It is a little known fact that most people, specifically most adults in Canada do not play hockey. According to the latest research paper published by Canadian Heritage in 2013, only 4.4% of people over the age of 16 played hockey in 2010. In other words only 4 people out of 100 actually play our beloved game, and hockey is not even the first sport adults choose to partake in.
How can this be? After all, millions of eyes are glued to the TV during the weekly Hockey Night in Canada broadcast and many more during the quad-annual Olympic hockey events.
Each year, more than 1,000 people choose to learn to play hockey with us by taking the Discover Hockey program and we ask each and every one of them why they haven’t played hockey up until now. There are various reasons people give. Some had parents that could not afford to put them in hockey, some were born in places where hockey was not popular or they did not have access to hockey rinks because the only ice you can find was the ice cubes in your drink, but the biggest reason of all as to why most who have registered have not been playing hockey up until they decided to register is so simple it’s crazy. They did not know they could.
Most people that take the program in their response to the question “Why have you not played hockey until now?” said: “I did not know this program existed”. You would think that in Canada of all places everyone should be playing hockey, not so. We are trying to change that. Hockey is a beautiful game, those who play it enjoy it for many many years and some play well into their 80s and 90s. Yes it seems daunting to pick up a new sport in your late 20s, more so in the your 30s and almost impossible in the late 40s and 50s but that is not true.
Think about, you learn new things every day, it takes a bit of work and repetition but eventually you get the hang of it and become better each time. The same is with hockey or any other sport you have not played yet. At first you get out there and it’s hard, it feels unnatural, you don’t want to embarrass yourself, no one does. Eventually you get a little better, you learn how to stop, your skating improves and you start getting it. You start enjoying the game and instead of being a spectator you know, to whatever small extent, how much work it is to play the game. It gives you a new appreciation for the game and what those guys in the NHL actually do on a nightly basis.
The best part is with a program like Discover Hockey you learn to play in a place where everyone is like you, they are starting out, they don’t know what they are doing but they are inspired to learn to play the game they love. They struggle just like you, they triumph just like you when they are finally able to to do a hockey stop on skates without falling over.
And in the end they finally did something for themselves that will open a whole new world of possibility that was closed to them before. Being able to play hockey for the rest of their life.
Next read the story of how TJ Chase finally decided he will learn to play hockey at the ripe age of 32.