Encouraging Safety and Positivity Through the Chevrolet Canada #SafeandFunHockey Program

I was always a bit of a tomboy as a child, so playing different sports was a big part of my childhood. Swimming lessons, gymnastics, baseball…if I was moving around, I was a happy girl. Now that my boys are getting older, I know that sports are going to become an even bigger part of their lives simply because there are so many different organized sports for kids available today.

chevrolet safe and fun hockey program

While some of the kids that are in Zackary’s class have been in skates since they were old enough to walk and swinging hockey sticks as soon as they could hold them, Zackary doesn’t play hockey. He has taken a few skating lessons but still isn’t especially strong on the ice. And I wasn’t overly concerned about having him play hockey on a team if he’d rather do something else instead. Not only is hockey a huge commitment of time and money, but often there also seems to be far too much pressure on the children playing to win.

So when Zackary and I were invited to Calgary to learn about the Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey Program at the Chevrolet Hockey Helmet Academy, I wasn’t sure what to expect. We were both beginners in the world of hockey and while I knew that Chevrolet Canada had been providing free helmets to hockey players for three years now to ensure that kids were playing safe, that was the extent of my knowledge about the program. The reality of what the Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey Program does for kids was so much more than I had expected.

chevrolet hockey helmet academy helmet fitting

We started out with a professional hockey helmet fitting courtesy of Hockey Canada. Zackary was pretty interested in the process and I have to admit, I was too. Laurie from Hockey Canada checked the size of the helmet, adjusted the screws and then checked the fit again to ensure that the helmet was comfortable while still protecting my son’s head. Then it was off for a quick presentation from concussion expert Dr. Charles Tator and two-time Olympic Gold medalist Cassie Campbell-Pascall before we hit the ice!

boy touching jello brain

I loved seeing how much emphasis the Chevrolet Hockey Helmet Academy put on safety and the presentation from Dr. Tator was so informative. The good doctor even had a “brain” ready to pass around to show the kids how easily a brain can be damaged. Zackary was pretty nervous about touching it until the woman holding it whispered to him that it was just raspberry Jell-O!

cassie campbell-pascall chevrolet hockey helmet academy

But I had already known that safety was something Chevrolet Canada was passionate about. What I hadn’t expected was how focused on fun the program was as well. As soon as Cassie Campbell-Pascall started talking, I realized that hockey wasn’t necessarily the immensely time-consuming and competitive sport I had pictured. In fact, Cassie told the story of how she almost quit playing hockey completely in university because of the negative team coach, illustrating how just one person can make a huge difference in a child’s experience playing a sport. Cassie is passionate about hockey being fun and after hearing how Chevrolet Canada is committed to making hockey not just safe, but also positive and empowering for children, I couldn’t wait to get out on the ice!

zack playing defence cassie campbell-pascall

Zackary was not only new to hockey, he was essentially new to skating as well. A few falls and a few tears led to a one-on-one tutorial with Cassie, and after some tips from an Olympian, he was gliding around like he’d been practicing for a week! Best of all, he had a huge grin on his face and tons of energy when he hopped up to his feet after a fall. That’s the kind of hockey that I want my son playing!

boy playing hockey chevy canada

I am so happy to have been able to see for myself the work that Chevrolet Canada does through the Chevrolet Hockey Helmet Academy and the Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey Program. The fact that the company supports safety is always paramount in my mind as a parent, but that they also support positivity, good sportsmanship and fun just increases the value of this program even more to me.

Whether you have a child like mine that is just learning how to glide across the ice or one that’s been playing hockey for years, the Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey Program is helping to ensure that when they head to the rink, they’ll be protected and have a great time. And experiencing that positive attitude and passion for the safety of children firsthand may just end up turning me into a Hockey Mom one day after all!


  1. Interestingly, in line with your view, with the complete collapse of the Junior team this past week, it was reported: “[Head Coach Brent] Sutter thinks a change in thinking deep down in minor hockey — at age 10 or so — needs to happen, with less emphasis on x’s and o’s and winning, and more emphasis on skating, passing and shooting.”

  2. Great photos and info on the importance of helmets! We don’t play hockey either, but wear hockey helmets at our local rink during family skating sessions. It’s so important to set a good example for the kids too.

  3. I’ve seen the parents get overly engaged with the winning aspect too, your video was a good reminder that winning isn’t the most important thing. What a fun event for you!

  4. Amy Heffernan says:

    awww very nice!!! WTG! They need to be protected and have fun while doing so.

  5. Chandra Christine O'Connor says:

    I am surprised how many kids actually end up with concussions in hockey.

  6. I didn’t know about them giving free helmets for the past 3 years and like their professional hockey helmet fitting. I also really like that the doctor actually showed a ‘brain’ and how delicate it is.

  7. My son is learning to skate too and we thought about playing hockey but the costs are so expensive! I am also shocked out how aggressive hockey can be as a sport even at such a young level even!

  8. haha creepy brain! lol it looks like you and Zach had a great experience!

  9. Anne Taylor says:

    I applaud Chevrolet’s initiative in this program. Helmets are so important in the game! I had no idea about this program, thanks for sharing!

  10. My kids are tweens and I still insist on helmets, even for pleasure skating.

  11. jessica s says:

    fantastic. I completely agree, positivity (or lack of it) for a child can really make or break it for them in terms of whether they are going to want continue a sport.

  12. What a great idea for kids to really instill in them at a young age how fragile we are as humans and how to protect ourselves!

  13. this is great you need keep a blog on him that way every one can in joy the timewith them

  14. The “brain” is a wonderful way to show the children how easily one can be damaged.

  15. I’m iffy on sending my boy to hockey. It’s nice to know they are working so hard to protect the kids. Makes me feel better about letting him play. Fun and safe. Me like.

  16. Teresa Claire says:

    A wonderful subject to promote! My nephew plays hockey and you are right…it is expensive but he loves it! I hope that your son enjoys himself and praise for you and your positive Hockey Mum post.

  17. Good thing for kids to wear in hockey.

  18. I wish they had something like that here. We don’t have any ice sports really.

  19. kathy downey says:

    they have to be safe first

  20. Debbie Bashford says:

    Great write up

  21. Great program. I think everyone should know how to adjust and correctly fit a hockey helmet too!

  22. Sarah Hayes says:

    sounds like a great program. I hope there are plenty of activities like this for my daughter when she is older. I may not even mind if she played hockey lol

  23. great post – i like the photos too!

  24. I love hearing about what big businesses are doing to impact our communities in a positive way. Thanks for sharing this info!

  25. kristen visser says:

    what an amazing program and such a fun but learning experience as well

  26. Sounds like Zackary was introduced to the world of hockey in a fun and safe way. Whether he takes the sport up or not, at least he’s seen the positive and safe side of it. Good luck to him in the future, who knows, maybe you have a future gold medal winner in the works.

  27. Angie Andrews says:

    What a great experience for you and Zackary

  28. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I can only agree most fervently that helmets are a must on the ice, for any kind of skating at all. One of my daughters was at public skating (about 10 yrs old) straight after her figure skating lesson. For whatever reason she fell and banged her head on the ice – she had a concussion and had to go to hospital where she was kept overnight. We had to go for regular medical check-ups for about 6 mths as her coordination was off for so long. Never, never on the ice without a helmet, ice is unforgiving!

  29. It sounds like a great experience. Helmets are definitely important for skating and for bikes/skateboards etc.

  30. Safety in all sports is so important, but I love, love, love that you promoted the helmet. Too many brain injuries happen so fast when helmets are not worn.

  31. Florence C says:

    Nice post. I was a hockey mom for many years. It is a great program giving helmets to the kids.

  32. natasha severson says:

    awesome post! i love it.. my girls havnt wanted to join hockey yet but if they did i’d be all for it!!

  33. Nena Sinclair says:

    What an amazing opportunity for you and your son! It looks like you both had a great time!

  34. I can’t emphasize helmets enough. A family friend just lost their teenage son because of head injuries obtained during skate boarding. Any sport and helmets go hand in hand.

  35. Shelley N says:

    Great article. Our eldest played hockey for a short time and his head is wide at the top but he has a very thin face and small chin so we had a horrible time finding helmets that would work for him. We sure could have used a tutorial on it.

  36. Great program, and I wish they had one in our home town :D

  37. It is good to remember that winning isn’t everything and having fun is most important. And, of course, safety is at the top as well. Hockey can be so dangerous, so parents need to make sure their children are well protected and that equipment fits properly.

  38. aww wish we had programs like that where i live! we love hockey

  39. I think Ice Hockey is a pretty competitive sport.

  40. What a great program for children. I think it is great that Chevrolet Canada is providing free helmets to hockey players for three years

  41. Safety and positivity are both so important. We need to be sure to model these for all children to show them how, they do what we do first!

  42. Linda Hendrix says:

    That’s great!

  43. What a wonderful post & program. My goodness hockey scares me just a bit… my oldest really wants to start playing. This was super helpful thank you!!

  44. courtney b says:

    this is awesome and i would be scared to let my kids play hockey because it seems so dangerous!

  45. JENNIFER HART says:

    I hope the adults that were there, took away from their experience not only the importance of protecting their children’s beautiful brains but their own as well!

  46. Emily Chui says:

    This is an amazing story, it looks like it was really fun!

  47. Lynda Cook says:

    This was a great write up, and I fully believe in helmets need to protect the brain

  48. Kathleen Ophelan says:

    Helmets are a must! Great write up.

  49. Shannon Gnocato says:

    My hubby actually plays adult weekend hockey and there’s still a bunch of them that don’t wear proper gear. Maybe they could have used some early training!

  50. Judy C (Judy Cowan) says:

    What a great program! Safety is definitely a #1 concern in sports and it is nice to see companies like Chevrolet getting involved!

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