Canadian gold medalists to coach minor girl hockey players at first ever Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest Manitoba

Hockey Manitoba and Scotiabank teaming up with elite Canadian Women's hockey players, who will coach hundreds of aspiring young athletes during two-day event

WINNIPEG, Feb. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - On Sunday, February 19, 2012, young female hockey players will have the opportunity to learn from some of the country's greatest hockey stars during the first ever Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest Manitoba. Olympic gold medalist Cherie Piper will join other elite athletes to coach over 400 minor hockey players, ages 7-12, during the two-day event, which takes place on Sunday February 19 in Winnipeg and Monday, February 20 in Brandon.

Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest offers girls from novice, atom and peewee levels the opportunity to improve both on-ice game skills and off-ice life skills with coaching from some of the best female hockey players in the world. The event began in Ottawa and expanded to include Calgary and Oakville, and now, with help from special partner Hockey Manitoba, Winnipeg and Brandon, Manitoba.  Sunday's event will take place over two-half day sessions between 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. at MTS Iceplex in Winnipeg. On Monday, Brandon's Kinsmen Arena will host the girls from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

"It's an amazing time for hockey in Manitoba right now, the city is thrilled about the return of the Winnipeg Jets," said Cherie Piper, three-time Olympic gold medalist. "I'm really so excited to be part of bringing that love of hockey to the provinces' young female players during Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest. I know how important getting the right training is and I'm looking forward to sharing my experience with the next generation of female hockey players."

The all-day event is comprised of on and off-ice training, a goaltending seminar and a keynote address from the Olympian on the hard work, dedication and determination that helped her reach her goals. Piper will be joined by special coaches and fellow Olympic gold medalists Lori Dupuis during the Winnipeg event and Winnipeg-born Sami Jo Small for the Brandon event, as well as other talented local hockey players who will help lead the girls. Winnipeg's event will also offer special programs for young female officials and coaches to improve their skills.

"Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest offers girls the opportunity to get advice and training from talented players who have seen what it takes to make it in the sport," said Terry Bjornson, District Vice-President, Winnipeg District. "The young athletes will get to spend time with great role models who can help inspire them to reach their goals both on and off the ice."

"We are excited to be partnering with Scotiabank to bring Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest to our talented players here in Manitoba," said Brian Franklin, President of Hockey Manitoba. "We are always working to grow the great game of hockey and having three such great female hockey players coach these hundreds of young women, we can't wait to see how far these young athletes can go with such dedicated training."

To learn more, please visit www.scotiabankgirlshockeyfest.com.

About the coaches

Cherie Piper is a powerful women's hockey player from Toronto. She is three-time Olympic gold medalist and a current member of the Canadian national women's hockey team. She currently plays for the Brampton team in the Canadian Women's Hockey League.

Sami Jo Small, from Winnipeg, a tremendous force in women's hockey, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, five-time World Champion and two-time World Champion MVP. She co-founded the CWHL and is a proud member of its Toronto team.

Recognized as one of the best female hockey players in the world, Lori Dupuis was a long time member of Canada's National Women's Ice Hockey team, playing over 100 games. She has played in three World Championships, winning three gold medals, and in two Olympics, winning a gold and silver medal. She currently is the assistant captain of the Brampton team in the CWHL.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is very proud to be Canada's Hockey Bank and is the Official Bank of the NHL®, NHLPA®, NHL Alumni™, CWHL, Winnipeg Jets®, Toronto Maple Leafs®, Calgary Flames® whose home arena is the Scotiabank Saddledome, and the Ottawa Senators® whose home arena is Scotiabank Place. The Bank also has a partnership with the Montreal Canadiens®. Scotiabank has a long tradition of supporting hockey in Canada from local teams and minor hockey associations to professional players and leagues. Across Canadian communities from coast to coast, Scotiabank's Community Hockey Sponsorship Program reaches out to more than 3,700 minor hockey teams and leagues.To find out more about Scotiabank's hockey programs, please visit www.facebook.com/scotiahockeyclub.

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, 'Bright Future'.  Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $45 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE Scotiabank - Sponsorships

For further information:

Diana Hart: Scotiabank Media Communications, 416-866-7238 or diana.hart@scotiabank.com


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