Esso Fun Days

What is an Esso Fun Day?

Esso Fun Day programs are designed to familiarize beginners to hockey with basic skills in a fun, positive and welcoming environment at no cost to the first-time participant. It enables participants to become contributing members of a team effort, experience team spirit, develop self-confidence and experience a sense of achievement.

Programs can be delivered to girls and women of all ages, including the Hockey Canada Timbits U7 Program, so players can experience the sport early and enjoy the game for a lifetime.

From season to season, Hockey Canada supports a limited number of Esso Fun Day programs. As the game has evolved, so too has the program. There are now nearly 100 programs hosted from coast to coast to coast each year, equating to over 1,800 new players introduced to the game annually.

One-day or six-week program

There are four Esso Fun Day formats available:

  • 1) One-day on-ice:
    • One on-ice session with a focus on basic skills and hockey concepts (60-90 minutes), led by certified instructors.
    • One off-ice session with a focus on team-building, icebreakers and an introduction to the basic rules and terminology of hockey. 
  • 2) One-day off-ice:
    • One off-ice session with a focus on basic skills and hockey concepts (60-90 minutes), led by certified instructors.
    • One off-ice session with a focus on team-building, icebreakers and an introduction to the basic rules and terminology of hockey.
  • 3) Six-week on-ice sessions:
    • An introductory first day, as outlined above in (1), followed by five additional weekly on-ice sessions.
    • Six-week programs create greater on-ice confidence, increasing the likelihood of continued participation.
  • 4) Six-week limited ice sessions:
    • An introductory first day, as outlined above in (1) or (2), followed by additional weekly sessions which may be either on-ice, off-ice of any combination of the two.
    • Six-week programs create greater on-ice confidence, increasing the likelihood of continued participation.

Host associations determine which program format suits their goals and resources. Reimbursement amounts are applicable for each version to off-set the costs of hosting the program.

All host local hockey associations must adhere to the following; Hockey Canada’s Safety Guidelines , the most up to date Provincially mandated health and safety protocols as well as local arena and other venue guidelines. 
 
CLICK HERE to find out more about how to host an Esso Fun Day in your community.

Players and parents FAQ

Is there a cost to participate?
No! This program is offered free of charge to new to hockey players.

Do I need any equipment to participate?
Basic equipment is required to participate on-ice in an Esso Fun Day, including:

  • CSA-certified hockey helmet
  • BNQ-certified neck guard
  • hockey gloves
  • elbow protection
  • knee protection
  • skates
  • hockey stick

 

Additional optional equipment may include hockey pants, socks, shoulder pads and jill.

Off-ice programs will require the following equipment, at minimum, depending on the scheduled activities:

  • running shoes
  • athletic clothing
  • eye protection – helmet with cage or protective eyewear such as goggles
  • hockey gloves
  • hockey stick

 

All new-to-hockey players will receive Esso Fun Day jerseys as part of their registration in the program.

Where can I get equipment if I do not have any equipment?
Options to find equipment to use include:
 

  • borrow from a sibling or friend
  • contact a local sports equipment bank
  • talk to the Esso Fun Day host about local resources available, or if equipment is available for the program


What is the ratio of instructors to skaters?

Hockey Canada recommends a minimum instructor-to-participant ratio of 1:5 for the Esso Fun Day program. The ratio of instructors to skaters will be impacted by provincial health and safety guidelines with respect to allowable group sizes in each community. Group sizes for Esso Fun Days may vary across the country.

What follow-up programs will be available for participants after the Esso Fun Day ends?
The goal is to create a path forward for each child that participates in the Esso Fun Day program, with programming that continues to be fun, safe and welcoming. Your local hockey association is encouraged to provide information towards registration in additional program opportunities or with a team.

What safety measures are in place for participants & families?
All local hockey associations must adhere to the most up-to-date public health and safety protocols, Member Return to Hockey guidelines and Hockey Canada’s Safety Guidelines. In addition, all LHA and facility guidelines must be followed.

CLICK HERE to find out how to register for an Esso Fun Day.


*All Esso Fun Day images were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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