First Shift

Story by Courtenay Webb


Photos by Sergei Belski

Summer 2019

This spring Airdrie Minor Hockey had the opportunity to host the Canadian Tire and

Bauer ‘First Shift Program,’ offering a low-commitment, affordable and

fun introduction to hockey for children aged six to12 who had never played hockey

before, or never skated.

The program was run by AMHA’s PeeWee AA coach Spencer Barlow, who was joined

by several AMHA coaches from different levels and backgrounds. The coaches were

joined by two AMHA athletes.


The participants took part in a welcome event that included professional fitting and

distribution of all of their necessary hockey gear. This was followed by six weeks of

one-hour on-ice-sessions. The sessions allowed athletes an opportunity to try out

Canada’s game in a fun, safe environment.

The emphasis on fun and skill development was very apparent in the sessions with

many parents and athletes commenting on what an amazing program it was.


The AMHA wishes to acknowledge coaches Spencer Barlow, Zoey Crispens, Stephen Seekings, Sean Hunter, Mike Street, Mason Macleod, Clinton Ziemer, Jeremy Walker, Jared Brookshaw and Jamie Tittemore for making the program a huge success and igniting a passion in the next generation of athletes.