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Host a NHL/NHLPA First Shift Program in Your Association

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 03/04/21, 11:15AM EST


Program ensures a positive experience for new-to-hockey families

Opportunities are now available for OMHA Centres to apply to host the First Shift program during the 2021-22 season. A unique introductory program created by Hockey Canada to get more families introduced to hockey, the NHL/NHLPA First Shift provides boys and girls ages 6-10 an opportunity to easily try hockey for $229, which includes a six-week on-ice trial, expertly fitted head-to-toe equipment, and in-depth parent education.

Following the six-week on-ice sessions, participants have the option of improving their skills via the local hockey association-managed Transition Program or in some communities, the local hockey association can place NHL/NHLPA First Shift graduates on to a minor hockey team.

The 2021-22 season will mark the eighth year of the program, which has seen more than 800 programs executed, resulting in more than 30,000 girls and boys across the country trying hockey for the first time. Local hockey associations are encouraged to review the application criteria and submit an online application if they wish to be selected as a host community.

The registration fee for each participant includes:

  • a Welcome Event – information, education, and an equipment fitting session;
  • six on-ice sessions designed by Hockey Canada; and
  • a complete set of gear, including: hockey bag, helmet combo (with facemask), shoulder pads, elbow pads, neck guard, shorts with jock / jill, pants, hockey socks, shin guards, jersey, gloves, stick and skates.

Hockey Canada support:

  • on-ice programming
  • instructor criteria and education
  • welcome event execution support
  • on-going program support
  • a new online portal enabling the management of registrations and forms in real time

The First Shift is a flexible program offering to suit your Association's and community needs:

  • Bauer support with logistics, shipments and equipment.
  • Interactive website contains all the information and dates regarding the program.
  • Hockey Canada support for any questions related to hosting, insurance, on-ice curriculum and next steps into minor hockey.
  • Equipment package for your coaches.
  • Online management portal, enabling hosts to view all
  • aspects of their program and registration in real time.
  • NHL club support may include; alumni participation, building use, mascot participation and limited gifting.
  • insurance for participants and coaches

Since 2014, the First Shift has enrolled over 33,000 new players in 904 programs across Canada. 100% of families surveyed would recommend the program and 100% of Associations surveyed would recommend it to increase membership.

The application deadline is March 31.

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