WINNIPEG, MB--(Marketwired - February 10, 2014) - Winnipeg native and two-time Olympic gold medalist Sami Jo Small and three-time Olympic gold medalist Cherie Piper are teaming up to coach young female athletes at the third annual Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest Manitoba. The two hockey greats will coach over 300 minor hockey players during the two-day event, which takes place on Sunday, February 16 in Winnipeg and Monday, February 17 in Brandon.
According to a recent Scotiabank Community Hockey Poll, nearly seven-in-ten (68%) hockey parents say that girls have the same opportunities as boys to play organized hockey in their community. When asked what inspires their daughters to play, parents says their top reasons are her friends play (62%), they are fans of a professional hockey player (43%) and the success of the Canadian women's Olympic hockey team (43%).
"We think it is really encouraging that Canadian hockey parents are finding their daughters are getting the right opportunities to play this fantastic sport," said Sandra Edie, District Banking Manager for Scotiabank in Winnipeg. "These young female athletes are the future of the sport and we feel it is so important to encourage their growth. This is why we are so excited to bring Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest back to Winnipeg and Brandon. This two-day event is a great opportunity for the girls to learn from Canada's top female athletes about both on ice skills and the importance of working together as a team."
Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest Manitoba is free to all participants and offers girls from Novice, Atom and Peewee and Bantam levels the opportunity to improve their on- and off-ice hockey skills with coaching from some of the best female hockey players in the world. The day also has a community involvement session and a keynote address from the Olympians on the importance of being part of a team and hard work, dedication and determination that helped them reach their goals both on and off the ice.
"As a coach, it means a lot to me to be a part of Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest and to see these young, enthusiastic and really talented athletes come together to work on their game," said Sami Jo Small, Scotiabank Hockey Ambassador. "When I was growing up and playing, these types of opportunities didn't exist for young female athletes, so this event is really a great opportunity for these girls to learn both life and hockey skills that I hope they remember throughout their lives."
Sunday's event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. at MTS Iceplex in Winnipeg. On Monday, Brandon's Westman Communications Group Place (Keystone Centre) will host the girls from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest began over ten years ago in Ottawa and has expanded to across Canada to include, in addition to the Manitoba locations, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. To learn more about the program, please visit www.scotiabankgirlshockeyfest.com.
About the Coaches:
Sami Jo Small, a powerful force in women's hockey, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, five-time World Champion and two-time World Champion MVP. She co-founded the Canadian Women's Hockey League and is a proud member of the Toronto team in the CWHL.
Cherie Piper is three-time Olympic gold medalist and a former member of the Canadian national women's hockey team. Before she retired, she played with the Brampton Thunder in the Canadian Women's Hockey League.
About the polling data
The 2013 Scotiabank Community Hockey Poll was conducted online using Harris/Decima's online panel. A total of 1,000 completed surveys were collected from a sample of panel members across Canada who have children under the age of 17 who play organized community hockey. The surveys were conducted from October 1 to October 11, 2013.
Scotiabank is the Official Bank of the NHL®, NHL Alumni™, CWHL, Vancouver Canucks®., Winnipeg Jets®, Toronto Maple Leafs®, Ottawa Senators, Edmonton Oilers® and the Calgary Flames® whose home arena is the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Bank also has a partnership with the Montreal Canadiens®. Scotiabank has a long tradition of supporting hockey in Canada from local teams and minor hockey associations to professional players and leagues. Across Canadian communities coast to coast, Scotiabank's Community Hockey Sponsorship Program reaches out to over 5,000 minor hockey teams. To find out more about Scotiabank's hockey programs, please visit www.facebook.com/scotiahockeyclub.
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, 'Bright Future'. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $47 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.