Fifteen lucky young Canadians converged in Calgary today to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime hockey clinic with hockey legends Wayne Gretzky and Hayley Wickenheiser.
The Samsung Hockey Camp for Kids kicked off with breakfast and a motivational speech from Wickenheiser, captain of Canada’s Women’s team and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Following breakfast, the day included five on-ice skills clinics and a scrimmage match with Gretzky and Wickenheiser, and off ice training with Hockey Canada Trainers. Winners were also treated to one-on-one meet-and-greet sessions and had their photos taken with the hockey stars.
“At Samsung, we understand that passion for hockey begins at a very young age and we were overjoyed to provide this unique experience to 15 aspiring young hockey stars,” said Benjamin Lee, President and CEO, Samsung Electronics Canada. “The number of entries we received was overwhelming, and while there were many compelling submissions, we feel that the group today were deserving boys and girls that truly exemplify the meaning of sportsmanship, both on and off the ice.”
“I am thrilled to be a part of Team Samsung and to share my passion for hockey with people from across the country,” said Hayley Wickenheiser. “As an aspiring young athlete, I was extremely fortunate to be surrounded by people who provided the much-needed support and encouragement to get me where I am today. It was a real honour to work with some of Canada’s youngest hockey enthusiasts, and I can only hope that my participation today helps inspire these kids to pursue their hopes and dreams.”
A panel of judges from Samsung and Hockey Canada selected the winning entries from hundreds of online submissions on the Samsung Hockey Camp for Kids website. Earlier this fall, parents and guardians were invited to nominate their child (ages seven to 14) and, in 300 words or less, explain how he or she best exemplifies Samsung’s key hockey values – fair play, team work and skills improvement. The winners and one parent/guardian received roundtrip airfare and accommodation in Calgary for the duration of their stay.
Winners were selected from coast-to-coast and include:
- Myah Bowal, Age 9, Terrace, BC
- Tyler Egglestone, Age 10, Whitehorse, YT
- Grady Franklin, Age 8, Deloraine, MB
- Abbey Franklin, Age 10, Deloraine, MB
- Cameron Harvey, Age 10, North Saanich, BC
- Matthew Hood, Age 10, Fredericton, NB
- Louis Larochelle, Age 10, Montreal, QC
- Nathan Ledbury-Swales, Age 11, Barrie, ON
- Cole McEachern, Age 13, Barrie, ON
- Lauren Pillisch, Age 12, Markdale, ON
- Lauren Pye, Age 7, Auburn, NS
- Rock Ruschowski, Age 12, Calgary, AB
- Catherine Turner, Age 13, Airdrie, AB
- Myriam Wright, Age 10, St-Jacques, NB
- Marissa Zuchetto, Age 10, Mississauga, ON
Along with the contest, the Samsung Hockey Camp for Kids website collected funds for Hockey Canada’s “Dream Come True” community initiative – a program that funds hockey fees and equipment purchases for underprivileged children across Canada. Samsung matched every dollar donated and a total of $10,000.00 was raised.
The Samsung Hockey Camp for Kids is part of the company’s Team Samsung campaign. Through the campaign, Samsung has partnered with an all-star line-up of hockey’s greatest players, including Wayne Gretzky, Hayley Wickenheiser and Jarome Iginla, to help make hockey more accessible to kids and to build excitement for the sport as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games approach.