First Shift "helping kids fall in love with hockey"

By Chad Klassen
October 18, 2017 - 2:01pm Updated: October 19, 2017 - 2:55pm

KAMLOOPS — Hockey is an expensive sport --- with the cost of equipment and registration.

Out of the financial reach for many families.

Since 2014 more than 4800 families have been introduced to the game through the Canadian Tire First Shift program.

Last night First Shift returned to Kamloops for a third year, helping children aged six to ten to ease new-to-hockey families into the game through equipment fitting head to foot, to be followed by on-ice sessions with Kamloops Minor Hockey, and parent education.

It's all in the name of "helping kids fall in love with hockey."

"I just want to play hockey, because I'm practically the only girl in my class who plays hockey" says Danika.

Danika was outfitted by First Shift along with her brother Drayton, who says "I like being around one of my siblings while I'm on the team."

Craig Gallo of First Shift says "our goal is to get kids into hockey, get them starting up, and fall in love with the game."

For Kamloops Minor Hockey the hope is the kids will continue playing.

"We've seen some great success", says Kamloops Minor Hockey president Jon Pankuch.

"The first year we were probably at about 50% retention --- last year was probably over 75% to 80%.



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