Despite the challenges, the 2020-2021 HEROS hockey season taught us a lesson in adaptability and the importance that working together plays in keeping our programs up and running. Through teamwork, ingenuity and the support of the community while maintaining current health measures, we were able to engage our HEROS in numerous programs across Canada. For example, our Victoria HEROS were able to run a complete on ice hockey schedule in a fun, safe environment, Vancouver, Alberta and Saskatchewan HEROS saw two mini seasons take place, while our Ottawa program offered a hybrid of outdoor hockey and other team activities.
For the majority of our HEROS, on-ice programs weren’t possible because of rink closures due to COVID 19 health restrictions in place. Because of the ongoing uncertainty during the season, our team at HEROS offered off-ice and virtual activities reflecting our commitment to providing a complete HEROS season and experience to our players. To bring the HEROS family closer while remaining far apart, the HEROS team used the Zoom platform to host over 240 meetings which included: skills and drills with hockey sticks and balls, cooking classes, book clubs, conflict resolution, and meet and greets with NHL players, coaches and Olympic athletes.
HEROS is now looking ahead to the 2021/2022 season, excited to return to full programming in each of its locations and continue to grow HEROS and SuperHEROS chapters across the country. We are projecting 31 HEROS programs across Canada this fall, with more than 300 volunteers helping to remove significant barriers that prevent more than our over 900 children and youth from accessing the game of hockey. This last season has been challenging, but our team and players have shown that success isn’t defined by solely what a player can do one the ice but also by the team and the community they build off the ice.