NEW YORK -- The NHL has teamed up with Rogers Communications and together have invested $300,000 to provide a Rogers™ NHL® Street Net to select communities across Canada as part of the Rogers™ Hometown Hockey™ Tour.
The net is a first-of-its-kind structure that transforms a single-purpose basketball net into a multi-sport structure to improve and enhance public spaces, giving residents the opportunity to play multiple sports including hockey, basketball, soccer, and more. The benefits provide access and opportunities for more youth to experience multiple sports, promoting healthy and active lifestyles.
"This innovative structure will enhance underutilized spaces but more importantly it will give people an outdoor space to play and learn life skills through sport. Creating an environment where multiple sports can be played promotes healthy and active lifestyles, providing an opportunity for people to expand their range of physical and mental skills," said Kim Davis, NHL Executive Vice President, Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs. "We're thrilled to be able to pilot this initiative across Canada with Rogers."
"Hockey brings Canadians together and through Rogers Hometown Hockey we see first-hand the positive impact the game has on communities across the country," said Simone Lumsden, Chief Marketing Officer, Rogers. "In partnership with the NHL, this exciting initiative allows us to give back to those communities and offer them another way to get involved in hockey."
According to the Aspen Institute Project Play*, with data collected by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, not enough children are physically active. Physical activity helps children develop and improve cognitive skills and can positively affect self-esteem, goal-setting, and leadership skills.
The NHL and National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) have also researched the benefits of NHL players growing up playing multiple sports. Using survey data collected from more than 400 players:
• Today's NHL players participated in a sport other than hockey from ages 5-14 including soccer, street/roller hockey, baseball, lacrosse, golf, and basketball.
• As teenagers (ages 15-18), many NHL players continued to play other sports while also pursuing their dream of becoming professional hockey players.
• The average NHL player began playing hockey at age four and did not specialize until his mid-teens.
By providing community residents with greater access to multiple sports, the innovative new structure aligns with several of the NHL's Declaration of Principles:
• There are significant benefits of youth participation in multiple sports.
• There is great value in all forms of hockey, both on and off the ice.
• Physical activity is important for a healthy body, mind and spirit.
• Hockey's greatest value is the role it plays in the development of character and life skills.
The Rogers NHL® Street Net is made from weather-resistant materials for longevity and durability. The multi-sport net has been designed with input from the NHL and is produced and installed by KOMPAN, a leader in outdoor play spaces since 1970. KOMPAN designs, manufactures, and installs more than 1,000 playground or fitness sites every month across approximately 90 countries.