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Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada launch new learn-to-play hockey program across Canada

The First Shift program designed to ease new-to-hockey families into the game

October 7, 2014
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TORONTO – October 7, 2014 – Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada today launched The First Shift, a new learn-to-play hockey program designed to introduce kids and families to the game in a fun, convenient and practical way. Changing the way hockey is offered, The First Shift will be available in 30 markets across Canada and is part of Bauer Hockey’s global Grow the Game initiative to add one million new families to the game by 2022.

“We’re excited to offer The First Shift because now kids and families have a fun and practical way to try this great game at an affordable price,” said Kevin Davis, president and CEO of Performance Sports Group, the parent company of Bauer Hockey. “I’m excited that parents and kids who have never played the game feel welcomed and have fun at these events. As we look to expand this program even further, we’ll add thousands of new families to the game this season.”

The First Shift is a six-week program for kids ages 6–10 who have never played hockey. The cost is $199, which includes equipment and enrollment. In partnership with Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada, each community program will host a welcome event for families and kids who have enrolled, which is easy to do at www.TheFirstShift.ca. At the welcome event, participants will receive their gear, learn how to put it on and find out more about the program’s on-ice goals. 

“Hockey is a great game that not only helps kids be active but it’s also a sport that helps build friendships and skills that will last a lifetime,” said Mark Messier, NHL legend who partnered with BAUER for the Grow the Game program. “At the elite level, hockey is still Canada’s game, but we need to make sure we have an option available for the young boys and girls looking to get on the ice and just have some fun. That’s what The First Shift is all about.”

In partnership with local minor hockey associations, which provide resources and execution support, Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada are changing the way the game is introduced to new families. Current program offerings across Canada will continue to successfully meet the needs of elite and competitive hockey players, while The First Shift will offer entry-level players an easy way to try the game.

“It is so exciting to work with Bauer Hockey to take The First Shift across Canada and introduce the game to even more Canadians,” said Tom Renney, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “Hockey Canada has committed itself to making hockey accessible to as many Canadians as possible, and with the tremendous support of Bauer Hockey, this program is a big step in the right direction. Hockey truly is Canada’s game, and the more Canadians that get an opportunity to lace up their skates, the better.” 

Included below are the locations for The First Shift programs across Canada.

EAST CENTRAL WEST
Fredericton, N.B. Brampton, Ont. Calgary, Alta.
Moncton, N.B. Carleton Place, Ont. Edmonton, Alta.
Sussex, N.B. Chatham, Ont. Lethbridge, Alta.
Bridgewater, N.S. London, Ont. Ashcroft, B.C.
Halifax, N.S. Mississauga, Ont. Williams Lake, B.C.
Sydney, N.S. Orleans, Ont. Battleford, Sask.
Charlottetown, P.E.I. Port Perry, Ont. Whitewood, Sask.
Montreal, Que. St. Catherines, Ont.
Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Que. Tavistock, Ont.
St. Laurent, Que. Toronto, Ont.

Families and children looking for more information or who are interested in participating in The First Shift should go to www.TheFirstShift.ca.

About Bauer Hockey
Bauer Hockey is the world’s most recognized designer, marketer and manufacturer of hockey equipment. Founded in Kitchener, Ontario, in 1927, Bauer Hockey developed the first skate with a blade attached to a boot, forever changing the game of hockey. Since then, Bauer Hockey has continued to develop the most sought after products in the industry, including the widely successful SUPREME®, VAPOR® and NEXUS® lines of products. Performance Sports Group Ltd., the parent company of Bauer Hockey, is a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange whose affiliates market products under the BAUER, MISSION, MAVERIK, CASCADE, INARIA, COMBAT and EASTON brand names. For more information, visit www.BAUER.com.

About Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada is the governing body for hockey in Canada and a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), with a membership through its 13 provincial branch associations of over 700,000 players, coaches and officials. Hockey Canada is a not-for-profit organization that creates leading-edge hockey development programs for its members to deliver in communities across Canada, provides consistent rules and regulations and various other membership services from coast to coast, manages numerous regional, national and international hockey championships and events, and leads the operation of all teams that represent Canada in international hockey competition. Hockey Canada’s mission is to “lead, develop and promote positive hockey experiences.” For more information, visit www.HockeyCanada.ca.

Media Contacts:
Tory Mazzola
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
Performance Sports Group
Phone: 603-430-2311 x 5908
Email: [email protected]

For more information:

Dominick Saillant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
514-895-9706
[email protected]

 

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
[email protected]

 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
[email protected]

 

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