All children need to feel that they belong within their peer group, their school and their community.Recreational sport and development of life skills such as good sportsmanship and living with character often provide this aspect of community integration for many children. Low income/newcomer children and their families struggle to integrate socially and culturally in Newmarket
Slap Shot is a free seven week in school hockey program developed to reduce social isolation in low income/newcomer children ages 8-12 (Grade 4-6) in York Region. Slap Shot provides a safe, inclusive, age-appropriate introduction to the game of hockey and Canadian culture to children whose ability to participate in recreational sport is limited due to financial and cultural barriers. Delivered by an experienced program coach, professional hockey trainers and supported by peer mentors, participants learn the basic skills of the game along with important skills in leadership, character, socialization, teamwork, nutrition, health and the benefit of living an active lifestyle using the game of Floorball. When the in school sessions are completed, participants travel to a local arena, where they play a game of hockey on ice dressed in full hockey gear with their coaches and volunteer York Regional Police hockey players. Participants receive a jersey, hockey stick and puck to keep so they may continue to play hockey with their peers.
The program ends with a celebration pizza and recognition lunch where participants receive a team medallion, photo, watch a video of the on ice day and discuss their experience in the program.
Since 2012, we have delivered this program to over 1,400 children in York Region with 88% of our participants reporting reduced social isolation in school and in the community as a result of participating in the Slap Shot Program. In September 2017 we will be delivering this program for the first time to 50 low income/newcomer children at Maple Leaf PS and Phoebe Gilman P.S.
Funded by Newmarket, ON (July 2017)