The hockey breakfast club has been a success.
“We have had two ice sessions so far and the response has been excellent,” says David Simoes, one of the coaches at the club.
In the first ice session, twenty-eight kids participated and in their second ice session, there were thirty-two kids.
“There were many new faces in the second ice session and we hope to see those numbers grow through the next seven sessions,” Simoes added.
The main idea behind the club is to expose kids to the game of hockey whether they are currently playing the game or not, he explained.
Older kids in the group are made leaders and organize the scrimmage and have other responsibilities. Whereas for other participants who don’t usually play hockey, the idea is to develop their love for the game, Simoes said.
“The kids who skate with minor hockey every other day, are continuing to work on their skills, while helping out the newer kids. So we get everyone to participate and learn from the ice session,” he said.
Participants get on the ice at 7 am and they are allowed some time to explore the ice while coaches set up.
There are a total of four coaches, who have their separate stations and concentrate on a specific skill. Skills such as stick handling, skating, shooting and more are being developed through these routines, Simoes said.
The kids are then split into four different groups and each group stays on one station for ten minutes. Every group is rotated through the stations.
And after the kids complete one station, they are given ten to fifteen minutes as free time, Simoes explained.
“We have a couple of sections of the ice for pond hockey scrimmage and one end of the ice for shooting around. We even have a tug of war going on in the morning with a workout rope. It is just good free time for kids to play around,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bella Martens, a participant of the hockey breakfast club said she enjoys playing hockey because ” I can be on the ice and be with my brothers.”
She said the breakfast program helps her game because it gives her practice with the puck. Martens used to figure skate and is just starting to play hockey.
“I decided to participate because I also get breakfast,” she said.
Another participant Aaron Rehmann is playing hockey for the first time. “It’s a fun sport to play,” he said, noting the breakfast program gives him a lot of energy for school.
“I wanted to participate because I wanted to learn how to play hockey,” Rehmann said.
Lastly, Simoes said he is really excited about this program.
“It has been well received and I am looking to grow this into a bigger platform in the coming years. Hockey is the best sport in the world and living in Canada, I think every kid should get the opportunity to try and play it,” he said.