Program Aims To Increase Enrolment in Hockey Across Canada
“We’re starting in Canada because it’s home to not only a deep hockey heritage but it’s also where Bauer Hockey was founded in 1927,” said Kevin Davis, President and CEO of Bauer Performance Sports in a company news release. “Some might say our goal is too bold, but the research shows that non-hockey families view the sport positively and many would ‘definitely’ consider enrolling their kids. With these findings, our focus now turns to breaking down perceived barriers.”
According to the organizations, 73% of non-hockey families stated they would definitely consider enrolling their child in hockey in the future. Before Grow the Game can successfully begin to enrol this market of potential hockey players in Canada however, they must overcome four major barriers identified in their study: hockey is not perceived as fun, a large perceived time commitment, perceived safety, and perceived lack of affordability.
“Hockey is a fun sport and through this exciting new initiative, Hockey Canada and Bauer Hockey want to ensure youngsters have opportunities to get on the ice and give it a try,” said Paul Carson, Vice President, Hockey Development at Hockey Canada in the Bauer release. “By eliminating barriers preventing access to the sport, more girls and boys will be able to try hockey and have a fun, safe and positive experience with the ultimate goal of growing our sport across the country and around the globe.”
To overcome the perceived barriers, Hockey Canada and Bauer Hockey will launch several pilot programs in Ontario and Nova Scotia this Fall, designed to make hockey more fun, affordable, and convenient. The program will feature a fun enrollment day for families, highlighting safety and educating families and players. This program will then run for six weeks, once a week to keep the commitment low, and will cost only $100 for families.
To assist with the program, Bauer and Hockey Canada have recruited NHL Hall-of-Famer Mark Messier, to help bring the game to new athletes and youth across Canada.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to continue working with Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada to help take down these barriers and bring more people to our game that’s fun and teaches valuable life lessons,” Messier said. “Along with the change in family lifestyles, the game of hockey has also changed. Kids need the opportunity to experience a variety of sports growing up, and it is our responsibility to offer our game in a way that is affordable, requires a reasonable commitment level, and most important, demonstrates how much fun hockey is for kids and families.”