First Shift program outfits new players

October 24, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The First Shift program held its opening event at Tony Rose arena in Orangeville on Saturday, October 19.

First Shift allows parents to outfit their children for hockey at a 

nominal price and that includes all equipment as well as several on-ice sessions.

This allows kids to try the sport and see if they like it.

The cost of hockey equipment can be prohibitive for a lot of people and can be disappointing if a child discovers they really don’t enjoy the sport. The program allows them to suit up and see if they enjoy 

playing the game.

The event had experts available who made sure the kids were properly fitted for their equipment.

“These are 31 girls that are registered for the First Shift Program,” explained Michelle Whyte, president Orangeville Girls Hockey Association. “They are here tonight to get all of their equipment. They will receive everything from skates to hockey bags, sticks, and everything else they will need. They’ll learn little bit about the program and meet the coaches that will be on the ice. The program, for us (Orangevlle Tigers girls hockey), is for girls between ages six and ten who have never played hockey before. For $199 they sign up for the First Shift program and get all of their equipment. Plus they get six, one-hour ice sessions. It’s a nice introduction to the game to see if they like it without making a full year commitment and spending a lot of money.”

Mike Bibby brought his two daughters, seven year-old Emma and six year-old Grace, to the event to get suited up. Both girls have expressed an interest in playing hockey after watching their older brother on the ice.

“They expressed an interest because their older brother plays hockey all the time,” Mike explained. “They watch him probably five times a week and they said when they get old enough they want to play. They want to be part of a team. You’re getting into hockey at a good price and all the equipment is payed for at the price. It’s the best way for them to experience the sport. It’s an opportunity for them to see if they really like the sport before you end up spending lot of money.”

Both girls will play in the Novice division when they get on the ice.

“My mom asked me if I wanted to play hockey and I said ‘yes.’”, Grace said. “I like watching my brother skating and playing.”

Grace already knows how to skate and now she wants to learn how to play the game as well saying that ‘skating’ is the best part of the sport.

Young players in the program will have several on-ice sessions with coaches to learn the nuances of the sport.

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