Jarome Iginla has had a busy week. First he helped his team secure the services of free agent winger Todd Bertuzzi. Then he helped about 90 kids have a pile of fun on the ice at his hockey school in Calgary with female hockey star and CBC broadcaster Cassie Campbell.
"The focus, really, is to have fun and have the kids come out and get some ice time in the summer and enjoy," said Iginla, taking a break from the school Thursday to meet with media.
In its sixth year, the school is a five-day camp for boys and girls ages 6-12 at Calgary Centennial Arenas.
The school includes daily on-ice sessions with Iginla and Campbell, dry-land training and video sessions.
While Iginla Campbell stress the fun side, they also bring plenty of ideas and skill development tools to the camp.
"Obviously you want to develop skills but our focus is on letting the kids have fun and enjoy themselves," said Iginla.
Originally introduced in the summer of 2002 by Iginla as another method in which he could have a positive influence on Calgary children while also contributing funding to important charitable organizations in the city and nationally. Campbell has joined with Jarome this year to rebrand the program as the Jarome Iginla / Cassie Campbell Hockey School.
"We are always looking for ways to improve and we approached her and she came on board. We're fortunate to have Cassie join this year. She's been great out there," said Iginla.
For Campbell, the decision wasn't a tough one.
"I love kids and I love teaching hockey," she said.
The Hockey School is a non-profit organization.
Over six years, proceeds totaling $89,000 have been contributed to the following charitable groups: Diabetes Association (Foothills Calgary), Stars Air Ambulance, Easter Seal’s Camp Horizon (Bragg Creek), For the Love of Reading Fund and Doctors Without Borders. This year Jarome and Cassie have selected OXFAM Canada as the beneficiary.