Sixteen (16) coaches and development staff with the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation will arrive in Vancouver, BC this Friday for a unique 10-day knowledge sharing experience with Hockey Canada.
The development exchange runs from October 1-10, starting with three days of off-ice presentations and workshops in Vancouver put on by Hockey Canada and BC Hockey personnel for the Finnish delegates. The delegates will then spend four days at practical placements throughout British Columbia at a wide variety of levels, including Major Junior, Junior A, university, college and minor hockey. Placement sites include Victoria, the Lower Mainland, Kamloops and Kelowna.
“This is a fantastic chance for Hockey Canada to share the Canadian game, and to in turn learn from Finnish hockey experiences and expertise,” says Paul Carson, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey development. “Our partnership with the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation will not only help develop individual coaches and instructors, but will ultimately help improve hockey development programs within the two countries.”
The Western Hockey League (WHL), British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) league, several local minor hockey associations and Hockey Canada Skills Academy programs will all welcome the Finnish delegates to their teams, allowing them to observe and shadow coaches and get a first-hand look at the Canadian hockey system. In return, the Finnish delegates will make their own presentations to local minor hockey associations and Hockey Canada Skills Academy programs to share their own on and off-ice knowledge with hockey communities across British Columbia.
"BC Hockey is excited to be a part of this development exchange," said BC Hockey President Shannon Bell. "The Finnish coaches will have the opportunity to learn from some of the best coaches that BC has to offer."
This is the third of a four-year partnership between Hockey Canada and the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation. Finnish delegates also visited Canada in 2008, with placements throughout Hockey Alberta, while a Canadian contingent last travelled overseas as part of the partnership in 2009. Hockey Canada will soon identify coaching leaders from across the country to travel to Finland in 2011 as part of this unique development exchange program.
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