For the first time, kids will get to try out para hockey thanks to the popular Canadian Tire First Shift national program.

Launched in 2014 as a pilot, the program provides kids who never played hockey with a full set of BAUER equipment as well as on-ice sessions, all for $199.

To this day, more than 15,500 girls and boys from across the country have been introduced to Canada’s national sport through this initiative organized by Bauer Hockey, Canadian Tire and Hockey Canada.

Taking place in Montreal and Quebec, this year’s season will allow participants to discover para hockey for the first time. On November 14th, Para hockey Montreal held the 1st welcome event.

”For the 5th season of the Canadian Tire First Shift program, we have decided to innovate in Quebec by introducing para hockey. Led by Maxime Gagnon [editor’s note: coach for Quebec’s team, as well as director of Para hockey Montreal and Défi sportif AlterGo], this great initiative promotes the development of hockey and para hockey. It also gives the opportunity to kids who cannot play traditional hockey to get on the ice like their para hockey heroes and grow within that awesome sport”, said Ludovic Lord, manager of hockey recruitment initiatives for Hockey Canada.

Eleven kids aged 16 or younger residing in Greater Montreal already enrolled for the 2018-2019 season. Thanks to the program, they will attend a six-week on-ice curriculum and will receive Bauer Hockey equipment that they will get to keep.

”We are very excited to collaborate with Hockey Quebec on this new venture and drive the initiative in Montreal and Quebec. We are aware that hockey is considered Canada’s game, but para hockey also sparks the interest of many. Our Canada men’s and women’s para hockey teams are accomplishing great things on the international stage. Thus, introducing this sport represents an exciting first step for Hockey Canada, Bauer Hockey and Canadian Tire”, said Rob Whighton, manager of North-American Experience, Grow the Game, for Bauer Hockey.

Registration for the Canadian Tire First Shift para hockey program in Montreal ends on November 25th. To register, send an email to hockeyluge@hotmail.com. For more details, visit www.parahockey.com.

Pictured: Kids registered for para hockey initiation through the Canadian Tire First Shift program pose for a photo.