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HEROS program comes to Regina, eases challenges for kids playing hockey

Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) program manager Kevin Hodgson, centre, works with disadvantaged kids during an on-ice session in Calgary, Alta., Dec. 20, 2012.
Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) program manager Kevin Hodgson, centre, works with disadvantaged kids during an on-ice session in Calgary, Alta., Dec. 20, 2012. Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press

Two new hockey programs coming to Regina this fall aim at providing opportunities to low-income families and those living with disabilities.

Launching in October, Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) will help families who normally can’t afford other hockey leagues in the city.

“They want to be involved in something positive. They want to play sports, they want to be somewhere where they can be with the rest of their peers and [right now] they don’t have that opportunity,” said Kevin Hodgson, HEROS executive director.
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“The kids who need it the most are the ones who often don’t have that opportunity.”

The volunteer-driven program works with kids from inner-city schools, teaching them not only skills, but life skills as well.

Super HEROS is the other program and is designed for youth ages 7-17 with cognitive and physical challenges.

“That program is accessible to kids across the city of Regina and outside of Regina. For some of these families, finances isn’t the barrier, the barrier is that there hasn’t been anywhere for their kids to play hockey,” Hodgson said.

“In Canada, there isn’t anything west of Ontario in terms of adaptive program.”

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The program is also free-of-charge and will provide players with an opportunity to get on the ice, showing them that hockey can be for everyone.

HEROS began 19 years ago and the Regina program will be its 24th program launched, helping almost 10,000 kids.

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“It took some time to get here, but we are doing it right and we’re really excited to be here in Regina,” Hodgson said.

“We think it’s going to be a really great place for us to be and we are really looking forward to getting started.”

For more information visit their website.

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