Ireland in Vierumaki – Day 5

Thursday, 19th July

Today was Girls’ Hockey Day in Finland, the first one the Finnish Ice Hockey Association has ever run during the summer time, and it was a big success. The LTP groups helped set up some off-ice stations including face painting, shooting, puck handling, agility, and off-ice games before the kids arrived. During registration each kid got a hockey day jersey and a few other goodies.

After lunch, they all headed out to the off-ice stations where they could practice skills like shooting and puck movement, as well as just having fun. The Hockey Bird (World Championship mascot) was also in attendance on the day and was a huge hit with the kids.

After playing outside in the sun for an hour or so, everyone moved indoors to the rink. The coaches, including many players from the bronze medal winning Finnish Olympic team were on hand to direct the girls through some drills and games. Some of the local girls had never played hockey before, and since the objective of Girls’ Hockey Day, is to get more girls playing the sport, I think it’s safe to say the day was successful.

The IIHA held its first hockey day last autumn on International Girls’ Hockey Day, so hopefully there will be many more held in the future as the success of the Finnish program is a real inspiration.

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