Growing up on a farm in Dorchester, Ontario (a small town with a population of about 10,000 people), Boone Jenner started playing hockey at the age of four and spent countless hours at the local arena.
Now the 22-year-old NHLer will return home to host his very own hockey school.
The hockey school is free of charge and open to boys and girls born in 2005 and 2006 and registered for hockey in Dorchester. The school runs from June 6-10 with two sessions held each day with a total of 68 kids participating.
“It’s something I thought of toward the end of the year,” Jenner told BlueJackets.com. “I wanted to do something in Dorchester. It’s a smaller community, and a big hockey community and I thought it was something that would be fun for kids in Dorchester to get out there and learn something and have some fun.”
Having a younger age group in this camp was important to Jenner, as he wanted to make sure the focus was on exposing more local kids to hockey and teaching them the fundamentals.
“We picked an age group just to narrow it down,” Jenner said. “It’s going to be 10 and 11 year-olds. I wanted it to be kids that are registered in Dorchester and playing hockey there.”
While Jenner is currently in Russia representing Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Hockey Championship, his parents, siblings, cousins, other extended family members as well as Dorchester residents are working hard to set up the hockey school.
“A lot of people have been helping out and it’s been awesome,” Jenner said.
“I’m sure we’ll see a lot of familiar faces that we know and it’s cool that it’s a smaller community,” Jenner said. “I feel like you see someone everywhere you turn and you know somebody, so it’s cool.”
In addition to Jenner, other instructors at the school will include his brothers and friends who played local hockey, and maybe even a few of his Columbus teammates.
After a breakout year with a career-best 30 goals and 19 assists in all 82 games for the Blue Jackets this season, Jenner said he was looking forward to heading back to his hometown arena, where it all started, and giving back to Dorchester.
“I grew up playing in that arena for a lot of years, so it’s cool to go back there,” Jenner said. “It’s kind of the age group that I went to AAA, so I thought it would be a good age group to get those kids out instead of having them go into the city, to get out on the ice just to have it right there in Dorchester for a week and try to get on the ice and learn something and have some fun.”