Ice Chips & Canoe Quips


Wiikwemkoong Hockey for Children/Youth Hockey for Development wrapping up!

Waasa Naabin Youth Services had a surprise guest on day three of their year-end tournament from the Little Native Hockey League (LNHL). They presented the trophy during the Atom Girls’ Championship ceremony in the B Division. Congratulations as well to the B Champs: U11 Team Vipers, U11 Finalist Team Phantoms and the B U13 Division Finalist, Team Bucks. 

The community has benefitted immensely from the ability of Wiikwemkoong to offer such an amazing program in such unprecedented times. The Hockey for Development program focused on skill development as the community transitioned to hockey in a pandemic health bubble while incorporating the LNHL pillars: education, citizenship, sportsmanship and respect. Miigwech from Lawrence Enosse (youth fitness leader extraordinaire) to LNHL executives who attended and congratulations all Hockey for Development players, coaches, parents and staff who made the program a success. 

First Shift applications are open!

The application process for local hockey associations wishing to host the National Hockey League (NHL)/National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) First Shift in 2021-22 is still open! The application period is until March 31. Apply immediately to host an event by contacting If you are interested in bringing the First Shift Program to your community there are a few key factors involved in organizing and hosting. Finding the right people to co-ordinate and administer the program will help ensure a successful execution, of course. The three key roles include: a program administrator, an on-ice lead and a group of on-ice instructors. 

The three year program began when Bauer Hockey announced that together with founding partner Hockey Canada, and then joined forces with the NHLPA and NHL to continue to advance and strengthen the First Shift program an innovative and successful learn-to-play initiative designed to welcome new-to-hockey families to the game. 

Believe it or not, there are many families here, locally, that have never had access or the ability to put their children in our winter sport. I can’t think of a better way for new-comer families (either to the sport or the area) to be part of the greater hockey community here and elsewhere. Why not try to give every kid that experience. Email them at

Future behind the bench?

Hockey Canada is a leader in our game, and the organization is stepping up by providing opportunities for more women to get involved. Through initiatives like Pond to Podium, We Are Coaches and the Women Master Coach Developer program, Hockey Canada is putting a focus on coach certification and getting more women behind the bench.

“If we want the game to grow, we need women involved. If we want the game to continue to be welcoming and have a positive environment, we need women,” says Teal Gove, manager of hockey development with Hockey Canada. “Having women as coaches increases the likelihood that girls will continue to play and then also get involved in leadership positions, which just makes the game better at all levels.”

That’s where a program like We Are Coaches is important. It was designed to increase the number of women coaching across the country. The clinics—taught by women, for women—help build infrastructure to support and sustain women’s participation in hockey by removing barriers to coaching education.

“Sometimes it’s pretty intimidating going into a room full of male coaches to get coaching certification, and many (women) may hesitate because of that,” says Gina Kingsbury, director of women’s national teams. “So, we have to make sure we break down those barriers, make it as accessible as possible, and, not only to grow our female presence and provide growth to ensure that we have large numbers, but also, there’s a lot of knowledge in these female leaders.”

It is amazing that when we see ourselves in possible, future roles we can believe it and then make it happen. Whether they are professional or recreational goals to shoot for, if we cannot even fathom the idea it is less likely that we will even forge ahead. There are many opportunities for female leaders in the sport so if you or someone you know is ready to provide this role contact Esther Madziya, manager, communications of Hockey Canada 403-284-6484 or

Call for active Islanders!?

Spring is in the air and although there is little organized sports going on, people are getting out and getting fit in all of the traditional ways: raking leaves, biking, walking, and cleaning up dog poop?!

If you would like to give a shout out to those doing all they can to improve their fitness, send a few details to the email, below. 

A good sport is good for sports