A new hockey camp at Concordia University aims to help beginners develop the basic skills they need to skate and play the game with friends.
The program is designed for boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 12 who do not already play organized hockey. The goal of the program is to improve player confidence and ensure they are familiar with all the fundamental aspects of the game.
According to head coach Krzysztof Kmiecik, the program aims to be fun above all, hopefully sparking children’s interest to continue playing recreational hockey.
“A lot of hockey schools provide camps for kids who already play organized hockey,” Kmiecik said. “This is an opportunity for kids to get the same coaching at our elite camp, but tailored to their needs and abilities.”
Children will learn basic skating and balance techniques, as well as play mini-games to improve skills like passing and puck-handling. Participants are grouped according to age and ability to ensure they are well matched with others at the same level. Children are not required to know how to skate before starting the program.
Kmiecik noted that many beginner players are taught by volunteer parent coaches, but Concordia’s beginner program is taught by high-performing varsity athletes. One of the coaches, Julie Chu, is a four-time Olympian with nine world championships to her name.
“This is a good opportunity for kids to be inspired by varsity athletes who play at some of the highest levels,” Kmiecik said. “Knowing that the coaches are professionals who have played at the highest levels goes a long way to inspire them to pursue sports and play more frequently.”
While Concordia already offers a beginner hockey program on Wednesday nights, this is the first time a summer program has been offered for beginners.
For more information, visit stingers.ca/camps.