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Ottawa Sens Foundation Program Introduces Kids to Ice Skating at Canadian Tire Centre



Ottawa Sens Foundation Program Introduces Kids To Ice Skating At Canadian Tire Centre

Sunday marked a special day for young Ilkiz Otan as she stepped onto the ice at the iconic Canadian Tire Centre for the first time, experiencing the thrill of center ice.

Through the ‘I Love to Skate’ program, a collaborative initiative between the Ottawa Sens Community Foundation, the City of Ottawa, and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, Ilkiz has been learning the ropes of ice skating, finding joy in a sport that is new to her.

Eric Cartledge, the Regional Manager at Jumpstart Charities, highlighted the program’s impact, emphasizing that every child involved in the program received essential equipment such as helmets and skates, thanks to the generous funding.

The program deliberately selects kids from 15 priority neighborhoods within the city, ensuring that they not only receive the necessary gear free of charge but also benefit from skating lessons sponsored by the Ottawa Sens Community Foundation.

Qualified instructors like Jordan Draper have been instrumental in teaching these children invaluable skills on the ice, including stopping, skating backward, and picking up speed, offering them a chance to learn and grow.

Since its inception in 2010, the program has positively impacted over 4,000 children in Ottawa, providing them with the opportunity to engage with the beloved sport of hockey.

Mayor Mark Sutcliffe expressed his delight in seeing the children participate, noting the significance of inclusivity in such programs and highlighting the joy and excitement on the children’s faces as they skated in the NHL arena, a dream experience for many.

Rachel Adams

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