All it Took was The First Shift
Date: Nov, 15, 2018 12:04 PM EDT
Three years ago, Mira was scrolling through Facebook when she saw a post about a local Canadian Tire First Shift happening.
While her daughter Addison hadn’t shown any interest in ice hockey at the time, the program advertised the opportunity to try out a new sport for 6-weeks and be outfitted with brand new equipment.
With that – Addison was signed up and headed on to the Welcome Event with her Dad, Chris.
“We went to the kick off and to be honest I was super skeptical because I figured it would be tables of used equipment, and you’re digging around trying to find a matching pair of elbow pads, shin pads,” Chris joked. “To this day the program leaders at the time always tease me about how I was like a kid in the candy shop when we walked in there because I just couldn’t get over the fact that it was all new equipment.”
Chris explains that when they walked into the meeting area, there were tables all over displaying brand new skates, pants, sticks – and everything you’d need to get started on the ice.
Addison was helped by Fit Experts, and introduced to the head instructor who handed her her first hockey bag and said, ‘You’re going to be a hockey player.’
A little leery at first, Addison wasn’t sure how she would like ice hockey – but shortly after setting foot on the ice and seeing it was everyone else’s first time as well, she was hooked.
“A lot of them are nervous until they get on the ice, there is like an invisible barrier at that gate and once you can get them past that and on the ice – it’s just smiles,” he said.
Fast forward to today and since participating in The First Shift Addison and her family are integrated in the hockey community in Cambridge.
She has now played on three teams, working her way through house and now is in her second year of representative hockey.
“She loves it, she is a leader in the dressing room and on the ice,” said Chris. “It’s really her niche.”
While her Dad Chris a now a board member, hockey coach and, after having seen how the game has enriched their family’s life since participating, has now stepped up as a program leader for The First Shift.
“It’s a game that’s for everybody - not everybody is going to go off and want to be a rep hockey player, but after you enter the sport you can play house league and play up, have fun in intramural or recreation or you can take it and play collegiate and university level hockey - whatever you want to do,” he said.
The First Shift is open to boys and girls ages 6-10 who, like Addison, have never played hockey before. For more information on how you can get involved in your local program visit: The First Shift.