Nike Canada Ltd.

Nike Canada Ltd.

July 14, 2005 09:00 ET

Iginla and Naslund Launch Hockey Training Program

Off-Ice Hockey Training A "Must Have" For Future Hockey Stars Attention: Education Editor, Lifestyle Editor, Media Editor, Photo Editor, Sports Editor VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - July 14, 2005) - (Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via PR Direct)

With the goal of assisting and accelerating the development of hockey's next generation of superstars, Nike Hockey is launching a national grassroots hockey training program, to bring pro-level training insight and experience to hockey playing kids across the country. Coming out of what has been the longest off-season in professional sports history, off-ice hockey training has never been more central to the success or failure of today's hockey players.

The Nike Hockey Training program, which aims to give hockey players the necessary tools to exceed their potential, kicks off today with an event in downtown Vancouver. The event features Jarome Iginla and his Strength and Conditioning Coach Rich Hesketh providing proper off-ice training instruction to a group of young athletes from the Vancouver Minor Hockey Association, which represents many of the underprivileged kids on the east side of Vancouver and will be receiving a donation of apparel and equipment from Nike Hockey.

"I really like the concept of the Nike Hockey Training Program," said Jarome Iginla, one of the game's most explosive offensive forwards, and a Nike Hockey athlete, who has spent the summer training in Kelowna, British Columbia. "When I was younger and aspiring to be a pro hockey player, I was looking for as much info as I could get on how to be better. Now, with, hockey players can get the hockey training info they need to transform them from being a good player to a great one."

"45 seconds is an average pro shift and that's why it's important to do your off-ice training in bursts that maximize power, strength, speed and conditioning," said Markus Naslund, one of the game's most offensive stars, and a Nike Hockey athlete. "With this program, kids who play hockey can do work off the ice to help reach their potential on the ice."

Nike Hockey has joined forces with three top Canadian trainers, with more than 30 years of experience, to help hockey-crazy-kids across Canada train like the pros. With the length of an average pro shift being only 45 seconds, hockey players are increasingly being challenged to change the game in compact bursts over a limited period of time. The Nike Hockey Training Program focuses primarily on this insight, with off-ice drills that give kids the tools they need to make the most of their own shift on the ice.

"The human body reaches its anaerobic threshold following 30 to 45 seconds of intense physical activity, during which lactic acid builds up in the muscles and performance starts to decline," said Pro Strength and Conditioning Coach Rich Hesketh. "It makes sense then, based on these findings, that the average length of a pro shift is only 45 seconds."

"It's critically important to train in a way that makes you a better athlete for your specific sport," said Hesketh. "The Nike Hockey Training Program focuses on training for speed, power, strength and conditioning off the ice, all of which enables athletes to own their 45 second shift."

Nike Hockey is bringing its program to life for Canada's hockey-playing youth this summer with its own concept of hockey training camps. The Nike camps, which are led by certified trainers with coaches and support staff to ensure expert instruction, are expected to reach more than 200 minor hockey teams and 3,000 players in BC, Alberta and Ontario. Hockey-crazy-kids can also experience the benefits of off-ice training through dynamic, interactive displays featuring instruction and demonstration from Jarome Iginla at select SportChek locations across Canada.

"Off-ice hockey training now separates the hockey athletes with dreams of playing professionally and the ones who actually make it," said Derek Kent, Head of Corporate Communications, Nike Canada. "By developing strength, power and speed through off-ice training, we're helping them raise the bar of their competitive limits and make the most of their shifts on the ice."

In conjunction with the Nike Hockey Training Program, Nike is launching a Canadian-inspired training shoe for the first time ever. More than two years ago, Nike Canada initiated the process of creating the world's first shoe designed specifically to meet the demands of off-ice hockey training. After extensive consultations with professional and amateur Canadian hockey players, designers from Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon developed the Nike Shox 45 - the ideal training shoe for the unique movements of today's explosive hockey player.

Through the Nike camps and interactive retail displays, hockey players will have the opportunity to test out select Nike Hockey Training apparel and equipment, including among others, the Nike Pro apparel, the Nike Body Response Disc and the Nike Figure 8 Medium Resistance Band.

As part of the Nike Hockey Training Program, Nike is also launching today a new 45-second television spot featuring Jarome Iginla and Markus Naslund taking off-ice training out of the gym and making the most of their 45 seconds. The media campaign includes a series of outdoor media and retail executions aimed at challenging hockey-crazy-kids to take their game to the next level, with Nike as their training partner.

"Jarome and Markus are two of the most explosive and well-conditioned athletes in the world, let alone professional hockey," said Kent. "And, that's why they're the inspiration and the faces of the Nike Hockey Training Program."

For more information on the Nike Hockey Training program, please visit

NIKE, Inc., based in Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer and marketer of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Bauer NIKE Hockey Inc., the world's leading manufacturer of hockey equipment; Cole Haan(R), which markets a line of high-quality men's and women's footwear, accessories and outerwear, and Hurley International LLC, which markets action sports and teen lifestyle apparel. Nike Canada Ltd. was established in 1984 and is based in Thornhill, Ont. Further information can be obtained at /For further information: Adam Wall or Peter Gay
Praxis Public Relations
Office: (905) 949-8255 ext. 224 or 221
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Contact Information

  • Derek Kent, Nike Canada Ltd.
    Primary Phone: 905-707-3714
    Secondary Phone: 416-806-2926