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From the Press Box: Getting in Focus

 

At this time every year, there is a major focus shift from minor hockey, winter season style, to spring hockey. Over the last decade or so, the rise in prominence of spring hockey is truly amazing. It’s almost an industry of its own. It certainly has its place and there is no debating that it does bring a lot of top players together who probably wouldn’t have the chance to do so otherwise.

This all got me thinking about the things we at HockeyNow have been focusing on in our cover stories over the last couple of years. Concepts like balance in hockey, playing multiple sports, having hockey develop good citizens and parents encouraging but not pushing their kids.

That coupled with a lot of buzz in the air lately with so many corporations aligning themselves with good programs to help get kids into sports, and into hockey. A big push is clearly on to sponsor and champion a growth in sports and a growth in underprivileged family involvement.

HockeyNow believes in helping those causes and that’s why we became a media partner with KidSport. Check out the brief release on that below.

I have received over a dozen calls and emails in the last two weeks from parents who are upset over issues ranging from coach abuse to ice time discrepancies to their kid just burning out. So it really resonated: why are these seemingly still such big issues in a time when multi-billion dollar companies are pushing and promoting their programs to get kids into sports? Am I missing something? One thing for sure is I do take all these calls and emails with a grain of salt. Not that I don’t believe them, but I like to believe that the masses involved still get it right and that on some level these are isolated cases.

What really brings me down is the fact that in today’s era, with so much information available, there is still some negative behaviour occurring. As Canadians, we are so passionate about the sport and pour so much time, effort and money into our kids playing hockey and yet a percentage of us still aren’t paying attention to all the messaging out there: don’t play year-round, don’t pressure your kids, don’t behave like a kid, play other sports, help other kids to get involved by being a good example, and the list goes on.

As spring hockey season starts and the pressure and intensity goes up a notch, let’s work together to remember why kids want to play: because it’s FUN.

Lastly, see our KidSport message below. Let’s all be good examples and encourage and help kids PLAY.

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HockeyNow Partners with KidSport

Mississauga, Ont. – At HockeyNow, we’re passionate about hockey and dedicated to providing comprehensive coverage about all things hockey, from grassroots to major junior hockey. But most importantly, we’re committed to helping grow the game of hockey.

HockeyNow very much believes in promoting and informing about all the good things that hockey can bring to a person and a community. There are lots of controversial topics in the Canadian hockey world and we don’t shy away from those either, but we try to talk about them in a way that tells the whole story and that can debunk some myths about the barriers to playing.

Some of the hurdles are safety (playing does increase your chance of injury, but with proper coaching and attention this can be limited), and cost of hockey (yes it is expensive, but there are options to play on rec level and house level teams that only cost some basic entry fees and some gear). Plus, there are fantastic resources available such as KidSport and Hyundai Hockey Helpers dedicated to helping kids get on the ice.

For this very reason, we couldn’t watch as more and more children are unable to play. I am proud to announce that HockeyNow and KidSport are partnering to make a bigger difference in the lives of Canadian kids.

KidSport is a national not-for-profit dedicated to helping kids play organized sports by providing grants for registration fees and equipment. KidSport has helped over 450,000 kids across the country since 1993.

Together with Hyundai Auto Canada Corp., KidSport has created Hyundai Hockey Helpers, a program that is dedicated to helping kids play organized hockey. Hyundai Hockey Helpers has already helped more than 7,800 kids get on the ice since 2012, which means even more children are playing the game we love.

We’re excited to play a role in helping KidSport break down financial barriers to help Canadian youth gain access to organized sports. To learn more and apply for a grant, visit KidSport.ca.

Tags: minor hockey

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