Win 4 Kids Finalist- Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba
Staying active through the winter months is hard enough for most Canadians. Newcomer kids from refugee and immigrant backgrounds face even more barriers to participating in winter sports then the rest of us. Hockey is the quintessential Canadian sport and not only does it provide the kids a way to stay active but it helps with their overall settlement and transition to Canadian culture.
The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM) created the New Lease on Ice program which takes place in an inner-city neighbourhood with high numbers of Aboriginal and newcomer populations. This area of the city is also associated with a higher proportion of families and individuals living under the poverty line. Through the New Lease on Ice program approximately 60 children aged 6 – 14 will learn to skate and or improve their skating skills.
The program runs twice a week for a total of four hours per week. They have time to warm up and skate around and then are divided based on skill level. Some will be working on their skating while those with more developed skills will start practicing basic hockey drills. There will also be plenty of fun activities with an emphasis on participation and not competition. The goal is to have the children ready to be able to play an organized hockey scrimmage at the end of each session.
Funds from Win 4 Kids will be used to ensure there are skates and helmets for each participating child. As well, children will be transported to the rented ice space, and trained coaches will be available to provide lessons for the children and also technical support to the staff and volunteers.
Please vote for us because this is what we hear every day when we don’t have the hockey program:
Delina, participant age 11 asks “How come we don’t go play hockey this year?” IRCOM Staff Member answers “Don’t worry we are going tobogganing next week.” Delina, participant age 11 responds “Bogganing isn’t as fun as hockey. Hockey day is the best day ever! “