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Hundreds of Kids Get Treated to a Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience by Senators

Published 02/27/2023, 9:48 AM EST

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Ice-hockey traces back to Canadian history, and was eventually popularized as the modern version of the sport. The game was a great form of recreation even during World War II. Hence, it holds the utmost value in the country’s culture and ethos. By the same token, several authorities try to make the game available to each individual in society, especially children irrespective of their societal status. 

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Therefore, the Canadian Tire Jumpstart, the Senators Community Foundation, and the City of Ottawa joined hands to put together a wonderful initiative for kids. The program invited participants to experience the magic of skating for the first time on an esteemed NHL team’s playground, per CTV News Ottawa. Let’s find out how that went.

Kids skate at the Ottawa Senator’s home rink


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In the article published by the sources on February 27th, it was revealed that hundreds of youngsters gathered at the Canadian Tire Centre yesterday to take part in the exciting skate program, ‘I Love to Skate,’ launched by the authorities. Interestingly, the ice rink is home to the Ottawa Senators. “This is a program for kids that may have barriers to access sports,” the foundation president, Jacqueline Belsito spoke at the event.  

Additionally, she stated that they wanted to ensure all kids were aware of the activity and had a great time. “We just want to make sure every kid is able to live their best life and get out and get active,” Belsito added. The 5 weeks-long training session was successful, after 320 youngsters showed up at the graduation event on Sunday.


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“Envious” Parents Didn’t Let 6-Year-Old Wayne Gretzky Perform Miracles in Peace

Reportedly, the initiative has helped around 5,000 kids in the locale with skating gears and sessions within the last 10 years. Besides that, this venture functions in more than 15 Ottawa regions. The young athletes are eligible for skating classes from competent trainers, all for free. On account of the expenses, NHL legend, Wayne Gretzky, once opened up on the sport’s adversities. 

Wayne Gretzky’s viewpoint on modern hockey


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Talking to CBC News in 2016, the 62-year-old athlete once unfolded the harsh realities of young aspirants. He talked about the massive expenses parents have to deal with to introduce their children to the game. The financial aspects are hefty. “As far as the money goes, it’s a huge issue,” Gretzky said. 

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Additionally, Gretzky disclosed his own experience on that matter narrating his father’s burdens. Hence, he recounted, “I remember my dad borrowing money from my grandmother to buy me a pair of skates for $25 or buy me a new hockey stick”. 


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While bearing huge costs remains a dire issue in the field, initiatives like this are liberating for today’s youth. More power to such organizations, that bring together passion and joy. What are your thoughts on the initiative? Let us know in the comments. 



Tiyasa Biswas

888 articles

Tiyasa is a US Sports author for Essentially Sports. She charts her journey in the sporting world right from her childhood. A basketball player all through her high school and college days, Tiyasa looks up to Michael Jordan as her idol, and reveres the Mamba Mindset.

Edited By: Anupama Ghosh