Chevrolet Safe and Fun Hockey Jamboree
Young hockey players hone their skills, learn some new skills and learn to play safely and with respect for others last weekend at the Chevrolet Safe and Fun Hockey Jamboree at PARC Arena.
Approximately 60 children aged nine and under participated in the Chevrolet Safe and Fun Hockey Jamboree held Oct. 26 at PARC Arena in Placentia.
The jamboree is more than simply learning the fundamentals of the game. It also teaches the importance of having a positive attitude towards competition, teamwork and fair play, making what's fun also safe.
David Shea with the Placentia Intertown Minor Hockey Association (PIMHA) helped get this jamboree to Placentia and said he thought it was a really worthwhile event to have in any community.
"Basically, the underlying message was the respect and responsibility aspect of the Chevrolet Safe and Fun program, so all the drills centred around that idea, how to play hard but play safe. The on-ice and off-ice sessions really drilled home that message to encourage the fun aspects and the safe aspects of hockey over the competitive aspects," explained Mr. Shea. "The kids and parents really enjoyed that message because oftentimes it's drilled at them, they got to win, win, win."
He said the program really helps parents to take that step back and realize their child may not become an NHL star, but that the game play at this age should really be about learning new skills and having fun.
Mr. Shea said the program began in the morning with a number of drills for the kids to practice, then a lunch break at Laval High School, and then more ice time.
"Any aspect that we were teaching, be it basic skating, basic puck handling or passing or whatever, just doing it in a safe and respectful manner, that being respectful to your fellow players, respectful to the coaches who are demonstrating the drill and trying to run the drill (is important). It is just basic hockey but with the underlying message of trying to respect who is teaching the skills and just being mindful of the players around you," he said.
Mr. Shea said during the lunch, provided by Hickman Motors, the young hockey players were divided into two groups, and while one group went to the gym to enjoy some physical activity, the other group went to a classroom where two instructors administered a 20-minute of half hour session on basic respect and responsibility.
"It just went over how to conduct ourselves in a respectful way in school and in our everyday lives, and how it relates to hockey and kind of bring it all together. We drew on examples from the kids, our volunteer instructors provided some examples of respectful and safe behaviour. We also had a parent session that kind of reiterated for the parents the whole underlying message of the Chevrolet program," Mr Shea stated.
This was the first time the jamboree was hosted in Placentia and Mr. Shea said he thought it went over really well.
"It went well. It was very well received. All the parent feedback was 100 per cent positive. We had evaluation forms completed at the end and there was no negative feedback whatsoever. It was a nice relaxing day for the parents and the kids," he said. "I think they got it because it was brought down to their level."
Mr. Shea said it was even more exciting for one young player and her parents. Eight-year old Tyra Lannon won entry into the hockey festival to be held in Atlantic Canada that will be hosted by Bobby Orr, Cassie Campbell and Mike Bossey. The date for that event has not yet been announced.
"She's very excited and I hear her father is even more excited. He's a big Bobby Orr fan," said Mr. Shea with a laugh.
Of course, Mr. Shea wanted to thank everyone who helped make an event like this possible, especially the local volunteers.
"A big thank you to the Chevrolet Safe and Fun Hockey program for selecting us and also to Hickman Motors for funding the whole thing. Other than that, thanks to our local volunteers who participated in making this a successful day," he said.
For more information on the program, visit the website at www.gm.ca/static/english/chev_safeandfun/index.html.