Like many places in Ontario, Whitchurch-Stouffville has seen many newcomers in recent years and the local hockey association wanted to make sure there weren't any barriers for these new Canadian families to get a taste of the game.
The Whitchurch-Stouffville Minor Hockey Association created a free Learn to Skate program that is so popular registration became full within hours of launching.
The program helps families learn to skate and introduces them to the basics of hockey at no cost over a 10-week program. Participants are only required to bring skates and a helmet.
“It is a completely free program and we were really hoping to get kids who have never been on the ice before out on the ice. We’ve always been a very big hockey town but we have a lot of newcomers,” said Karen Emmerson of Whitchurch-Stouffville Minor Hockey Association.
Designed to help newcomers with the transition to their new surroundings by helping them learn how to skate, the hope of the program is that the families will eventually see hockey is a welcoming place for their families.
Skating School Registration is Now Opened!— Guelph Minor Hockey (@GuelphMinHockey) November 30, 2022
Sign-up now through our website to ensure your spot for our January to March skating school sessions.
The GMHA is also planning a fun day for our October to December skating school group on December 17th - so stay tuned for more info! pic.twitter.com/ykkHlq02uQ
We run an 8 week Learn to Skate for #newcomers. Thx to @CTJumpstart, kiddos get equipment, keep it for the full season so they can skate at school, community centres, @TheForks. Equipment returned when they grow out of it. Wow this is our 6th year! pic.twitter.com/TaQ29kSnhp— Winnipeg Newcomer Sport Academy (@wpg_nsa) January 20, 2023
“My kid is starting to skate by himself, so it’s wonderful,” said parent Uday Pericharla of his son Sriyan. “We moved three years ago to Canada, and we need to know exactly here what the people are doing. So, let’s give it a try, if he likes it, we will continue and he will enjoy the sport.”
“The first time I was on the ice I was walking and falling down. Now I’m not walking, I’m skating and I’m not falling down that often,” said Sriyan of his progress over the weeks.
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