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Morden Minor Hockey is launching the "First Shift" program for kids aged 6-10. The partnership is with Bauer Hockey, Canadian Tire, and Hockey Canada.

It aims to make hockey more affordable, and "parents don't have to travel from town to town and be committed for an entire season when their kid may not enjoy it," says board member, Dantin Reimer.

The children get 6 ice sessions, and a full set of Bauer hockey gear for $200.

Reimer says that it is a great opportunity for kids who want to try out hockey, or their parents want to give them a chance to try something they love, without making a season-long commitment that can be costly.

"All the sudden the kid doesn't like it or they just can't afford to make that entire winter commitment, this is something that introduces them to what hockey is all about."

When Morden Minor Hockey heard of this program, they wanted to bring it closer to home. Currently the only other places to go are Brandon or Winnipeg.

They hope to "get more kids active and involved in the sport of hockey, and enjoying their time, and building friendships, and learning valuable life lessons through sport," he adds.

There is room for 30 participants who will have a total of 7 ice hockey instructors teaching them how to play. They also help teach parents about equipment, how to help their kids put it on, and how the game works.

"If all goes well and we can continue to have people interested in something like this, I don't see why we wouldn't want to do it every year," says Reimer.

If kids seem to enjoy it after their sessions, the board is working on a program that will allow them to keep practicing afterwards. After this they should be ready to join the minor hockey league.

On February 3, at the Access Event Centre in Morden, Bauer representatives will be out to help kids get all the custom-fit gear they need. Click here for more information about the program.

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