Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) is a program using the game of ice hockey to help teach self-esteem and life skills for at risk youth. HEROS is a volunteer-driven charity that provides marginalized youth, the HEROS, free ice hockey programs in a fun, supportive, safe and stable environment for young people to succeed and connect. HEROS uses mentor relationships between dedicated volunteers and the participants as well as peer mentoring of older participants.
Beginning on Oct 24th and for five Tuesdays in the following months, NW Giants players and staff will join the HEROS players on the ice at the Brittania Arena located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Our players will run practices for around 40 HEROS elementary students. Our boys will be responsible for designing the practice and leading the on ice instruction in the first hour. In the second hour HEROS senior students share their ice with the Giants players as part of a mentoring skills session. As part of the program the NW Giant players have donated Giants toques to the HEROS players and have provided some snacks to them in advance of skates.
The evidence is clear by the smiles of the HEROS kids that the first session was a huge success. Many of the HEROS kids come from back grounds that are extremely challenging and our NW Giants will make a difference. It’s a win/win situation and head coach Aaron Wilbur’s expectation is that our players will get as much out of it as the HEROS kids.