The Calgary Flames Foundation have teamed up with HEROS (Hockey Education Reaching Out Society) to launch a new Super HEROS programming model adapted specifically for youth with cognitive challenges, specifically autism and down's syndrome. Super HEROS will work with youth between the ages of seven and 17 from Calgary and area communities. Additional community collaborators include Ups & Down's Calgary, PREP and Autism Asperger's Friendship Society (AAFS) and Hockey Calgary.
"If the goal is that Hockey Is for everyone, this is a natural and important step," says Kevin Hodgson, executive director of HEROS. "The young people that will take part, along with their families, have long wanted to have hockey be part of their story and we are excited to be able to make it happen with the help of so many great partners including the Flames Foundation"
The on-ice program will run 24 weeks and focus on an introductory skill development incorporating and increased self-esteem, sense of achievement and belonging. In addition field trips such as MRU Cougars and Calgary Hitmen games as well as non-hockey activities will be included. This will be first program of its kind in western Canada and will be run at no cost to participants.
"The Flames and Flames Foundation are excited to launch this program for families who will benefit from the power of sport and hockey," says Candice Goudie, executive director, Calgary Flames Foundation. "As we continue to join forces with valuable partners to remove barriers to playing sports and specifically hockey, we are optimistic about the positive impact the Flames Super HEROS program will have on families newly exposed to hockey and this mentorship opportunity."
Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) is a volunteer-driven charity that uses the game of ice hockey to teach life-skills and empower marginalized youth. HEROS provides free hockey based mentorship programming to youth living in low income neighbourhoods across Canada from a grade four level, right up to post-secondary. We provide opportunities for personal growth through sport training, educational development, and scholarships guiding participants to become constructive citizens and future community leaders. Since 2000, HEROS helped almost 10,000 children and youth, from 9 cities across Canada.
About Calgary Flames Foundation:
When the ownership group brought the Flames to Calgary in 1980 their mandate, which is still prominent today, was to ensure that the Calgary Flames have a positive impact on the quality of life in southern Alberta. Since its inception the Calgary Flames Foundation, has raised millions for education, amateur and grassroots sports and health and wellness.