Canadian Olympians lace up their skates to coach at first ever Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest 2013 in St. John's

Canadian Women's Hockey Greats Tessa Bonhomme and Sami Jo Small to coach 150 future hockey stars on Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada

ST. JOHN'S, Feb. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Two-time Olympic gold medalist, five-time World Champion Sami Jo Small and Olympic gold medalist Tessa Bonhomme are teaming up on Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada to coach young female athletes at the first ever Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest in St. John's. The two hockey stars will teach some 150 young hockey players valuable ice and life skills on Saturday, February 9, 2013 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Mile One Centre. 

"We are excited to bring Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest to Newfoundland as part of country-wide celebrations for Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada, a celebration of Canada's favourite sport," said Beverly Robart, District Banking Manager, Scotiabank Newfoundland and Labrador. "We're thrilled to be offering this event in St. John's for the first time ever. It's a fabulous opportunity for young girls to learn on and off the ice skills from Canada's top female athletes and a great way for Scotiabank to expand its support of community hockey to future female players of the sport."

Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest in St.John's will host three free sessions for girls under 15, girls under 12 and girls under nine. The free all-day event at Mile One Centre home of the St. John's Ice Caps, includes on and off-ice training, an arena tour, and a keynote address from the Olympians about the importance of the hard work and perseverance in helping them reach their personal and professional goals.

"Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest is a great way to both introduce young female athlete's to Canada's game and also help hone the skills of some young stars in the making," said Tessa Bonhomme, Scotiabank Hockey Ambassador. "As a coach, it means a lot to me to be a part of this event, to help young girls improve their game, and also give them the chance to learn both life and hockey skills that I hope will stick with them throughout their lives."

Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest began in Ottawa nine years ago. This year, it will be held in Brandon, Winnipeg, St. John's, Toronto and Ottawa, and was held in Calgary in the fall of 2012. To learn more about the event please visit www.scotiabankgirlshockeyfest.com.

Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest is a part of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada, which kicks off early in host city Peterborough, ON, with events taking place in the week leading up to February 9. Events in Peterborough include youth skills clinics and school visits with the Stanley Cup. For a full list of events and game schedules, click here. For more information about the program, join Scotiabank Hockey Club on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @ScotiaHockey.

About the coaches:

Sami Jo Small, a powerful 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 Canadian Women's Hockey League and is a proud member of the Toronto team in the CWHL.

In addition to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Tessa Bonhomme, selected as the 2010 top draft pick for the CWHL, helped bring home the Gold medal at the 2010 Women's Four Nations Cup, the 2007 IIHF World Women's Championship and the 2005 Air Canada Cup as well as the Silver medal at the 2011 & 2009 IIHF Women's World Championship and the 2006 Air Canada Cup.  Now in her sixth year with the Canadian National Women's Hockey team, Ms. Bonhomme is originally from Sudbury, Ontario, and played for the Sudbury Lady Wolves from 1998-2003 before attending Ohio State where she was co-captain of the Buckeyes in the NCAA.  Ms. Bonhomme balances her National Team responsibilities along with also being a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs TV broadcast team and is a Scotiabank Hockey Ambassador.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is the Official Bank of the NHL®, 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 $47 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE: Scotiabank - Sponsorships & Donations

For further information:

Sheena Findlay
Scotiabank Media Communications
647-628-3501
Sheena.findlay@scotiabank.com

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