On Tuesday, September 14th, more than 70 minor hockey players from across the province descended upon West Kelowna to participate in the Vancouver Canucks First Strides Initiation program. Initiation and novice level boys and girls spent time on and off the ice, learning fundamental skills from local coaches and course instructors.
With an emphasis on teamwork and fair play, the 6 to 8 year olds learned to skate, pass, stick handle and shoot while making new friends, including Canucks prospects Prab Rai and Jordan Schroeder. The Canucks Centre for BC Hockey would like to give special thanks to Bayer Contour for sponsoring First Strides and to Kim Schultz and Lorry Chernoff for graciously hosting the event.
Town Hall Meeting
Back by popular demand, a town hall meeting was held in the evening of September 18th to coincide with the Canucks 2010 Training Camp. Held at the Penticton Lakeside Resort & Casino, this free event allowed Canucks fans and minor hockey coaches the opportunity to direct questions at members of the Canucks coaching staff.
Those in attendance included Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault, assistant coach Rick Bowness, and goaltending coach Roland Melanson. The focus of the evening was on the development of minor hockey players and coaches. Master of Ceremonies Denis Walker kept the evening rolling while many great questions and ideas were shared about fostering grassroots hockey in British Columbia. The evening was enjoyed by all and extended past the allotted time to avoid an early end to the lively discussion. The Town Hall Meeting was hosted in partnership with Penticton Minor Hockey, BC Hockey, and Hockey Canada.
Save-On-Foods On-Ice Clinic
While many BC residents slept in on Sunday morning, 40 randomly selected minor hockey players eagerly awaited their chance to skate on the same ice as their Canuck idols. The winners of the Save-On-Food On-Ice clinic gathered at the South Okanagan Events Centre on the morning of September 19th.
The young hockey players enjoyed on-ice drills and games with special guests Alex Burrows and Cody Hodgson. Many kids were also lucky enough to get autographs from Canucks players passing through the rink. Manitoba Moose head coach Claude Noel, assistant coach Keith McCambridge, and Canucks director of player personnel Dave Babych were on hand to lend their expertise. Canucks beloved mascot FIN also made a special appearance.
The Canucks Centre for BC Hockey would like to thank all those who made these events such a success. These events would not have been possible without the support of BC Hockey and the welcoming cities of West Kelowna and Penticton.