NHLers Scout Future Competition at Nike Hockey SPARQ Combine

Schenn, Subban and Eberle support Toronto's young, elite players as they undergo SPARQ testing

TORONTO, May 28, 2011 /CNW/ - Today, Nike athletes and Team Canada alumni, Luke Schenn of the Toronto Maple Leafs, P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens and Jordan Eberle of the Edmonton Oilers, joined a group of young and aspiring hockey players as they made their way through a series of drills to determine their individual SPARQ rating. Today's event is one of several Nike Hockey SPARQ combines taking place across Ontario this summer, leading up to a championship combine in August, where the top 25 Nike SPARQ rated elite players will compete for the title of "The One".

Nike SPARQ testing, used by thousands of athletes worldwide and endorsed by Hockey Canada, is a dynamic rating system designed to build better athletes by improving four basic elements of athleticism: Speed, Power, Agility and Endurance. At www.niketraining.ca, athletes can access their SPARQ rating, compare themselves to other athletes and find a series of unique drills and exercises to help them improve their overall athleticism.

"Whether it's being used by an elite athlete or a minor league hockey coach, a SPARQ rating will provide a benchmark for all young players to begin their off-ice training," says Paul Carson, Vice President of Player Development, Hockey Canada. "The rating system was used successfully at the National Junior development camp and we encourage coaches across the country to use SPARQ as the first step in building better athletes."

These young competitors will also be introduced to 'The Program' - a 12 week training program developed by 21-year hockey veteran Gary Roberts and Canada's top hockey trainer Matt Nichol. The Program is an off-ice training regime designed to take each player's skills to the next level, ultimately making them more explosive, powerful and dominant on the ice. The Program is available to all hockey athletes at www.niketraining.ca.

As co-creator of The Program, former Toronto Maple Leaf left winger, Gary Roberts, now personal trainer to many of the NHL's young stars, was also on hand to witness the combines and SPARQ rating of hundreds of elite Toronto hockey players. "By being here today and putting their skills to the test, these players are demonstrating their commitment to becoming the best they can be on and off the ice," says Roberts. "It's no secret that the key to success is dynamic training and now The Program is available to everyone on www.niketraining.ca  to help athletes exceed their potential."

To learn more about The Program and SPARQ please visit www.niketraining.ca.

About Nike
NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Cole Haan Holdings Incorporated, which designs, markets and distributes luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Umbro Ltd., a leading United Kingdom-based global football (soccer) brand; and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information please visit www.nikebiz.com.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Nike Canada Ltd.

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and interview requests, please contact:
Cathy Mitchell/Carol Endicott
APEX Public Relations
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