Young athletes in Hazelton were excited to learn that Canucks alumni Dave Babych, Kirck Mclean and Jyrki Lumme were coming to visit, donate equipment and skate with them during Hockey Day in Hazelton as part of Canucks Learn to Play. The Canucks Learn to Play is part of an initiative developed by the NHL and NHLPA with help from USA Hockey and Hockey Canada. The program’s goal is to inspire more families to join the hockey community by way of providing first time children between 4 and 8 years old with all necessary equipment (with Canucks logos), age-appropriate coaching in a fun and safe atmosphere. The Hazelton Minor Hockey Association was the only minor hockey association in BC to be selected for the Winter Program, benefiting 25 new minor hockey players.
Canucks alumni Jyrki Lumme, Dave Babych and Kirk Mclean tell Hazelton hockey fans what they like about playing on an outdoor rink.
— Image Credit: Chris Gareau
New Gear, New Access
“Every year I asked around whether or not there were people that couldn’t sign their kids up because of the cost and there was always people like that,” said Starr. “[Learn to Play] gives them a chance. A lot of people took advantage of it.”
“By bringing the program to the Hazeltons, we hope that it will open a new door for children who have never played hockey before to learn and enjoy the game,” said Henderson. “We want to leave a lasting impression on the Hazelton area First Nations communities and the children who are trying hockey for the first time.”
To see the video of the Canucks visit, click the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JWRTSQstMY
To see BC Hockey’s take on visiting the region, click here.