By Meghan McMorris
On March 11th and 12th, the Eastern Shore Community Centre in Musquodoboit Harbour will be buzzing with children ages 4-6 from across the province, with skates, jerseys, and hockey sticks in hand. With their families and friends in tow, ready to cheer them on, the Eastern Shore can expect over 2000 visitors.
The Under 7 (U7) Eastern Shore Minor Hockey Association is hosting its annual jamboree, with Soles in Motion as this year’s generous title sponsor. This event will mark the end of the U7’s exciting on-ice season, which has been marked with new skills, confidence building and most importantly, fun! In addition to multiple weekly practices, players have had the opportunity to try off-ice training, power skating, Moosehead Intermission games, two jamborees hosted in other communities and more. You may have seen them in the Musquodoboit Harbour Christmas Parade.
“The under 7 age group is an important one for getting kids involved in hockey,” says Danielle Vokey, U7 Coordinator, Coach, and Jamboree Chair. “Our focus is on developing skills, and giving players a full experience, so they can feel confident in themselves and on their skates. They fall in love with hockey.”
“Our Jamboree is a lot of fun! At the start of each game, the lights will go down, hockey pump up songs will play and players skate through fog and fun lights onto the ice- just like in the big leagues.”
In addition to the games, the canteen will be open for business and the adjacent bingo hall will have face painting, a bouncy castle, hockey target shooting, and snow cone, cotton candy and popcorn machines for players. Activities are run by a variety of volunteers, including the Eastern Shore District High School’s Leadership class.
Organizers are also aiming to fill a hockey net with donations for the local food banks as part of the jamboree activities.
The Eastern Shore Jamboree is the single fundraising opportunity for the U7 team. This is important because some of the funds raised are used to help lower costs for kids wanting to play hockey, which improves accessibility to the sport.
Of course, with over 2000 people descending on the Shore over the weekend, it is an opportunity for local businesses to shine.
“Jamborees like this are only possible because of support from the community, and the support for this event, for these kids, has been outstanding,” Vokey says. “Businesses from across Eastern Shore and HRM have stepped up to make this event possible. We are so grateful!”
Who will walk away with the title of Jamboree champion remains to be seen. But what is known is that the Eastern Shore community will have the opportunity to welcome folks from across the province, show off all it has to offer, and young players will have an incredible experience that will create memories that last a lifetime.
“I like being a Mariner so I can learn how to skate!” - U4 Timbit Elliott Jones
“I love playing hockey with my friends” - U5 Timbit Colby Hallett
“I love scoring goals!” - U6 Timbit Oisin Schwartzentruber
Go Mariners Go!