Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Get Your Camping Gear!

With the numbers finally falling locally for COVID-19, restrictions are loosening and things are slowly returning to normal in and around my fair city. There are still things one cannot do, but the house arrest-like rules that we had to endure for a while are done. With things getting back to normal, it also means that sports are returning in a big way as people are clamouring to get back outside, back in gyms, and back into rinks. In saying, one of the greatest hockey camps on the planet is back for this summer, and it's a great opportunity for girls to learn some hockey from some of the best in the business at the annual Sami Jo Small Hockey School!

Having seen hockey schools run in the past, there are things that seemingly are missed when it comes to great hockey schools - high-calibre instructors, interesting and fun drills, and solid training are all important. The Sami Jo Small Hockey School brings all that in spades for the entire week that girls attend, and I guarantee that your daughter or young hockey fan will leave the camp daily with a massive smile on her face.

The camp is designed for girls between the ages of seven and seventeen (7-17), and it's meant for all skill levels. Whether your daughter is a league all-star or a pleasure skater who isn't sure about playing hockey, every single girl can come and learn hockey at the Sami Jo Small Hockey School. Groups are mostly arranged by ages, but players can move around to find a group to match skill level and for convenience when it comes to carpools and friends or siblings attending together. In other words, the Sami Jo Small Hockey School is here to make the week of hockey as enjoyable as possible for all attendees!

As with any camp, one of the first questions I hear is about cost, so let's get that out of the way right now. With COVID-19 affecting families when it comes to employment, the $490 cost for the week might be a little high for some families. I want to be clear that the cost of the camp can be reduced as Sami Jo Small does grant bursaries to families who may need a little helping sending their hockey stars to camp.

From the Sami Jo Small Hockey School website,
"We want every girl to be able to have the experience of a summer hockey school regardless of cost. If cost is an issue for you, please send an email Sami Jo at samismall@hotmail.com In the email your daughter/the athlete must write a paragraph on why they love hockey. And the parent/guardian must indicate how much they are willing to pay ($0-$full price). Sami Jo will assess the email and decide if the applicant is worthy of the bursary."
I will say this: she's very receptive if your daughter loves the game, and she's very lenient when it comes to making things happen to have those girls whose families need a little help attend the camp. Don't think this is some conditional promise where there are a thousand checkboxes that one has to fulfill; Sami Jo Small would rather fill her camp than see girls sit on the sidelines.

What your daughter should expect when they arrive is a boatload of fun delivered by some incredible people. Obviously, Sami Jo Small will be there for the entire week, and Billy Bridges, her husband, usually is there as well. Among the many people who have been instructors in the past, they include Janelle Kohanchuk, Bailey Bram, Halli Krzyzaniuk, Susie Yuen, Paige McArthur, Alex McArthur, Karissa Kirkup, and Amanda Klassen to name a few. All of these players have played at at least one of the international level, the professional level, the NCAA level, and/or the U SPORTS level. The instructors know the game extremely well, and they share both their knowledge and experiences with the girls who attend.

If this camp sounds like a good week of fun for your hockey star, sign up ASAP because spots fill up quickly! You can find the registration form at the bottom of this webpage, so get that application in! I guarantee your hockey star will love the fun that Sami Jo Small brings to the rink every night while learning some really good skills for future seasons. As an observer at these camps, I had a blast and I'm not even on the ice!

The Sami Jo Small Hockey School happens July 19-23 at Gateway Recreation Center and we want to see your daughter attending, so get her registered today!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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