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News Room – Inside the Winnipeg Police Service


Service Proud Partner in Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy

Service Proud to Partner in Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy

It’s a hockey program with a much bigger goal than simply coaching kids how to skate and shoot a puck.

The Winnipeg Police Patrolmen and other police members of the service have teamed up with the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy to give 25 students from Heritage School in St. James the chance to learn how to play the popular sport.

Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy“It delivers the foundation for police members to interact with the kids in a positive light, and teach them more than just hockey, but also about leading productive lives,” said Staff-Sgt. Max Waddell, who, on behalf of the Winnipeg Police Service, is coordinating the effort with the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation.

The WPS has committed to participating for six seasons and will coach the same group of 25 students the entire time. The program started in the 2013-14 season with students in Grades 2-3, meaning officers will have the chance to watch the kids grow into teenagers and have a positive impact on their lives.

“Really, it’s trying to build those positive relationships with the kids,” says Waddell. “It’s about communicating and carrying out the Chief’s vision for change, through crime prevention through social development. We are using sport as that vehicle to communicate the message.”

Winnipeg Jets Hockey AcademyWPS members meet the hockey academy students once a week at the MTS Iceplex. After enjoying a healthy lunch provided by the Jets Hockey Academy, players gear up in equipment supplied by the academy to hit the ice with Patrolmen volunteers. Students are split into groups and the coaches guide players through a series of exercises to hone their hockey skills as well as develop better teamwork abilities, helpful for situations on and off the ice.

“It was really miraculous to see their improvement both on and off the ice,” Waddell said.

WPS Cadets also join police volunteers each week, helping students with their equipment and tying up kids’ skates. Cadets are also encouraged to bring their hockey sticks, skates and helmets and head out on the ice with the students.

Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy“You can get out there and if someone needs a hand, actually help them one-on-one with a drill – and make sure they’re having fun,” said Cadet Michael Lussier. “It’s incredible to see the positive relationships that have been built over the past year, and it’s exciting to think how it will grow over the next five years.”

The Patrolmen have a long history helping Winnipeg’s youth. Since its inception in 1999, the team has raised more than $400,000 for a variety of different Manitoba-based charities, including the Dream Factory, Amadeus Steen Foundation, Children’s Hospital Foundation, Cops for Cancer, Special Olympics, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the North End Hockey Program, Mackenzie’s Hope, and more.

The Patrolmen hockey club is comprised of approximately two dozen Winnipeg police officers. The team regularly represents the WPS in numerous capacities, from facing off in games against NHL greats, attending international police hockey tournaments to community endeavors like the Jets Hockey Academy.