Hockey Coming Back “Stronger” Post COVID — Unique Registration Campaign Rolls Out Today Across Ontario
RICHMOND HILL, ON (June 14, 2021) For Immediate Release – Hockey is so Canadian there is a picture of it on our money, but we can no longer take it for granted that kids are going to register as in years past.
That’s the message behind the first ever registration drive by the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) which began today with the release of this video.
“Hockey is as Canadian as maple syrup. It’s in our blood. We never had to market the game before to kids in Ontario. But we recognize it is no longer a given kids are going to play hockey,” says OMHA Executive Director Ian Taylor.
Taylor adds, “We want the gold medal hockey games at the Winter Olympics and Paralympics to be the most watched events for years to come. But that may not be the case if we don’t take drastic action now.”
The new campaign, “Stronger”, highlights the huge mental health toll faced by children in Ontario who missed out on many of their favourite pastimes during the pandemic. In an end of the season survey with close to 3000 respondents in April 2021, 80 per cent of OMHA players said hockey helped reduce feelings of isolation, their stress level and anxiety this past year. Close to 80 per cent of participants say they plan to return to the game in the fall.
The OMHA’s new campaign is meant to shine a light on all of hockey’s benefits: from making people involved in the game more connected to their communities, to making communities stronger and highlights the life lessons participants receive from being part of the game.
While hockey remains one of the most popular sports for youth, registration numbers for hockey have been stagnant for the past 5 years with perceived barriers such as costs one factor, something the campaign is tackling head on.
The OMHA, which is the largest minor hockey association in the country and represents 225 minor hockey associations around Ontario, says many of the minor hockey associations offer programs to help youth enter the game who may not have the financial means.
“We have worked with our sponsors to develop programs like Player and Goalie Assist so that our minor hockey associations can provide equipment every year to help families put their children in the game,” Taylor says.
People can register for the OMHA’s new season at www.play-hockey.ca
ABOUT THE OMHA
The Ontario Minor Hockey Association, founded in 1935, is a leader in community sport and oversees a participant base of more than 300,000, consisting of players, coaches, trainers, officials, hockey volunteers and parents across the province. The OMHA works with its 225 local minor hockey associations and annually coordinates 28 leagues to create the best minor hockey experience in Canada. For more information, visit www.omha.net.
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