Northumbeland's First Shift Graduates!, News (Northumberland Minor Hockey)

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Northumbeland's First Shift Graduates!
Submitted By Michelle Brown on Thursday, December 29, 2016
On November 5th, over 40 boys and girls between 6 and 10 years old hit the ice in hockey equipment for the first time!

The Canadian Tire First Shift Program is one designed to help break down the barriers associated with playing hockey.  The emphasis is on making this experience affordable, safe and most importantly fun!

Every Saturday morning for the past 6 weeks, this group of eager youngsters made their way to the CCC, checked the board to find their dressing room, and with the help of their parents and volunteers they dressed themselves like hockey players! 

For many of these kids, it was their first time on skates, let alone with chest protectors and hockey pants.  Their excitement was palpable and it truly felt like Christmas as they all put on their gear, grabbed their sticks and hit the ice.  They practiced skating, stopping, falling and getting back up, along with puck drills and of course some shooting on net.

Several of these kids will participate in the program for another 6 weeks and by then they will be well on their way to being "real" hockey players!

Many thanks to Ryan Mullins for coordinating and bringing this program to Northumberland, to all of the on ice volunteers who were the most patient group of coaches I have ever seen and to the parents who facilitated this exciting opportunity for their children.

And the biggest thank you to the young hockey players, who reminded us all that hockey is about much more than scoring and winning. It is about learning and trying new things, it is about laughing with your friends (and sometimes at yourself), it is about falling down and getting back up, its about sharing your water bottle, and helping your teammates, its about belonging to something and most importantly, it is about having FUN!

On behalf of the NMHA, we hope to see you all next season in your Nighthawks jerseys!
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