Wednesday, November 15, 2017
In partnership with the Vancouver Canucks, the Canucks Centre for BC Hockey and the Thompson-Cariboo Minor Hockey Association (TCMHA), BC Hockey is excited to announce that Hockey Weekend in Ashcroft will take place November 18 – 19, 2017 at the Drylands Arena.
The weekend will kick off on Saturday, November 18 with three (3) Skills Camps for Bantam, Pee Wee and Atom level players and a Novice exhibition game between TCMHA and Lillooet MHA. Later that day, the Major Midget League (MML) will bring a game to Ashcroft for the first time in league history as the Thompson Blazers will host the Greater Vancouver Canadians. Admission to the game is free but fans are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food donation.
That evening, local firefighters, first responders and community members will play a fun charity game to raise money for the Elizabeth Fry Society to support victims of this year’s forest fires that devastated some of the local communities. There will be raffle and 50/50 tickets for sale all day Saturday, November 18.
“Our goal is simple - bring Hockey Weekend to Ashcroft to open new opportunities for children to learn our great game and to have fun,” said BC Hockey Chief Executive Officer Barry Petrachenko. “Our partnership with the Canucks Centre for BC Hockey continues to provide great grassroots opportunities like the Learn to Play program and we could not be prouder or more excited to deliver this wonderful event.”
Skills Camps will pick up again on Sunday, November 19 before welcoming Vancouver Canucks alumni and special guests for the Learn to Play program. Over 30 Initiation and Novice aged players who have never played organized hockey have been provided with full head-to-toe gear as part of the program. The on-ice session will include skill development stations for the players to rotate through and will be run by local coaches and Canucks alumni.
“So many life lessons like hard work, teamwork and leadership are taught and friendships made on the ice and through the game of hockey,” said Kirk McLean, Canucks Ambassador and Learn to Play Alumni Representative. “The Learn to Play program is an easy way to introduce new players and families who may not have the means to join a structured hockey team. We are looking forward to visiting Ashcroft and helping the Thompson-Cariboo communities grow the game.”
“We as an Association always look at ways to continue to grow our numbers and give back to our communities. This is an opportunity to do both,” said TCMHA President, Lewis Kinvig. “It was a difficult summer with the fires this year and a lot of people suffered tremendous loss. We looked at this weekend as an opportunity to bring our communities together and a fun event that will also raise money and food for those effected this summer.”
Following the on-ice session, Canucks alumni Kirk McLean and Dave Babych will be panelists in a Hot Stove session where attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, meet the alumni, take pictures and receive autographs. This event is free and open to all community members.
“We signed up over 30 kids in two (2) days for the Learn to Play program, which is huge for an Association of only about 100 players,” added Kinvig. “The community is excited for their youth to be involved in the game and we are very thankful for the opportunity. It will be an amazing event and a great weekend of fun and fundraising.”
“The impact of the summer forest fires was immense, and we feel it is important to reach out to communities to bring something positive into the area. Hockey allows us to do just that, and through the MML and charity games, we are working to generate funds to support the Elizabeth Fry Society and those effected by the devastation of the fires.”
The Learn to Play initiative was developed jointly by the National Hockey League (NHL) and the NHL Players’ Association. The program was designed with the help of experts from USA Hockey and Hockey Canada with the initiative aiming to be the gold standard for youth hockey programs and has a goal of inspiring more families to join the hockey community. Learn to Play changes the way youth hockey is offered by providing participants, between four (4) to eight (8) years of age, free head-to-toe equipment, age appropriate instruction and certified coaching, led by NHL alumni, in a fun and safe atmosphere. For more information on the Learn to Play program, please visit the Vancouver Canucks website.
For more information about BC Hockey, please visit the BC Hockey website at www.bchockey.net or email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow along through social media at www.facebook.com/BCHockeySource, www.twitter.com/BCHockey_Source, www.youtube.com/BCHockeySource or www.instagram.com/BCHockeySource.