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Eston Recreation is proud to partner with Bauer and Canadian Tire to bring you "The First Shift". This program is designed for children ages 6-10 who have never tried hockey before. Children who turn 5 years of age before July 1 will be eligible to participate in the Canadian Tire First Shift program in the same calendar year. 

For $199, each player receives 6 on ice sessions PLUS head to toe new hockey equipment. For full program information, please visit www.firstshift.ca 


Enrol now here.


Frequently Asked Questions 



How is The First Shift different from other learn- to-play programs?

The First Shift is a program designed to ease kids and their families into the sport of hockey in a fun and friendly environment.   We begin with a Welcome Event offering information and activities to help build kids’ confidence and make them, and their parents, more comfortable in the hockey environment.  There are 6 sessions - one per week on the same day, at the same time to make it convenient for parents to schedule.  The focus of the on ice sessions is fun, teaching kids basic skating and fundamental hockey skills through play.

What is a Welcome Event?

The First Shift kicks off with a Welcome Event which is our opportunity to welcome you into our hockey community.  We will introduce kids and parents to local program administrators, and coaches, provide an overview of the 6 week program, and offer important information about proper fit and maintenance of equipment, as well as demonstrate “how to get dressed”.  After the 30 minute information session, each child is individually fitted for the equipment he/she will collect and take home- ready to start the first session!

If my child is older, will he/she skate with the younger kids?

All skaters are on the ice together at one time.  However, the instructor/skater ratio of 1:4 ensures participants will be divided into small groups according to age and skating experience level.

How many kids will be on the ice at one time?

The First Shift program is limited to 45 skaters.

What is the ratio of instructors to skaters?

The ratio of instructors to skaters is 1:4 which allows instructors to create smaller groups within each session, and provide maximum individual attention.

What will my child learn over the course of the 6 week program?

Your son or daughter will have fun!  In addition, participants will move at their own pace, through fundamental skating and hockey skills.  The program runs 6 sessions, which allows kids time to build confidence and improve in order to experience a sense of achievement.

What kind of follow-on programs will be available for my child after The First Shift ends?

Our goal is to create a path forward for each child that participates in The First Shift, with programming that continues to be accessible, affordable and fun.  Your local minor hockey association will be offering a transition program with similar program parameters in terms of the length of the program, consistent timing of sessions, and cost.  Information on the transition program will be available over the course of The First Shift program.  We believe hockey is a wonderful sport to be enjoyed at the recreational level, for life, and we hope The First Shift is the first step in that direction.


Who is eligible to enroll?

The First Shift is open to boys and girls ages 6-10, who have not previously registered for hockey.

Does my child need any equipment to enroll?

You child does not need any equipment to enroll.  Each participant will be expertly fit at our Welcome Event, and will take home all the equipment ready to start The First Shift program.

How do I find out if there is a program available in my area?

To find out if there is a program available in your area, visit thefirstshift.ca and click on the program locator.   If there is a program in your area you will be directed to contact your local minor hockey association to begin the registration process. 

At Bauer, we are committed to introducing new families into the sport of hockey over multiple years, which includes, assisting minor hockey associations across Canada in delivering The First Shift program.  Therefore, if there is not a program in your area today, you will be directed to the appropriate branch as we encourage you to call and inform them of your interest and inquire about future programs.

How do I enroll my child?

To enroll your child, visit thefirstshift.ca and click on the program locator to see if there is a program in your area.  If so, you will be directed to your local minor hockey association to begin the registration process.

Can I enroll more than one child in the program?

The First Shift program is offered on a first come, first serve basis.  However, we understand the logistical challenge parents face juggling kids activities.  Therefore, we do try to accommodate siblings for the program as long as your son (s)/daughter (s) are between the ages of 6-10, and have never previously registered to play hockey.

What does the $199 registration fee cover?

The $199 registration fee covers the 6 week program, as well as head-to-toe hockey equipment. 


When do we get the equipment for our child?

You will receive an invitation from your local minor hockey association for The First Shift Welcome Event, generally 1-2 weeks prior to your child’s first on ice session.  At the Welcome Event your child will be expertly fit, and will bring home all the equipment required to play hockey.

How do I know my child is getting the proper equipment he/she needs to play safely?

At The First Shift Welcome event we provide important information on proper fit and maintenance of equipment, including a demonstration on “how to get dressed”.  Following the information session your child will be expertly fit for each piece of equipment to ensure the proper fit.  Once your child has been fit head-to-toe, he/she will take all the equipment home in preparation for The First Shift on-ice session.

Do we get to keep the equipment after the program is complete?

Yes. Once you complete the First Shift program you keep the equipment. 


What is included in the equipment my child receives?

Head to toe Bauer gear including:

  • Helmet Combo including Facemask
  • Shoulder & Elbow Pads
  • Jock/Jill Shorts
  • -eck Guard
  • Jersey, Pants, Socks
  • Shin Guards
  • Jock/Jill Under Protective Shorts (for boys & girls)
  • Gloves, Stick & Skates  


Communication & Resources

Will I receive any updates on what the kids are learning over the course of the 6 weeks?

 Yes.  Your local minor hockey association will send out a weekly newsletter with information on the program objectives for the session, what your child learned, along with highlights and maybe a few photographs capturing your kids in action.


Who do I contact if I have a question, or need help?

Please contact Eston Recreation Director Chris Keleher at -306-962-4444 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,