Morris to host first Jets Town Takeover

The Winnipeg Jets are coming to Morris, Man., as part of the team's inaugural Jets Town Takeover event. (supplied photo)

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The town of Morris, Man., has been selected to play host to The Winnipeg Jets’ inaugural Jets Town Takeover Event on Tuesday, March 5, and the town is getting excited for the entire day of action.

“From a town perspective, we really appreciate it,” said Morris Mayor, Scott Crick. “It puts focus on the community of Morris and the great people in the community and volunteers who worked to get this event. It’s a great chance to highlight what a great community we have and what great people we have in it, and to me, that’s always positive.”

The Winnipeg Jets released a statement explaining the Jets Town Takeover’s initiative is to make Winnipeg Jets hockey and programming accessible to a community outside of the perimeter and while allowing the entire community to celebrate the great game of hockey together.

“I think it’s going to really cool for the kids,” said Morris School Principal, Mike Watson. “The organization is going to stay around (the school) for the day and then transition to the rink to do some on-ice work with the hockey academy and our high school team and then there is the game in the evening so it’s a real great opportunity for the kids to be exposed to the jets and the brand.”

The full day’s lineup of events plans to engage students at Morris School through classroom and on-ice activities before the entire town celebrates social-style at a viewing party hosted by the Winnipeg Jets own home game announcer Jay Richardson.

Students of all ages will participate in Project 11’s mental wellness activities which include yoga, interactive mindfulness exercises and speaker presentations from Craig Heisinger, Senior Vice President and Director, Hockey Operations/Assistant General Manager, and Suzi Friesen, Director of Educational Programs with the True North Youth Foundation. There will also be a pizza lunch put on by the Manitoba Moose Hockey Club.

“The message is amazing because there will be a couple of Project 11 speeches going on, which are very beneficial to the students, and the younger kids will do some yoga,” adds Watson. “They’ll then see the jets with a pizza party. It’s a great way for the organizations to come into the school and give a full jet experience.”

The Morris School Hockey Academy and Morris Mavericks High School hockey team will get a chance to live out a dream of skating with a couple of Winnipeg Jets as alumni Derek Meech and Mark Stuart will be out in the afternoon.

The entire town is then invited to the Morris MultiPlex for a viewing party where the Winnipeg Jets will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in an away game to be broadcast on a big screen. It’s expected to be a great evening as the team plans to bring their ‘home game atmosphere’ to the event complete with Mick E. Moose, the voice of the Winnipeg Jets, Jay Richardson, prizing courtesy of the Jets and Moose and Jet Dogs for purchase.

The Jets Town Takeover is encouraging people to bring gently used hockey equipment and/or skating aids to the event in hopes of donating it all to Morris Minor Hockey.

“I think that’s great,” adds Crick. “It’s a thing about hockey, that as the sport continues to develop it can become more and more inaccessible to families that don’t have the financial depth to help kids play. Anything that goes to help find a way to get more kids involved in playing hockey is great because, as we know, if someone is involved with sport it can set them up for life.”

About PROJECT 11

PROJECT 11 is an engaging cross-curricular prevention program targeting Manitoba’s English Language Arts and Physical Education/Health Education outcomes. Weekly lessons and daily activities have been designed to help support students and teachers in bringing mental health awareness, along with positive coping skills into their lives.

PROJECT 11 uses concepts such as practicing focusing the mind, increasing self-awareness of feelings and strengths, and building positive relationships. By concentrating on these areas, it is our goal for students to:
– Build a sense of their own team as a class
– Increase their ability to connect with one another
– Increase self-awareness of social, emotional and physical wellness
– Create a stage of empathy
– Enhance their academic performance

For more information visit www.projecteleven.ca.

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