Hockey Manitoba's main focus with the First Strides Access program is to provide opportuntiy to underserved populations such as new Canadians, inner city youth, remote & First Nation communities, cultural & community groups, and more.
First Strides is a one day event designed to introduce children aged 5-12 to the sport in a safe, fun and positive setting. Very basic concepts and activities are included as well as education for both participants and parents. Participants' fitness and overall health is a primary focus and they will discover the benefits of participating in a team environment while developing social skills they can carry forward to other areas of their lives. Participants are given sticks, skates, helmets, gloves, neck guards, t-shirts and jerseys and participants and parents are provided a meal at the end of the event. Participants are also eligible to receive partial funding to join a CanSkate/Learn to Skate program.
Hockey Manitoba will accept applications from various organizations including community groups, charitable organizations, cultural centres, remote communities, etc. A maximum of one application may be submitted per year by an organization. Participants must not have been a registered Hockey Manitoba member in the past or current season.
A maximum of 25 participants (minimum of 20) are eligible to participate in each approved First Strides program.
Applications will be reviewed twice annually and deadlines for submission are September 1st and December 1st.
Hockey Manitoba acknowledges CCM and the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation in their support of the Just Play program.