As Canadians bask in the glory of Olympic hockey gold, some children in Cape Breton are getting their first taste of the sport at a discounted price.
Many of the boys and girls skating at the Centennial Arena in Sydney on Sunday are as young as four.
They’re barely able to carry their hockey bags empty. Filling them will cost around $750.
A hockey equipment company is offering an economical way to introduce kids to the game. Mary-Kay Messier of Bauer Hockey Inc. Grow the Game project is trying to offset that.
"It’s a six-week program that runs once a week only at a consistent time and it’s $100 for all the ice, the enrolment and head to toe equipment,” she said.
Karen Campbell said her son is just now showing an interest in hockey. So at nine years old, he's playing catch up.
"I think he is really going to get some skills that he hasn't had the opportunity to get, that other kids his age already have,” she said.
Other parents said it’s an opportunity to introduce their children to the game, without a big investment or commitment.
If they enjoy it; the kids keep the equipment and come back next year.
A study commissioned by Bauer and Hockey Canada showed about 90 per cent of Canadian families choose to not have their kids play hockey.
The top four reasons given were: it wasn't fun, it was too time consuming, safety concerns and affordability.
Grow the Game’s objective is to attract one million new players by 2022.