Since 1997, Hockey Canada has provided young players and coaches with the opportunity to enhance their
skills in a positive learning environment through Hockey Canada Skills Development Camps. The one-day or
two-day camps leave a lasting impression as
players develop new friendships and challenge themselves during the on-ice and off-ice sessions. Focus during
the Skills Development Camps is on learning fundamental skills, fair play, respect, teamwork, leadership and
The popularity of the camps, coordinated by Hockey Canada’s Regional Centres, has exploded since their
introduction. The 2006-07 season saw more than 75 camps hosted nationally, with more than 800 volunteers and
coaches and over 4,700 players taking part.
“It was a first-class experience and I am thankful for being included,” one coach said after taking part
in a camp. “I am the envy of our team’s coaching staff.”
In addition to the regular camps that were held this year, the Hockey Canada Regional Centre West
(HCRC-West) took part in three special Hockey Canada Skills Development Camps.
Hockey North Tour
For a week in January, instructors from the HCRC-West embarked on a trip north to assist in various skills
development initiatives. Working with Hockey North, the HCRC-West was able to coordinate four different
stops, the first being Yellowknife, NT. Here, HCRC–West Manager Derek Descoteau and Hockey Canada Development
Coordinator Kevin Bathurst joined 30 Peewee-aged players and six coaches on the ice, leading them though a
number of drills and specialty clinic material focused on puck control. All of the players who took part were
presented with Hockey Canada Skills Camp jerseys.
The next stop was Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, located in the Arctic Circle. Despite a temperature of -40°C, more
than 50 players and a dozen coaches took to the natural ice at the community rink to take part in development
sessions. The sessions were followed with school visits the next morning.
Cambridge Bay, Nunavut marked the third stop for the Skills Camp program. Again, 50 local players took
part in two days worth of development sessions that included on-ice and off-ice sessions held at the local
The trip wrapped up back in Yellowknife for one final ice session with the Peewee rep team. In total, more
than 150 players and 30 coaches took part in on-ice and off-ice sessions during the week.
"Our trip was a great success,” Bathurst said. “It was great to experience the passion the people of
the North have for the game. The level of talent the youth possess is extraordinary. The game is in
great hands, and will continue to flourish for a long time."
Canucks Centre for BC Hockey Skills Development Camp – GM Place, Vancouver
In February, GM Place played host to a special Skills Development Camp. Hockey Canada partnered with the
Canucks Centre for BC Hockey and BC Hockey to bring this special event to Vancouver.
120 Atom and Peewee players from across British Columbia were able to live out their dreams and skate on
the same ice as their heroes. All of the players took part in two on-ice sessions led by BC Hockey course
conductors, a team building session that included a guest appearance by Vancouver Canucks mascot FIN, and a
tour of GM Place.
After a long day that featured many smiles and even more pictures taken, all of the players took one last
look around and dreamed that some day they may be back again.
World Women's Championship Skills Development Camp – MTS Centre, Winnipeg
In April 2007, Winnipeg was the host to the top women’s hockey players from around the world at the 2007 IIHF
World Women’s Championship. What most people don’t know is that, prior to the championship, Winnipeg was also
host to some of Canada’s up-and-coming female talent. In February, 120 female hockey players participated in
a weekend-long Skills Development Camp ran in partnership by Hockey Manitoba, the World Women’s Championship
host committee and Hockey Canada.
Girls from all over Manitoba arrived at the MTS Centre excited for the opportunity to skate on the same
ice where Canada would later go for gold. Fifteen female coaches volunteered to assist with the camp, and a
number of coaches attended a ‘We Are Coaches’ session presented by Hockey Manitoba and Hockey Canada
following the camp. All of the participants received a ticket to one of Canada’s games at the World
For more information on Hockey Canada Skills Development Camps, please contact your Branch or local Hockey
Canada Regional Centre.