Seaside Hockey Helps Visible Minorities Play the Game

Seaside Hockey is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for youth in the Greater Toronto Area to receive quality instruction, professional coaching, and gain skills in a hockey-based mentorship program.

The vision is to aid visible minority youths in Toronto area communities to play hockey by removing financial barriers. It is also a safe inclusive environment for youths with their families to enjoy hockey while delivering quality instruction.

Seaside got their name from the Africville Sea-sides, who played in The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes (CHL). This league was an all-Black men’s league founded in 1895 by Black Baptists and Black intellectuals in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The current founders wanted to use Seaside as a tribute to the Colored Hockey League in Nova Scotia.

The league was intended to attract young Black men to Sunday worship with the intention of a hockey game between rival churches after the services.

It was also former to teach teamwork and sportsmanship in an atmosphere of fun and positive reinforcement.

Kirk Brooks, one of the founders of Seaside Hockey, explains more about the organization

“Seaside Hockey was started three years ago, and the main mission was to make hockey more affordable,” Brooks said. “Also, we wanted to introduce hockey to new Canadians, new individuals, our motto is new to the game and new to the sport.”

Brooks says Seaside Hockey, which has sponsors like the Black Hockey Federation, Scotiabank,  407ETR and the GTHL, stresses the fundamentals to new players, especially skating.

“When a child enters the program, we ask them ‘Do you want to skate,’ ” Brooks said. “Once they learn to skate, we add hockey equipment like a stick, then quickly as possible we have them doing power skating drills, stick handling drills, puck handling drills, but were big believers on development.”

Playing minor hockey can have a fun experience and players often make new friendships along the way. It is also very much a family sport.

“I’m from Canada, I played hockey since I was about 13 years old,” Brooks said. “I played in a league for a bit, my son Nathaniel is a developmental coach for the Arizona Coyotes, my daughter Nyla is a skating instructor, my son Xavier still plays hockey, those are some of the reasons why I played the game because I am a hockey dude through and through.”

A few NHLers have worked with Brooks before such as Wayne Simmonds, Devante Smith-Pelly, Trevor Daley, and the Subban family.

To join Seaside Hockey, you can visit and fill out the preregister form.

The post Seaside Hockey Helps Visible Minorities Play the Game appeared first on Elite Level Hockey.