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On Monday, November 14th, the Vancouver Canucks and BC Hockey hosted over 70 kids from across the province to participate in the first of two First Strides events at Rogers Arena. Through this event, a wide range of initiation and novice-level hockey players, aged six to eight, had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop their skills and craft on the Vancouver Canucks' home ice.

While friends and family watched and cheered them on from the stands, the players participated in a series of on-ice drills led by volunteer coaches, team mascot Fin, as well as the Canucks' very own Erik Gudbranson and Brendan Gaunce. After working on their skating, stickhandling, and other key skills, the players broke off into separate teams to square off in a series of fun scrimmages against one another.

In addition to their time on the ice, the players had a chance to partake in an off-ice workshop led by a facilitator from BC Hockey. During this portion, three important concepts were emphasized: fun, respect, and team play. It was emphasized that the most success results when one combines all three of these things together. Ultimately, the kids learned that these "small successes [will] lead to [the] big successes", that they aspire to reach.

When the kids were attending their off-ice session, their parents had the opportunity to attend their own informative workshop. There, a speaker from BC Hockey discussed the important and highly influential role that parents play in their children's lives. Through the use of first-hand stories and a PowerPoint presentation, the messages of sportsmanship, respect, and positivity, became key take-home points for those in attendance. A representative was also on hand to speak about the NHL's Future Goals program, an online course that uses the game of hockey as a means of helping elementary students understand the real world applications of science and math principles.

Above all, First Strides continued to preach the importance of having fun and help kids develop a true love for the game of hockey! 

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The Program

Make friends, have fun and develop your skills! Canucks First Strides provides a great opportunity for minor hockey initiation/novice players and coaches to develop their skills, while skating alongside a Vancouver Canucks player* at Rogers Arena.

The program is open to all registered BC Hockey initiation/novice players and goalies aged six to eight. For each single-day event, 80 boys and girls (72 players and 8 goaltenders) will be randomly selected among the applicants.
Meeting at Rogers Arena, local minor hockey association coaches will work side by side with qualified BC Hockey course conductors to teach young players the first strides in becoming accomplished athletes, as well as quality individuals off the ice.

*Player appearances are based on availability.


Event Details & Registration

The next First Strides event at Rogers Arena is set for Jan. 19th, 2017 . Complete the form below to register.