Hamblin family, a local fan won one of the pink jerseys that Cole had worn. The winner of that jersey chose to pay it forward and gift the jersey to a mom of an Eastman Player. This mom decided to wear her Pink Jersey to every Eastman game in his honour.

Every year since then, a veteran player’s mother has been gifted the Pink Jersey to continue to pay it forward, raise awareness to the disease, and keep Cole’s memory alive.

As part of this tradition and during the Selects #HockeyFightsCancer night, former Assistant Captain Roan Coe passed along the pink jersey to Jeremiah Warkentine and his mother Cheryle for the 2023-2024 Eastman Selects season. The Warkentine family has been a part of the Eastman organization for many years and they are always willing to help out wherever needed. Jeremy is one of the hardest working people on the ice and deserves to carry on Cole’s memory. Cheryle is also manager (or momager) for our team this season!

In addition to this tradition, players dedicated their game to someone close to them impacted by cancer. Big thanks to our families, friends, fans and visitors for support our fight against cancer and helping us raise $3 644,75 in support of the Canadian Cancer Society.

Special thanks to our team trainer Rachel for helping plan this special night.