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Wild Announces Brain Safety Program

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild
SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Minnesota Hockey and the Minnesota Wild in conjunction with Kemps have announced the Respect & Protect Program to help reduce brain injury by playing smart hockey. By respecting coaches, officials, teammates, opponents and fans, the great game of hockey is better for everyone. In addition, staying safe is equally important. It is critical that we protect ourselves and our opponents from injury and be consciously aware of where we are and where our opponents are on the ice. And, we must ALWAYS keep safety top of mind. The game is more fun for everyone when we all play fairly and cleanly. 

Every youth hockey player across the state is asked to put a Respect & Protect sticker on their helmets to show their participation in the program. Detailed information and a sticker sheet were included in the October issue of Minnesota Hockey Journal which was distributed to 44,000 Minnesota Hockey households. Throughout the season, Wild notables (Secret Scouts) will travel to hockey arenas throughout the state and make a surprise appearance at a youth hockey practice. The Secret Scout will choose a player at that practice that has a Respect & Protect sticker on their helmet as a winner – that winner along with a guardian, will have the chance to attend a Wild home game in a suite. 

“We can all play our part in respecting the great game of hockey by playing within the rules and by having respect for our fellow players,” said Brad Bombardir, Senior Director of Community Relations and former Minnesota Wild defenseman. “We must also remember that hockey can be a physical sport so it is important that we protect ourselves at all times. When we Respect & Protect, there is no greater sport to play.”  

“Hockey is a wonderful game, but some of what makes it so wonderful - the speed and power - creates some risk as well,” said Mike Snee, Executive Director of Minnesota Hockey. “We can minimize this risk and reduce brain injury by encouraging our young athletes to Respect & Protect when they play hockey.”

Kemps, a long-time Minnesota based company, is lending its support to Respect & Protect. “As a proud local partner of Minnesota Hockey, Kemps values the growth of hockey in our state and the promotion of respectful and safe play while having fun,” said Rachel Kyllo, Vice President of Marketing for Kemps. “This fresh new program will allow the game to grow the way it’s meant to be played and teach our young players some important values.”

The campaign runs from October 2009 – March 2010. To request Respect & Protect stickers, please send an email including your name and mailing address to:
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