A new program initiated by Hockey Canada has scored a goal with children in the Loyalist Township Minor Hockey Association.
Close to 100 boys and girls participated in a week long multi-sport camp at the W.J. Henderson Complex in Amherstview.
“We’re thrilled with the success we’ve had this week,” said Scott Carlow, manager of development programming for Hockey Canada.
Carlow says Hockey Canada’s research shows young hockey players need to experience other sports.
“That’s what this camp is all about,”says Carlow, a Peterborough native.
“We’ve been teaching hockey skills, but at the same time introducing them to other activities like soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, road hockey and ultimate frisbee.
“Our focus this week is working on individual skill and development. There’s something for everyone. Hopefully by the end of the week they’ve learned a new skill and understand the importance of respect and teamwork.”
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Off the ice, they’ve also held informal sessions and demonstrations with Kingston police officers and firefighters.
“It’s important for the campers to understand what these individuals do for us in our community,” added Carlow.
“When help is needed, the kids can’t be afraid to approach a police officer. That’s the message were getting across.”
This is the second year for the program, being held in the communities of Amherstview and Parry Sound.
Carlow says Steve Stamkos and John Tavares grew up playing multiple sports and that’s another message they’re passing on to the kids.
“We found out that some kids are playing hockey 10-11 or 12 months a year,” said Carlow.
“We’re stressing the importance of playing other sports and learning new skills. We’re fine if they choose another sport over hockey. The idea is to make every child a more rounded individual. Hopefully that’s what this camp has been able to do.”