Camera donation to enable professional level broadcasting for SLMHA
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
The donation of an automated sports production camera to the Sioux Lookout Minor Hockey Association (SLMHA) by local resident Keith Atwood, will now allow for professional level broadcasting of local matches. Atwood said, “For the parents and the children that just want more competitive hockey, I’d rather those people be able to stay in Sioux Lookout and develop and grow Sioux Lookout. Rather than having to drive our kids to other communities to improve their skills, and it can also come into play with the communities north of us.”
Atwood, who runs an IT and Security Company in Sioux Lookout, Atwood Consulting Services, shared that SLMHA initially reached out to him looking to purchase a camera. He decided to donate a Pixellot S1, Fully Automated Sports Production camera instead.
Atwood said, “What it is, is a fixed camera, that no-one has to operate. You just mount it. It has four cameras that are always watching the entire play surface of the ice… and then what it does is, it actually follows the play of the game.” Atwood said that they expect the camera, to be installed by January 6, to be working for January 11 when hockey starts again.
Atwood explained that the sensors and technology used in the camera enable it to identify each player and the puck, with features to zoom in on individual players and accurately track each movement of the game. He added, “It gives people the sense that they’re watching a professionally filmed game.” Apart from the ongoing licensing fee, Atwood shared that he covered all the one-time major costs. The camera retails approximately $20,000 including installation.
With restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic on people physically being able to accompany their kids for hockey, Atwood said that he aims to equip all families and fellow community members to be able to watch their children practice and play from the comfort of their homes. He said, “If Sioux Lookout is able to host some of these northern hockey events… it would be great if those people who live in the north, that, maybe cannot travel to Sioux Lookout could be able to watch their friends and their family play the games here in Sioux Lookout, live on TV.”
The camera intelligently records the scoreboard, keeping constant track of the score, relieving a person from having to manually update. Atwood said that the precise recording of the games benefits coaches to help review and improve specified skills of the players. He added that sports networks such as ESPN, Hockey TV, and several major league football associations in Europe and South America also use this technology.
Atwood said, “There’s a lot of parents out there that spend hundreds, if not thousands of hours of their own time at the hockey rink, coaching these kids, bettering our community.” He shared that this is his way of contributing to the community. “This is just a one-off thing that I’ve done. But, the goal is to help grow Sioux Lookout, to acknowledge the parents and the volunteers that are out there every single day, and at the hundreds and thousands of hours of their own time.”
Atwood said, “I would like to see hockey development improve in Sioux Lookout as opposed to players having to go outside of the community to further their hockey.” He added, “I want Sioux Lookout to grow and part of that is offering people the things that they need here in Sioux Lookout to want to stay and live here. So, if hockey is one of those things, I want hockey to improve.”
“The Municipality is supportive of this installation and use of this camera and system, and believes it will enhance the experience of our young hockey players, and enable more of their family to watch their exciting games online,” the Municipality of Sioux Lookout shared, adding that an Agreement has been drafted which the Municipality will enter into with the Sioux Lookout Minor Hockey Association regarding the installation and use of the new video camera.