The Giants have a devoted fanbase with fans of all ages, but one of their biggest is Lucas Kam. Kam is the head of the Vancouver Giants Booster Club and has been a dedicated fan since he walked through the doors of the Pacific Coliseum in 2016. His love for the Giants and junior hockey has taken him all over the WHL.
Good things happen when I am wearing these new set of threads, Florzy with 6 points tallied in 3 games since I donned #14. Let's go @WHLGiants! Kammer's Jersey stats @wahlsy pic.twitter.com/tFTJYsfS17
— Lucas Kam, FRSA (@LucasKam) February 10, 2020
An important friendship
Kam first started going to games thanks to an old high school friend which a special connection to the team. That friend was Ty Ronning. Kam and Ronning were friends from high school despite Kam having never attended a Giants game. After high school, Kam was going through some tough times. Stress from a new school and social stress from a completely new environment lead Kam to reach out to Ronning. At the time, Ronning was in the midst of his NHL draft season with the Giants. He wanted to check in and learn more about the Giants. This was the start of the strong relationship between Kam and the Giants.
“I was hearing some good stuff about the teddy bear toss game with the Giants or Ty getting called up as Tyler Benson’s replacement for the Top Prospects Game and I wanted to reach out to him to see how things were going. He told me about what was going on and how the team was doing and how they needed all the support they could get at the time. Ty said just come out and watch a game. I popped down on February 5th, 2016 for my first game against the Calgary Hitman, and after that, I was hooked. I ordered my first jersey that night and got it in time for the game that was near my birthday. Ty got it all signed by the team and I became a Giants fan then.”
The perfect escape
The Giants were a safe haven for Kam. No matter what was going on in his life, he always had the team there if he needed a distraction.
Here with @AKannok of the @WHLGiants discussing my first WHL memory. Audio is a bit off, sorry about that.
My first WHL memory was watching my friend @TyRonning7 score the opening goal at my first WHL game nearly 3 years ago which ignited my passion for hockey! @TheWHL #mywhl pic.twitter.com/SbSBiHph4Z
— Lucas Kam, FRSA (@LucasKam) January 28, 2019
“It was something positive and something to look forward to at the end of the week. I was putting more effort into work and school so I could go down to the arena, enjoy the game and not worry about things for a couple of hours. I kept going to games and was really lucky because Ty hooked me up with tickets that last season. There was no pressure to go because the door was always open. In that season (2015-2016) I only missed one home game. That remains the only Vancouver Giants home game I have missed in person since becoming a fan in February 2016.
A tradition is born
Just like players, some fans have traditions before every game. Maybe you visit the same food vendor and eat the same meal before every game. It could be wearing the same jersey no matter what. For Kam, his tradition was born out of an appreciation for what Ronning had done for him, and an acknowledgment of how grateful he was.
“Every warmup I would go down to the ice and take a certain spot. I would wait for Ty to skate by and he would wink or wave or something like that. I would make sure to confirm with him like you left me a ticket this afternoon and I showed up. It was my way to make sure that he knew I was a man of my word. It was really important to show that I am a consistent fan. I am not just some person in the crowd. I showed I was devoted to the team.”
Building a connection
Kam’s legacy with the Giants is as the president of what is called the Vancouver Giants Booster Club. This is a group of close to 300 fans who support the Giants every game regardless of the record or score.
“I realized that there were people I could connect with outside of my normal academic surroundings and just talk about my hobby. It became my safe space. Going into the season at the Langley Event Centre, I grew to recognize a lot of different people and made a lot of different friend groups. Eventually, it became a passion and I wanted to do something with it. Years go on and many became the core members of the booster club. Just like there is a culture of being a Giants player, we wanted the same thing to be of a fan.
Everyone is welcome
One thing that Kam wanted to make sure is that everyone was included regardless of race, gender or disability. When you join the booster club you are treated the same as everyone else.
— Vancouver Giants Booster Club (@GiantsBooster) December 15, 2019
“I want to lead by example. One of the things I have always been cognisant of is the importance of diversity. Being some who is a person of color and someone with disabilities and other things considered, I wanted my experience as a fan to be as inclusive and positive as possible. Within our ranks, we have young, old, new, people of various needs, people who are disabled, people who have selective mutism, and some people who are on the spectrum. This is what the culture of hockey should look like. It should reflect our society. We want to keep it in that type of tone. We are welcoming to everyone and we want to show that.
A special thank you
The Giants made one of Kam’s dreams come true a few years ago on fan appreciation night. Not only did the team present him with an award for his dedication, but they also let him belt out the National Anthem.
That feeling when your team catches you completely by surprise! I had thought I was only going down the carpet to sing the National Anthem. Forever proud to #BeAGiant and cheer on my @WHLGiants. I still had to sing after receiving this award! Playoffs here we come! @TheWHL #WHL pic.twitter.com/KgZhyueu04
— Lucas Kam, FRSA (@LucasKam) March 18, 2019
“I always wanted to have the chance to sing the National Anthem at the game. I am a bit of a camera hog but it is not my fault since the camera is close to me. The cameraman pans onto my face during the National Anthem and I wanted the chance to show off my pipes and I let the team know that. They told me do you want to be the Anthem singer for fan appreciation night and little did I know that was a ploy to get me on the ice to give me an award.”
The Giants booster club will do whatever they can to support the team. Whether that is carpooling to away games, setting up watch parties for playoff games at the Langley Event Centre, or welcoming the team back after their game seven loss to Prince Albert in the WHL final. This group is here to support the team in any way possible.
This year, Giants boosters have taken their own initiative to show their support for their team, such as through posts on social media and also in the case of the Giants’ own Sign Girl, sending her own signs out to the team in Kamloops. In addition to this, Kam hosts pregame zoom calls.
It is a very special group that cares deeply about junior hockey. Kam has built a great foundation and his legacy will live on through the years as this group continues to support the team they love.
— Lucas Kam, FRSA (@LucasKam) April 24, 2019
Five quick facts about Lucas Kam
Favorite Giants player of all time: Ty Ronning
One player you have watched you wish played for the Giants: Dante Hannoun
Favorite arena visited: Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert
Favorite team to watch play against the Giants: Prince George Cougars
A Favorite moment since becoming a Giants fan: Singing the National Anthem and being honored by the Giants