Just Try It! (Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario)

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Just Try It!

New to Hockey?  Never played?  Want to give the game a try?

ALLIANCE Hockey is proud to present the Just Try It! Program which introduces children and their parents to the game of hockey.  The Just Try It! Program has been designed to ensure that the children's first contact with minor hockey is a safe and positive experience. It's a structured, learn to play hockey program designed to introduce beginners to the game's basic skills. It enables participants to become contributing members of a team effort, develop self-confidence and experience a sense of personal achievement. These goals are achieved in an atmosphere of fun and fair play.


Just as the future of Canadian society lies with our youth, so too does the future of hockey.  ALLIANCE Hockey under the auspices of Hockey Canada understands the important role it plays in helping beginning hockey players to develop playing attitudes and foster an enjoyment of hockey as a lifetime sport and hobby.

The Just Try It! Program is open to participants ages 5-14 who are not currently registered with a minor hockey association.  The Program is offered in select areas, contact any of our Member Partners for more information.

 




Just Try It! Testimonial - St. Catharines CYO

I have been meaning to write this letter for quite some time and for that I apologize – life is a little hectic at this time of year! 

In September I signed my parent’s foster son up for the Just Try It! program.  He has been coming to the arena to watch my two sons play hockey for the whole 7 years he has been with my parents but has never had the “courage” to play.  He has some developmental delays that make him very self-conscious.  He bravely came to the arena and participated and I can tell you quite honestly he has not stopped talking about to me every time I have seen him since.  It was a huge moment in his life to be able to don the gear and give it a try.  My mother said he did not take the gloves off for 3 days!

He wasn’t ready to sign up for a team this year but he will be taking skating lessons and is quite sure he will be ready next year to sign up.

I just wanted to let you know how much the program was appreciated by us and him.

Thanks again.



Just Try It! Testimonial - St. Catharines CYO

St. Catharines CYO Minor Hockey Association ran our 4th Just Try It session on Saturday, September 7th 2013.  It was our largest and best turn out to date.  Our youngest skater was 5, and our oldest nearly 17!  Very few had ever had skates on their feet.  

We had 39 kids on the ice - 10 showed up without being registered...but we made it work!  We ran out of the correct sizes in some cases and ran out because some showed up without having been pre-registered.  So we went & spent about $150 at Second Chance Sports, which was pretty cheap considering we left with 10 sets of elbow pads & 4-5 sets of shoulder pads! 

We had a ton of volunteers, 6 were off ice doing administrative things with me, 7 were coaches from our League who did the on ice instruction, 8 were midgets from CYO, and 4 were from our St. Catharines Jr B team.  What was funny is the Jr. B's thought they were there to hand out tickets to the kids after the session, and when they realized that they didn't bring any equipment, they squeezed their feet into skates that didn't fit, and wore used gloves - the kids loved that because they were all wearing the same equipment.  18 on ice instructors for 39 kids, it was pretty much perfect!

Everyone stayed for lunch, nearly everyone took their equipment home, and every single kid had fun.  One boy who is 8 had the grumpiest face at registration time.  I asked him if he was going to have fun today & he said no!  So I said how about you try to have fun today, and see if you can learn something new.  At the end of the day, you come and tell me how it was.  That little boy ran up to me all sweaty, gave me a hug and said That was SO much fun!  He has since joined the CYO. 

Of the 39 kids, 12 or so have already signed up to play this year.  It's a really worthy investment if you think about it.  Our cost was less than $400 (less than the cost of one player's registration fee) and we have 17 new participants (and 4 more who've said they are signing up this week!).  That's more than one entire new hockey team!  Running the program right before the start of the hockey season is the best time to run it.  We've tried January, June, August and now September, and we've never had this kind of response before.

One more story for you.  I received a phone call from a mother this week who sounded kind of concerned at first.  She asked me what I'd done with her 13 year old son.  At first I didn't know what she meant, and I said I don't know, but he's not here.  She laughed and said no, he's at the arena with his skates and helmet.  He brought a stick with him today because the other day a bunch of "old guys" who were playing shinny asked him to come play with them!  Prior to September 7th, her child had never had skates on his feet and wanted nothing to do with hockey or any other sport.  Now he comes home from school, does his homework really fast, eats as fast as he can  and jumps onto his bicycle to ride to the arena and skate.

I'm amazed at this event every time we do it...it's the BEST day of the year (even better than when my kids go back to school...even better than Christmas day!).

Renée Rochefort-Smith, Director of Development
St. Catharines CYO Minor Hockey Association

 


 

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