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A story of Kindness and Strength

School sports teams stay at Accent Inn BC hotels

Schools are a central part of our communities

This is a story that really stands out from the  pack. A story of how a kind gesture can mean so much. Recently our Accent Inn Vancouver Airport hotel in Richmond BC welcomed the South Okanagan Secondary School Field Hockey Team. This in itself is not out of the ordinary as we welcome and host many school sports teams. Teams are some of our  favourite regular customers.  This time though,  the coaches and players from the SOSS team had more than just winning the tournament on their minds.

It was just a week  before they left Oliver BC, that a large portion of the South Okanagan Secondary  school burnt down. Luckily nobody was hurt.  We won’t go into all the details of the fire but needless to say,  the students had this unfortunate incident very much on their minds..  Schools are such an important part of a kid’s life and in many ways, they form the center of a neighbourhood or  a community. Parents, teachers and students alike,  had to deal with the loss of items that meant a lot and inspired special memories.

So here we have a coach and a team, that despite feeling such loss, power on and continue to pursue their goals by traveling and playing in a scheduled tournament.  They are lucky to have the additional bond and support that only teammates can provide. It’s like having an extended family that’s there to support you in the highs and in this case, the lows. When we spoke with our Accent Inn “team” members in Richmond,  they referred to the players as being very resilient and uplifting.

“players were very resilient and uplifting”

Now one of things we’ve always found special at Accent Inns is the sincere empathy and sensitivity our “team” members show towards our guests, our communities and each other. Several of our staff knew the SOSS Field Hockey team was scheduled to stay, heard about the fire and passed that information along to their colleagues.  The Vancouver Airport hotel team immediately planned to offer a few special perks on behalf of Accent Inns to help raise the spirits of the incoming team. Sheena, a  guest services agent, decided to go one step further.

Sheena identified with the field hockey team and the emotions they must have been going through. She wanted to do something that could offer a deeper acknowledgement of the team and coaches feelings and in her own words, “ do something that might really lift their spirits”. With the help of others,  she created a wonderful banner with pictures of hearts and hands that all the staff could sign offering their support to the SOSS team. This very special banner was placed in the coach’s room so that when they arrived, the message that “we  care” would be felt loud and clear.  Now of course you can imagine that when asked about telling this story, Sheena shrugged it aside and said, “it was just something I felt they needed – so we did it”. Although we have mentioned how special we feel our “team” is, when this comment from the girls of the South Okanagan Field Hockey team came in, we knew that this was a story too special not to tell.

“I am emailing representing the South Okanagan Secondary Senior Girls Field Hockey Team.  We are currently staying at your Richmond Location (near the airport).  We lost our school in a fire last week and upon our arrival here we found a banner in the coaches room with multiple positive messages, our school logo, and all of our names on it. It was a very positive and encouraging feeling to see that. We Sincerely send many thank you’ s for all the thoughtfulness and consideration!”

Caitlyn and Celina, SOSS Field Hockey

South Okanagan Secondary school field hockey team thanks BC hotel

SOSS team members holding the special banner

Thank you Caitlyn for allowing us to share this story.

Our best to the SOSS Team Members  and all the students and families  affected by the fire.

Your strength of character sets a great example for others to follow.


All the best,

John Espley

Accent Inns