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News - Details

The First Shift Program
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

More than 144 First Shift programs have been confirmed for the 2016-2017 season in provinces and territories right across the country, many of whom are already fully subscribed. The response from Canadian families is no surprise to program organizers.

“Since those first four (4) pilots in the spring of 2014, the interest in The First Shift program has continued to grow, and it has not been an unusual occurrence for us to have to turn away interested families.  In fact, it’s much more common for us to see the programs over subscribed than under,” said Paul Carson, Vice President of Membership Development, Hockey Canada.  “As much as Canada identifies hockey as a symbol of our country and our citizenship, for parents who didn’t grow up playing the game, be it new Canadians or those who simply didn’t take part in the sport growing up, The First Shift provides an easy way for them to let their kids try out the sport and to become familiar with hockey’s fundamentals and the basics of the game and the equipment.”

“We’ve found a substantial market for The First Shift and are really excited about the opportunity to welcome one of Hockey Canada’s long-standing partners, Canadian Tire, to the program as we seek to double the number of Canadian families this season alone.”

This year, The First Shift returns to 59 communities, while 65 new communities will welcome the program.  All programs are run locally by Minor Hockey Associations (MHA), and powered by volunteers.

New this season is 14 all-girl programs.  The First Shift has always been open to both boys and girls, but one (1) all-girl program was piloted in 2015-2016 in Quebec, and this year, more communities have come on board as part of their strategy to grow the female game in their areas.

With an emphasis on fun, The First Shift allows kids aged 6-10 to easily try hockey for $199, which includes enrollment for a six (6) week, on-ice curriculum and head-to-toe Bauer equipment that each child can keep.  The initiative began in 2014 with four (4) pilot programs in Ontario and Nova Scotia, expanded the following year to 35 programs, and doubled to 81 programs in the 2015-2016 season.

BC Hockey MHA’s hosting The First Shift program this fall are:

100 Mile House

Burnaby

Chemainus

Fernie

Kamloops

Kelowna

Maple Ridge

Merritt

Port Alberni

Port Moody

Richmond

Salmon Arm

“We are happy to welcome The First Shift program back to these communities for a second year, and to have Kamloops on board for their first season,” commented BC Hockey Chief Executive Officer, Barry Petrachenko.  “This is a great initiative from Hockey Canada to attract new players to the game.  With the focus on fun, it is a perfect opportunity for young people to gain an appreciation for our national pastime.”

To learn more about The First Shift and how to register, please visit www.TheFirstShift.ca.

For more information about BC Hockey, please visit the BC Hockey website at www.bchockey.net or email info@bchockey.net or follow along through social media at www.facebook.com/BCHockeySource, www.twitter.com/BCHockey_Source, www.youtube.com/BCHockeySource or www.instagram.com/BCHockeySource


 
      

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