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IIHF World Women's Hockey Championship Launches Developmental Programs - Further Support Still Needed -
GN.004.07
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February 1, 2007
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WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – The 2007 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship (WWHC) along with Hockey Manitoba, announced today that it will be hosting two major developmental programs this month, with more to be announced in the short future.

The first is a one-day, 9 Nations Female Pee Wee Hockey Festival that will be held at the Selkirk Recreation Complex and Selkirk Arena on Saturday, February 10th. Four hundred and thirty female Pee Wee hockey players from all over the province registered to attend (over 50% of eligible players in Manitoba), for only one hundred and fifty-three spots that were available. Players were randomly selected from the registration pool, and placed on teams that represents one of the 9 nations in the WWHC. These include Canada, United States, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, China and Kazakhstan. There will be no participant fee’s, all players are provided with a Team Jersey, each team plays two games with a focus on fun (no winner declared), and best of all the players meet and skate with some of Canada’s National Team members including Manitoba’s Jennifer Botterill, Delaney Collins, and Sami-Jo Small!

The second developmental event will be a World Women’s Hockey Championship Female Skill Development Camp taking place Sunday, February 18th at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. The Skills Camp is also capped out with close to one hundred and fifty participants from Novice, Atom, Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget categories. All players will participate in both on and off ice sessions focused on skill development and team building. Sessions will be run by both Hockey Canada and Hockey Manitoba certified instructors.

Further developmental programs leading into the World Championships are also being planned, including Skills Challenges, a Skate with Champions, and Coaching and Officiating clinics. Further details will be released in the near future.

“These developmental programs help to further define the legacy that these World Championships stand to leave in our community,” stated Hockey Manitoba President Brian Sarna. “They are amazing opportunities for the young athletes to further develop their hockey skills, learning from Canada’s best, while gearing up for the excitement that the World Championships will bring in just over two months.”

The WWHC also announced today, that they are at about 80% of where they need to be with Corporate Support, and at just under 40% of their ticket sales target (38,000) with sixty-two days to go until the opening face off.

“Currently we are a bit behind on where we need to be with ticket sales and corporate support, but are hopeful that things will pick up in the next short while,” stated WWHC Host Organizing Committee Chair Polly Craik. “Our community takes a lot of pride in hosting sporting events like no other, and we will need their full support for this moving forward. It will impact our ability to host future events, and will be extremely important to the development of female hockey in our province with the legacy it stands to leave.”
“This hockey tournament will be the biggest one we’ve hosted in our province for close to a decade. The eyes of the hockey world are going to be on us this April, and we need to prove to them why we are the best at what we do,” added Craik.

Tickets for the 2007 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (204) 780-3333, or by visiting www.ticketmaster.ca/iihf

The hosting of the 2007 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship in Winnipeg and Selkirk, MB, will mark the fifth time that this international event has been staged in Canada and the first time it will be held in Manitoba.

Canada also hosted the IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship in 2004 (Halifax, NS), in 2000 (Mississauga, ON), in 1997 (Kitchener, ON), and in 1990 (Ottawa, ON). In 2006, there is no IIHF World Championship for women’s hockey in lieu of the Olympic Winter Games. Canada has won a gold medal at eight of the nine IIHF World Women’s Championships, the exception being a silver medal at the 2005 IIHF World Women’s Championship in Linkoping, Sweden, after losing to the USA in a shoot out.


For more information:

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4564
fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

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