MONTREAL – Hockey-mad kids from across Quebec flocked to McGill’s McConnell Arena for the second annual Canadiens March Break Camp.
Held in the heart of downtown Montreal, minutes away from the Bell Centre, the week-long camp gives a chance for nearly 100 Novice to Peewee-aged players to work on their skills, build their athleticism and learn the value of team work through on-ice and off-ice activities.
Stephane Verret, the manager of youth hockey development for the Montreal Canadiens, and his staff started the March Break Camp in 2013 to give busy hockey parents working in the downtown area the option of sending their children to a spring break camp organized in collaboration by the Habs and by Hockey Canada.
“We typically hold our summer camps at facilities outside the island of Montreal such as the Bell Complex in Brossard. There was a very strong demand from parents for a Canadiens minor hockey camp in close proximity to the downtown area,” acknowledged Verret. “We were very fortunate to have access to such a great array of facilities in one of the best locations in the city, and the reception for the camp from parents and players has been fantastic.”
Not only do the camp’s young attendees take to the ice at McConnell Arena twice a day under the instruction of Hockey Canada coaches, but they also have a chance to experience a variety of cross-training activities when they are off the ice. Held in the neighbouring McGill Sports Complex, the sessions are designed to help camp attendees become better all-around athletes as well as more complete young people.
“Jogging through the McGill campus, trying different sports and experiencing a field trip to the Bell Centre is great for the kids because they’re having fun the whole way, but more importantly, it also gives them ideas for the future,” offered Verret.
Jack Han is a writer for canadiens.com.
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