The game’s best player has been concussed and unable to play for months. Concussions in hockey are serious business needing solutions now. Acres Hockey has joined forces with Brain Navigators to create the first concussion preventative hockey school in Canada. The Parksville, B.C. based hockey schools mission is to provide players with the Skills, Tools and Education for Prevention (S.T.E.P.) via the Bringing Smart Play to Hockey program. A program endorsed by the Brain Injury Association of Canada.
The core message of Acres Hockey 2011 running July 18-20, July 24-28 for players aged 5-14, will be respect for opponents and the rules of play, fused with providing education for brain injury prevention.
“We have the ability. We must do better as coaches. We must change our focus.” says Henry Acres-Program Director of Acres Hockey Training. “Basic skills training must take precedence in our youth hockey to help players thrive and enjoy the game after the age of body-contact introduction. It’s a fact the majority of Canadian kids are behind in skating, and puck handling compared to kids inEurope.” Acres would know, having a 9-year pro career mostly in Sweden and Finland.
Colleen Butler, Founder of Brian Navigators knows the ugliness of living with brain trauma suffered in a car accident. “Two weeks and you’ll be fine,” she was told by doctors. “Little did I know what was in store for me. Having survived this journey I vowed that my struggle should not be repeated by others. Education is vital to understanding that head injury recuperation time can be minimized with practical tools mentally and physically.”