Dozens of Grade 4 children snapped selfies with Calgary Flames mascot Harvey the Hound and slapped high fives with him. Many others grabbed a new hockey stick and played an informal floor hockey game with former Flames star Jeff Shantz.
Chevron Canada and the Flames Foundation recently provided a full set of floor hockey equipment to Westmount Elementary School in Strathmore, east of Calgary, as part of the Flames@School program. The two organizations formed the partnership in 2014 to promote wellness and encourage kids to form healthy habits.
An excited Lane Mordy, a Grade 4 student at Strathmore’s Westmount School, gets Harvey the Hound’s autograph when the Calgary Flames Foundation donated a full set of floor hockey equipment to the school.
Through the partnership, the Flames and Chevron aim to make Calgary the healthiest city in North America.
“I’m very grateful for the equipment because now, particularly in this year’s budget cycle, public education is struggling to find dollars for the extras that we know are good for the kids,” said Westmount School Principal Wayne Funk.
“Teachers are very over-worked, and things like this slide sometimes, so I’m very proud that they found the time to make the application.”
Healthy Role Models
Through the Flames@School program, teachers and parents can download health-based content, like photos of players displaying proper stretching techniques. Participation in the program allows teachers to enter contests to win floor hockey equipment, for example, and have it delivered to their school courtesy of Flames alumni, said Calgary Flames Foundation for Life Executive Director Candice Goudie.
“Having role models such as Calgary Flames players inspires children,” Goudie said. “And when their real-life heroes take the time to, for example deliver hockey equipment to them, children feel that much more special.”
Said Chevron Canada Social Performance Team Lead Lorelei Piotto: “This program is a wonderful way to get children to be active and develop healthy habits. Healthy children become healthy adults and build healthy communities.”
But for the children in Ms. Cheek’s Grade 4C class at Westmount School, having the chance to mug with Harvey the Hound may have a lasting effect, Funk said.
“The kids were so excited to be snapping pictures and slapping high fives with Harvey,” Funk said. “Kids remember those kinds of days for a long time. Those are the things that strike a chord with kids.