He has represented his country on the ice, and now he’s biking across his country – through rain, snow,
and whatever terrain comes his way.
Team Canada alumnus Brad Marsh is on a mission. Not only to successfully complete his current 90-Day
Challenge, a physically and mentally demanding coast to coast bicycle trek, but also to raise both awareness
and funds for the Boys and Girls Club of Canada, a charity that creates safe, supportive environments for
children so they can build positive experiences, relationships and life skills.
Marsh, whose own philosophy is to, “work hard, do your best, have fun,” has long had a soft spot for the
Boys and Girls Club.
“We do a lot with the Boys and Girls Club in Ottawa, and so I was just talking to the people that run the
show there, and they were telling me how much it flies under the radar,” Marsh, current president of the
Ottawa Senators Alumni Association, said May 7, while taking a bicycling break in Edmonton, Alta. “So I said,
‘Well, let’s do something to change that.’ ”
Marsh, who capped off a 15-year NHL career in the nation’s capital, and his
fellow Sens alumni, became regular supporters of the Boys and Girls following the death of former
professional hockey player and local sports broadcaster Brian Smith, who was randomly gunned down outside the
television studio where he worked on . Brian “Smitty” Smith had attended the Boys and Girls
Club as a youngster, and volunteered there in his later years.
“So it was easy to get involved,” Marsh said. “It’s just grown and blossomed
His incredible cycle across the country started April 25 in Vancouver, B.C.,
and will continue until he reaches St. John’s, Nfld., in July. The 10,000-km journey includes stops in
several major Canadian cities, where he’s visiting kids at the Boys and Girls Club, and even picking up a
stick to play a little floor hockey with the star-struck youngsters. He is accompanied by son Erik, one of
four children with wife Patty.
“It’s a lot of freakin’ kilometres,” he said with a chuckle of the difficult
trip, acknowledging many are likely wondering, “What the heck is Brad Marsh doing!?”
But as he battles his way from mountains to lighthouses, Marsh is confident
he’ll succeed in his eighth straight 90-Day Challenge. That’s because before he chose to challenge himself on
behalf of his favourite charity, Marsh faced an uphill battle of challenging himself, and made it back up to
“When I started my first 90-Day Challenge, I was physically, financially and
mentally bankrupt,” Marsh says on an online video, calling it “the beginning of the end,” for him. He decided
“My first 90-day Challenge was in June of 2010, and it was more or less to lose
weight,” he told Hockey Canada. “Every 90-Day Challenge, I up the ante … so here I am doing a monumental
Now, Marsh promotes 90-Day Challenges of all sorts, whether he’s doing it for
himself or helping others reach their own personal goals.
“If you’re in my position, get off the couch and do something about it,” Marsh,
who won a silver medal at the 1977 IIHF World Junior Championship, a bronze medal at the 1978 IIHF World
Junior Championship and also wore the red and white at the 1979 IIHF World Championship, advises fellow Team
“And if you don’t have a charity of your choice, then by all means, please look
at the Boys and Girls Club,” he said. “The kids would love to … play a game of floor hockey against you.”
To support Marsh on his 90-Day Challenge across Canada for the Boys and Girls
Club, follow his journey at www.Twitter.com/BradMarshNHL or http://bradmarsh90daychallenge.blogspot.ca.
“Perhaps, in the future, people will consider donating to the Boys and Girls
Club,” Marsh said. “Or more importantly, getting involved in the mentorship role, and in helping out through