TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - May 09, 2014) - Scotiabank and the Toronto Maple Leafs are giving female hockey players the chance to learn from Olympic gold medalists and Canadian women's hockey stars Sami Jo Small and Vicky Sunohara and members of the CWHL 2014 Clarkson Cup champions Toronto Furies this Sunday during the third annual Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest Toronto. These hockey greats will coach over 300 minor hockey players, on Sunday, May 11 from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at The MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence.
"With our partners at the Toronto Maple Leafs, we're excited to bring Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest back to Toronto," said Kris Petrow, Scotiabank branch manager. "We have had the opportunity to see how much these talented young athletes get out of the program. The girls learn more from Sami and Vicky than technical skills, they also learn about how much it means to work as a team to pursue your goals, both on and off the ice."
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%).
"I have always enjoyed being part of the Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest events and am thrilled the event has returned to help encourage so many young girls to keep playing hockey," said Sami Jo Small, Scotiabank Hockey Ambassador. "When I started playing, these types of opportunities didn't exist for female athletes, so this event is really a great opportunity for these girls to come together to celebrate hockey and learn skills they can take with them throughout their lives."
Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest Toronto is free to all participants and offers girls the opportunity to improve their on and off-ice hockey skills with coaching from some of the best female hockey players in the world. This program is open to girls aged 7-12 from three levels of minor hockey, novice, atom and peewee. The day also has a community session, which teaches the girls about the importance of giving back to the community, 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.
For the third year in a row, this program has reached full capacity, illustrating the increase in demand for hockey development for young female players.
"The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Marlies are so proud to partner with Scotiabank to provide young females with such an incredible hockey development program. The sport is growing significantly in the female demographic and as a hockey organization we want to make sure that girls have equal opportunities to succeed and develop that young males do," said Maple Leafs Vice-President of Hockey Operations, Dave Poulin.
Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest began in Ottawa and has expanded across Canada to include Winnipeg, Brandon, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. To learn more about the program, please visit www.scotiabankgirlshockeyfest.com.
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 a leading financial services provider in over 55 countries and Canada's most international bank. Through Bright Future, our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank and its employees support causes at a grassroots level across six pillars: health, education, social services, arts and culture, environment and sports. Recognized as a leader for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has contributed on average some $50 million annually over the last five years to community causes around the world. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.
About Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE)
MLSE, one of the world's premier sports and entertainment companies, owns the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), the Toronto Raptors (NBA), the Toronto Marlies (AHL), Toronto FC (MLS), Air Canada Centre, Maple Leaf Square and three digital channels -- Leafs TV, NBA TV Canada and GOLTV Canada and has a partnership with Live Nation -- the biggest concert promoter in the world. MLSE has also invested in five of Toronto's sports facilities -- Ricoh Coliseum, home of the Marlies, BMO Field, home of Toronto FC, Lamport Stadium, KIA Training Grounds at Downsview Park, home of Toronto FC's Academy and the First Team's practice facility, and the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, the practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies. MLSE operates and manages events at Ricoh Coliseum and BMO Field. www.mlse.com @MLSEPR