CALGARY, Alta. – Following five years of success with the Canadian Tire First Shift program, Canadian Tire, Bauer, and Hockey Canada are expanding the introductory hockey program in a new direction by including para hockey options in select locations in Quebec.
Designed to help introduce the game to Canadian kids with disabilities, the para hockey program will debut in Montreal for six weeks in the fall, and Quebec City for a winter program.
“When The Canadian Tire First Shift was introduced, it was brought in as a way to give any and all Canadians a chance to play Canada’s game,” said Tom Renney, CEO of Hockey Canada. “That program was hugely successful, so now the next step is to expand the reach a bit more, and give the opportunity to kids who want to be a part of the hockey community, but aren’t able to in the traditional sense.”
Just as with any Canadian Tire First Shift program, the para hockey programs will offer a full set of BAUER gear and six weeks of on-ice instruction for $199, as well as sleds provided by the local minor hockey association. Staffed by volunteers from local para hockey programs, the participants will have an opportunity to learn more about para hockey programming in their area at the conclusion of their Canadian Tire First Shift experience. Historically, approximately 80 per cent of participants in the Canadian Tire First Shift do remain active in the game through the follow-up transition program.
Diane Duhaime, mother to nine-year-old Theo, said that playing para hockey has impacted his life so positively, in so many ways. “As a parent of a little boy with a physical disability, being part of the para hockey family has meant so much to me. When Theo first said that he wanted to play hockey at age six, we inquired and were welcomed with open arms. We didn’t have a sled for him but they said ‘If he wants to play hockey, he will play hockey.’”
Canada’s para hockey history runs deep, with five Paralympic and eight world championship medals since its addition to the Hockey Canada family in 2003.
Putting the emphasis on fun, this program is focused on introducing Canadian kids on the ice that may not have had the chance previously - whether it be new Canadians, kids whose parents never played growing up, or a child who didn’t have the opportunity to get an early start in hockey. The Canadian Tire First Shift is designed to open the door to Canada’s game and introduce the game to the next generation of Canadian players.
To learn more about Canadian Tire First Shift in your community and how to register, please visit FirstShift.ca. Parent information resources on hockey in Canada can be found at Hockey Canada’s Pathway to Minor Hockey.
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.
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 member 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 to coast; manages numerous regional, national, and international hockey championships and events; and leads the operation of all teams that represent Canada in international ice hockey competition. Hockey Canada’s mission is to “lead, develop, and promote positive hockey experiences.” For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook and Twitter.
About Canadian Tire Corporation
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited, (TSX: CTC.A) (TSX: CTC) or "CTC", is a family of businesses that includes a Retail segment, a Financial Services division and CT REIT. Our retail business is led by Canadian Tire, which was founded in 1922 and provides Canadians with products for life in Canada across its Living, Playing, Fixing, Automotive and Seasonal & Gardening divisions. PartSource and Gas+ are key parts of the Canadian Tire network. The Retail segment also includes Mark's, a leading source for casual and industrial wear; Pro Hockey Life, the world's largest hockey centric retailer; FGL (Sport Chek, Hockey Experts, Sports Experts, National Sports, Intersport and Atmosphere), which offers the best active wear brands; and Helly Hansen, a leading global brand in sportswear and workwear based in Oslo, Norway. The more than 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets are supported and strengthened by our Financial Services division and the tens of thousands of people employed across Canada and around the world by the Company and its local dealers, franchisees and petroleum retailers. For more information, visit Corp.CanadianTire.ca.