Team Chaplain


Sandy Bender proudly serves as the Team Chaplain for the Stratford Warriors. A true hometown enthusiast, Sandy grew up in Stratford and honed his skills in the Stratford Rotary Hockey League during his formative years. His love for the game was instilled by shared moments with his father, watching every Toronto Maple Leafs game in their living room. Sandy’s dad, who also served as his coach in the Rotary League, played a pivotal role in nurturing his passion for hockey. A graduate of Stratford Northwestern Secondary School, Sandy felt a calling to ministry during his final year. He furthered his education, earning a Ministerial Diploma from Master College and Seminary in Peterborough. While studying, Sandy travelled across Ontario, playing lead guitar with a worship team at various churches. His favourite part about his time travelling with the band was meeting new people and hearing the stories that they have.

Since January 2023, Sandy has been serving as a youth pastor at Bethel Church here in Stratford, where he works alongside the Stratford Police Chaplain, Charlie Swartwood. On Friday nights, he brings a lively group, consisting of friends, family, and students from his youth group, to cheer on the Warriors on Friday nights. In his role as Team Chaplain, Sandy is committed to providing a safe space for players, coaches, and supporting staff. He encourages open dialogue, welcomes prayer requests, and aims to be a pillar of support for everyone in the organization.

Each week, Sandy dedicates significant time to prayer for the well-being of everyone involved in the organization. He values deep, meaningful conversations and is ready to address any questions about faith and life. Sandy is dedicated to supporting players through the highs and lows, both on and off the ice, fostering a sense of community within the organization.