Bauer Hockey, Inc., the world's leading manufacturer of ice hockey equipment, announced today the preliminary findings of an in-depth Canadian research study, which was conducted in partnership with Hockey Canada and is the first phase of its global effort to add 1 million new hockey players to the sport by 2022.
The research was conducted to better understand why approximately 90 percent of Canadian children and their families choose not to play hockey. The full and final results of the research will be announced August 1 in Toronto, along with targeted pilot programs designed to attract youth players who are not playing the sport.
"We're still in the early stages of understanding the research findings, but the initial results show that interest in and enthusiasm for hockey remains extremely high," said Kevin Davis, President and CEO of Bauer Performance Sports. "The obstacles we're seeing through the research are ones we are confident we can overcome, and as a result these findings reinforce our belief that through our aggressive and focused Grow the Game initiative we can add 1 million new players to this great sport."
Some of the key findings of the research study, which surveyed parents of kids who do not play hockey, show that:
The research studies surveyed nearly 1,000 non-hockey families in Ontario and Nova Scotia and concluded this spring after three months of data collection and analysis. Through their partnership, Hockey Canada and Bauer seek to identify the barriers facing non-hockey families, determine the necessary steps to break down these obstacles and develop strategies for growth on national and regional levels.
Over the next two weeks, additional details will be provided for the August 1 announcement. The next stage in the initiative is the launch of pilot programs in these provinces that will be tested, re-evaluated and expanded
"It has long been a goal of Hockey Canada to have as many young Canadians playing hockey as possible, and we are excited with Bauer Hockey's preliminary findings," said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. "We look forward to watching the Grow the Game initiative evolve and bring more players into our great game."
Launched in October 2012, the Grow the Game initiative is a multi-faceted campaign designed to increase hockey participation among those families not currently involved with the sport, with the goal of adding 1 million additional players in 10 years. At the current hockey participation growth rate of 1.5 percent per year, an estimated 975,000 additional players will be playing hockey in 2022. Under the Bauer Hockey-led initiative, the sport could double that growth rate, adding 1 million more players.
Subsequent phases of this 10-year plan will include similar studies in the United States as well as other key markets around the globe.
About Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada is the governing body for hockey in Canada and a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), with a membership through its 13 provincial branch associations of over 700,000 players, coaches and officials. Hockey Canada is a not-for-profit organization that creates leading-edge hockey development programs for its members to deliver in communities across Canada, provides consistent rules and regulations and various other membership services from coast to coast, manages numerous regional, national and international hockey championships and events, and leads the operation of all teams that represent Canada in international hockey competition. Hockey Canada's mission is to "lead, develop and promote positive hockey experiences."