OTTAWA – Hockey Canada and Best Buy have announced through the Hockey Canada Skills Challenge that one minor hockey team will have the opportunity to skate with Canada’s National Junior Team prior to the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa this December.
The Hockey Canada Skills Challenge was created as part of the National Skills Standards and Testing Program for minor hockey-aged players in Canada in an effort to celebrate skill acquisition in young players. This program is based on the philosophy that skill development should be both fun and challenging, while accessible to all players in the Canadian minor hockey system.
The skills challenge is a series of four individual tests taken from the National Skills Standards and Testing Program, skills designed to measure a player’s skill level in an exciting and easy way. The testing measures are weave-agility skating, shooting accuracy, transition-agility skating and forward speed skating.
Teams eligible to win the opportunity to take to the ice with the National Junior Team – the contest is open to male and female teams at the Atom, Peewee, Bantam and Midget levels – will need to register at www.hockeycanada.ca/skillschallenge (registration opens September 12th).
The winning team – chosen at random – will be flown by Best Buy to Ottawa in December. The team will be part of a team photo with Canada’s National Junior Team, have the opportunity for autographs and take part in a Hockey Canada Skills Challenge presented by Best Buy with Canada’s players.
“Hockey Canada is thrilled to partner with Best Buy to promote skill development,” says Bob Nicholson, Hockey Canada president and CEO. “Programs like this one are important in encouraging Canada’s youth to improve their on-ice skills in a fun environment.”
Hockey Canada is grateful for Best Buy’s support and the incentives it has introduced for participation in the National Skills Standards and Testing Program. Seasonal rewards will also be provided to the most improved male and female players and goalies in the Novice, Atom, Peewee, Bantam and Midget age levels, as well as the most improved team in each division. There will also be rewards for the top minor hockey association in each branch and a reward to the branch with the most players tested.