Cariboo Elite Hockey Training is gearing up for their second camp this August.
There will be three age groups for players born from 2007-2009, 2004-2006 and 2001-2003 with the camps focusing on different aspects of hockey development.
The Cariboo Elite Hockey Training organizers are Shane Thon, Richard Gauthier and Matt Kolle who decided to come up with the program to give Quesnel hockey players an opportunity to stay local and receive great training. Last year’s program was a huge success and they hope for the same this year.
“I’m really excited what we can offer,” Gauthier said.
“A lot of this was spawned from the need from Quesnel Minor Hockey who said they would love for you guys to keep going with it.”
“We’re going into our second year and we’re expecting bigger and better things. To be able to offer this in our own backyard for the skills these kids are learning and the fun aspect, I think it’s just fantastic.”
The first camp will run from Aug. 15 – 19 and will focus on skills development, game tactics, conditioning and most of all, fun.
The camp will be instructed by former National Hockey League players Ed Patterson and Chris Murray who are returning from last year.
Patterson played with the Pittsburgh Penguins and also has coaching experience with the Western Hockey League, Elite Ice Hockey League, Kootenay International Junior Hockey League and Hockey Canada.
Murray played with the Montreal Canadians, Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes, Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars and has coached in the WHL and with Hockey Canada. Gauthier says that Patterson and Murray were enthusiastic about returning.
He adds that both were impressed with the organization and the dedication of the staff and kids at last year’s camp and decided to return. The second camp will run from Aug. 22 – 26 and will feature Aaron Konecsni of AKHockey who will focus on power skating. He is the head coach and director of Player Development of AKHockey and has worked with current and former NHL stars and many different hockey leagues.
Thon says a huge benefit of the camp is it allows players to grow together in their age group.
“They get this perennial coaching faculty of the same two coaches for their entire eight years of minor hockey,” Thon said.
He adds the camps allows players to get a different outlook on the game rather then their regular practices during the hockey season.
“It’s no discredit to anybody that helps with our association but it does lend itself to giving the kids a different flavour, mentor, skill set, drills and it encourages them,” Thon said.
Although it says elite in the name of the camp they want to emphasis the camp is for everyone.
“Some people kind of get thrown off that it says elite, but it’s all skill development and fun,” Gauthier said.
He adds they are getting the same quality of training you would see anywhere else.
“We’re able to offer it in Quesnel and we’re pretty proud about that.”
With the new addition of Konecsni this year, Thon thinks it will be great because of the experience he brings.
“I’ve seen him at the Salmon Arm facility for their hockey school and several families from Quesnel have taken their kids down and seen great results,” Thon said.
The price for both camps is $650 for residents and $800 for non-residents.
For one camp it’s $350 for residents and $430 for non-residents.
Along with the main camp in the summer they are offering a 3 on 3 hockey skills development program. The 3 on 3 development sessions will run from March 29 – April 14. This program allows players to fine tune their skills and learn new ones in the process. There will be two age groups for players born from 2004-2006 and 2001-2003.
Thon said after last year’s program and leading into the hockey season there was an interest in the program.
“The appetite for the 3 on 3 throughout the course of this hockey season was big with lots people asking if the 3 on 3 was going to run,” Thon said.
More information for the skills development program and summer camp is available at the Cariboo Elite Hockey Training Facebook page.