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Jan. 31, 2020

MEMBERTOU  Dozens of Indigenous girls from across Nova Scotia will have an opportunity to experience our game this winter thanks to a brand-new program – and a generous donation from Sidney Crosby.

The all-new Hockey Nova Scotia Female Indigenous Hockey Program launches this week in three locations across the province.

The 8-week program is being offered to female Indigenous players from ages 6-16 in Millbrook, Brookfield, and Eskasoni.

“We’re really excited about this new initiative and the response so far has been overwhelming,” said Brad Taylor, Hockey Nova Scotia’s technical director and one of the program’s organizers.

Almost 100 girls have signed up for the program. They come from a variety of different hockey backgrounds and skill levels.

“It’s an opportunity for our female Indigenous youth to learn and improve their skills on the ice with their peers,” said Ryan Francis, one the program’s organizers. 

“They don’t always have that opportunity so it’s great to be able to provide a safe space and welcoming environment where they can grow and develop,” Francis said.

The program is being offered free of charge and all of the participants are receiving equipment thanks to a generous donation from Sidney Crosby and CCM Hockey.

The first session of the program hit the ice on Wednesday night at the Membertou Sports and Wellness Centre in Membertou, N.S.

Erin Denny, who became the first-ever Indigenous player to play on Nova Scotia’s female Canada Winter Games team back in 2019, was one of the on-ice instructors.

“The session was so much fun and it was really nice to see the interest from girls of all ages,” Denny said. 

“The first session really has me excited for the rest of the sessions to come. I think that [all of the participants] have great potential.”

Brad Taylor agrees.

“We can’t wait to see what’s next for these young girls,” Taylor said.

The program gets underway this weekend in Brookfield and Eskasoni and will continue next week in Membertou.

Good luck to all of the participants!

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