Oilers hockey clinic at Bold Center
The Edmonton Oilers with support from Cenovus Energy hosted a special hockey clinic for 100 lucky kids from May 4-6 at the Bold Center.
Hundreds of kids from across Western Canada, and as far away as Vancouver and Saskatchewan registered to be chosen for the special weekend of free hockey skills training by coaches in the Oilers system, as well as the minor hockey system.
“This is the highest amount of kids that have ever registered for an Oilers hockey clinic,” said Patrick LaForge, the Oilers president and CEO. “We wish we could do this every weekend so that all of the kids had a chance to participate.”
LaForge who was born and raised in Lac La Biche made a welcoming speech and presented a $2,000 cheque to KidSport Lac La Biche. KidSport is an organization that helps remove financial barriers for families that need financial support. The program works by giving out $200 bursaries to families that apply and meet the requirements.
“We are so thankful for the Oilers’ generosity,” said Adrienne Sprecker, a representative for KidSport. “With this gift, 10 more families will get the financial support to let their children play sports.
The weekend festivities began with a free barbeque served by the LLB Kinsmen that was open to the public. The fieldhouse also featured an indoor floor-hockey rink, a shooting skill station, a videogame corner and special Oilers memorabilia for the public to enjoy.
“This is really awesome, I had so much fun playing the hockey videogames,” said participant Evan Sawatzky.
Also present during the barbeque was Oilers forward Darcy Hordichuk, defenceman Travis Ewanyk, and former Oiler Sean Brown to sign autographs, talk to fans, and play some floor hockey with the kids. The Oilers Octane cheerleadering team were also on hand at the barbeque and were available for pictures. Also at the carnival was the Oilers’ “Fanboni,” a Zamboni ice resurfacer that has a special sitting area for fans to enjoy.
After the opening barbeque concluded, the weekend of fun continued for the 100 lucky kids chosen to participate in the on and off-ice skills training. The clinic itself ran from 10 to 4 on Saturday and Sunday. Coaches ran special conditioning drills and had the kids working on specific on-ice shooting and passing drills to help develop the skills of the next generation of Alberta hockey superstars.
And although the weekend was labeled as a skills development program, at the end of the day the focus was on enjoying the game of hockey and having fun.
“We are so honoured to be in Lac La Biche, and we are looking forward to coming back here real soon,” LaForge said.
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