PSP hockey camps focus on fun and skills
By Joanie Veitch,
The Shearwater Flyers Arena was abuzz with happy, sweaty kids recently as young players enjoyed practicing and learning new skills at the Personnel Support Program (PSP) Hockey Camps.
Twenty kids between the ages of seven to 12 took part the first week. Running every morning from August 23 to 26, the first session was only open to military families. The second session, held August 29 to September 2, was open to all, and had 43 kids registered.
The main goal of the camps was to work on skills, said PO1 Barry Noseworthy, a member of Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic) and head coach at the hockey camps.
“We’re focused on building skills and improving overall — starting with the basics and using drills to work on balance and power skating,” he said.
Some of the kids have hockey experience, others not so much. The main goal was to have fun, said LCdr Noseworthy, who also volunteers as a junior hockey coach with the Cole Harbour Minor Hockey Association, where he coaches his son Owen’s U9 team.
Seven-year-old Owen Noseworthy, who took part in the first week of hockey camp, has been playing hockey for more than three years and said he enjoyed the camp.
“I like that you get to play hockey,” he said. “They teach you how to skate hard and to go after the puck. I like going after the puck, and scoring goals.”
Although the skills-based hockey camps are an annual event, this is the first time that one of the sessions was limited to military families only, said Emily Morton, who is acting community recreation co-ordinator at the Shearwater Fitness, Sports and Recreation Centre.
“Planning for anything in recreation and fitness has been a challenge with COVID. You have to have a Plan A and a Plan B,” she said. “Running the first week for just military families was something we figured we could do. It was good that we were able to open the second week up too.”
Feedback from parents has been good. Morton said one parent emailed to say how good the hockey camp was for their child — not just physically or in terms of skills development, but mentally.
“After being isolated for so long, not able to do their normal activities, this has been really positive,” Morton said. “That’s so good to hear. That’s what it’s all about.”