Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

If you can't beat them...

null If your child clutches on to his worn hockey stick way past the end of the season and laces up his skates each winter in hopes of becoming the next Mario Lemieux, chances are that the conflicting feelings of pride and fear are not unfamiliar to you. There's nothing that compares to seeing your child do what he loves, but, unlike baseball or soccer, hockey carries an element of violence. Moments of many NHL games already bear a frighteningly close resemblance to a Pay-Per View boxing match, and the situation is not getting any better (one of the league's most notoriously fighting-prone teams just won the Stanley Cup). Seeing the audience cheer as their idols drop their gloves to engage in improvised rumbles certainly doesn't have a positive effect on our kids. A parent can only hope that his or her child will see past this idiocy and is able to concentrate on skating. Unfortunately, not all parents share in these sentiments. Instead, some are enrolling their kids in organized hockey fighting camps, led by Derek and Aaron Boogaard in Saskatchewan, Canada. Yes, you read that right. Apparently more than 30 12 to18-year-olds showed up to the one-day camp in June. For the bargain price of $40, teenagers received insider fighting tips, a fake blood-stained T-shirt and a video of Derek Boogaard's most brutal on-ice brawls. "We're out here to show kids how to look after themselves when they're on the ice," Derek Boogaard told the CanWest News Service last month (Boogaard is an enforcer with the Minnesota Wild). "We're showing them the little things that would help them out, rather than them learning the hard way and getting hurt." Sounds very convincing. But, as expected, his bizarre effort at marketing his specialty has been met with shock. "The big guy seems to have a gift for entrepreneurship, but he's going to have to work on his debate skills to sell this dubious venture to a sporting public weary of unchecked violence in its games," Rachel Blount of the Minnesota-based Star Tribune wrote yesterday. Boogaard apparently enjoys watching how much fun kids have in his instructional sessions on how to collect penalty minutes. "It's fun to see how excited they are and how pumped up the parents get," he said. Just who are these parents?
Share your thoughts
  1. * mandatory fields