Calling All Minor Hockey Teams!! Are You Ready to Take The Hockey Canada Skills Challenge Presented By Best Buy?
January 3, 2008

CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada is pleased to announce the launch of the Hockey Canada Skills Challenge presented by marketing partner Best Buy Canada. Best Buy became a Hockey Canada marketing partner in 2006.

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 fundamental philosophy that skill development should be fun and challenging and at the same time accessible to all players in the Canadian minor hockey system.

Hockey Canada will be hosting a series of Skills Challenges presented by Best Buy all across Canada during Hockey Canada national, international, development and Branch events during 2008. Participants can compare scores and results online to measure how they stack up against the competition.

The Hockey Canada Skills Challenge presented by Best Buy is a series of four individual tests taken from the National Skills Standards and Testing Program. The four tests are designed to measure a player’s skill level in a fun and easy fashion. The testing measures are weave - agility skating, shooting accuracy, transition - agility skating and forward speed skating.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Hockey Canada on the Skills Challenge”, says Loveena Chera, director of marketing for Best Buy Canada. “This sponsorship permits Best Buy the opportunity to support young Canadians in the communities where they live as they strive to develop into stronger athletes.”

Johnny Misley, executive vice-president of hockey operations for Hockey Canada is pleased with the support from Best Buy.

“Having Best Buy as the title sponsor for the Skills Challenge allows us to extend our skill testing program across the country,” says Misley.

Hockey Canada is excited by Best Buy’s support and the incentives it has introduced for participation in the program. Rewards will be provided to the most improved male and female players and goalies in the Novice, Atom, Peewee, Bantam & 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.

Hockey Canada's National Skills Standards and Testing Program is also partnered with Sport Quest to offer a variety of hockey skill evaluation packages to suit your individual team or association needs. This online resource provides coaches and associations with an excellent method of measuring skill level and encourages and promotes development programs.

How can you get involved? Click here. Minor hockey teams can download information from the website, including ice set up, team recording sheets and station posters, and then can register and enter each of the player’s scores on the website database to reveal scores and comparisons from other players and teams across the country.

For more information:

Lisa Dornan
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557 / 403-510-7046 (mobile)

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada

Morgan Bell
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
Esther Madziya
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
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