TORONTO, ON -- The Canadian Hockey Association announced Wednesday that it has agreed to a five-year sponsorship program with NIKE Canada Ltd. to promote the country's national game and help develop the hockey skills of young males and females across Canada.
The Canadian Hockey Association welcomed NIKE as a Premier sponsor during a news conference at the York University Ice Gardens. The launch highlighted a multi-level skills development program which has been developed by the Canadian Hockey Association, with the support of NIKE to benefit young hockey players and coaches.
The major components of the long-term commitment include:
The donation by Nike of 5,000 coaching manuals to the CHA's 2,500 minor hockey associations. The NIKE Skills Development Program manuals, developed by a sub-committee of the CHA Coaching Committee in honour of the late Gordon Juckes -- a long-time president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association -- are designed to help coaches develop the skill of Atom (10-11) and Pee Wee-aged (12-13) players. Additional manuals, which will be written in both English and French, will be available to the associations at cost ($19.95), starting Nov. 1.
The NIKE Skills Development Program Achievement Certificate, a four-phase initiative that rewards players for successfully performing a series of skills. Players receive a certificate and paste-on decals that they receive as they complete each phase.
NIKE and the Canadian Hockey Association will host 10 two-day skills development hockey camps in major cities/regions across Canada between January and March 1998. Boys and girls who participate in house-league hockey will receive two days of instruction and will be tested by the SPORTQUEST program, which measures skill and fitness levels.
High-performance camps for male and female players will be staged in Calgary, starting in the summer of 1998. The camps will provide advanced on-ice and off-ice instruction to some of the country's top young male and female players, helping them prepare for possible participation in future high-calibre international events such as the World Junior Hockey Championship, the Women's World Hockey Championship and/or the Winter Olympic Games.
"NIKE is looking forward to joining the Canadian Hockey Association as one of its Premier sponsors," said John Chappell, President of NIKE Canada. "The CHA is a world leader in developing high-achieving young hockey players who also serve as outstanding ambassadors for our country. While NIKE is proud of its place as a leader in the global sports marketing industry, we also share the CHA's commitment to hockey players of all ages and skill levels, and to the volunteers who guide them.
"Today's announcement will hopefully support a continued tradition of excellence in Canadian hockey, while encouraging participation in this wonderful sport."
"The partnership between the Canadian Hockey Association and NIKE is a tremendous opportunity for us to offer new development programs to both our players and coaches," said CHA President Murray Costello. "This major commitment by NIKE and our other corporate partners makes it much easier for us to continue producing winners on and off the ice in all areas of our game."