In looking ahead to the next hockey season, Canadian hockey players and enthusiasts alike can look forward to the Penalty Free Sweepstakes continuing to bring the sport to another level of greatness. This Sweepstakes is open to amateur Canadian hockey teams, in order to promote "safety, skills, and sportsmanship" through penalty free games. In recent years, about a hundred thousand dollars or more in prizes have been given away annually to teams with penalty free games.
Each time a team plays a penalty free game, the team can enter this sweepstakes. Then the winning entries will be drawn from all entries. For the 2007 sweepstakes, there were one hundred and ten teams eligible for the final drawing, with each team member winning something just for entering.
Along with this sweepstakes comes the Penalty Free Sweepstakes MVP Awards, offering its own prizes. These prizes are awarded to ten players, nominated by their coaches, for their embodiment of the values of safety, skills, and sportsmanship promoted by this sweepstakes.
This sweepstakes is offered through HDCO - the Hockey Development Centre for Ontario, along with its sponsors, and has been an annual event since 1987. HDCO was founded in 1984, and is largely supported through the work of its many volunteers, with its funding appropriated from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion. Other programs available through HDCO also include:
GOODSPORT - promoting good sportsmanship,
The National Coaching Certification Program - for the ongoing education and training of its coaches,
The Hockey Canada Initiation Program - for children ages five to ten, along with other programs for older children,
and so much more.
Entering the Penalty Free Sweepstakes is just one small part of what the full program has to offer. One of the most basic benefits to following through with the whole program is that in starting with these core values when children are young, and carrying it throughout their whole training, it allows them to have professional values and/or qualities already in place once they've come to the age where they may want to choose to continue with it as an adult profession.
This program is really a good choice for this type of a long-term practice, should one choose to utilize it to its fullest benefits.
(My two oldest sons and I once spent some time with a professional Canadian Hockey player and his friends, whom we met while I was taking photographs for and assisting the guides and agents at a hunting and fishing outfitter's camp in the Canadian Wilderness... my, what unique and interesting people...and boy, could he fish!)
Find out more about this sweepstakes and HDCO HERE