Grow With The Pros! Mentor Program

On March 15, 2016 the Professional Hockey Players’ Association (PHPA) executed the inaugural PHPA Grow with the Pros! Mentor Program in St. John’s, Newfoundland where 3 players from the St. John’s Ice Caps, Mac Bennett, Gabriel Dumont, and Brett Lernout provided a one-of-a-kind experience to two local minor hockey teams.

Initiated by the PHPA, the Grow with the Pros! Mentor Program provides the opportunity for minor hockey teams to interact with professional hockey players, fostering skill development as well as fair play in sports.

The event featured all 3 PHPA player mentors running a one-hour, on-ice skill development workshop, followed by an interactive off-ice component where players discussed the importance of healthy living, teamwork, and character. The event concluded with each participant receiving a personalized contract signed by all 3 PHPA player mentors.

“Based on the reaction from the players, kids, coaches, and parents involved, this inaugural event was a tremendous success and we look forward to expanding the program to more markets next season,” said Darryl Dionne, PHPA Director of Communications and Business Development.

CLICK HERE to watch a video recap of the PHPA Grow with the Pros! Mentor Program in action

PHPA Mentor instructors led an on-ice skill development session including interactive passing and shooting drills as well as skating exercises, which columinated in a massive game of tag.

The off-ice component featured a panel style discussion where PHPA mentor instructors outlined their hockey journey to date, spoke about adversity they have had to overcome to make it to the professional ranks, as well as the importance of attitude, teamwork, and character.

“It was a great experience being part of the inaugural program, especially when we all sat together in the room afterwards and the kids were asking questions,” said Gabriel Dumont, one of the PHPA player mentors, and Captain of the St. John’s Ice Caps. “It was fun to tell them some of our life stories. It’s always cool to see kids’ reactions when we tell them we weren’t always the best players on the ice growing up but we kept going and stayed passionate.”

The PHPA mentor instructors will make at least one return visit with their adopted teams during the season by watching them in a game situation, providing even further feedback and mentorship.

CLICK HERE for a photo gallery of Grow with the Pros! Mentor Program from St. John's.

“When I was young, growing up in Quebec, just to skate with our junior team was special, so I know the impact a program like this can have. It’s always great to see the kids eyes light up. I hope that whatever the kids took away from the program is something they will cherish for a long time,” added Dumont.

Stay tuned for more information on where the PHPA Grow with the Pros! Mentor Program will expand next season.

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