New Toronto Hockey Camp For Fetuses Attracts Hundreds of Expectant Mothers
A hockey camp for pregnant women, or more specifically for the children that they're carrying, has opened in Toronto. Enrollment levels at the new Toronto District Pre-Natal Hockey School have exceeded expectations, according to the camp's organizer and chief instructor, Carlos O'Heffernan.
"People want to make sure their children get every opportunity possible. I think that's why we have so many students enrolled," said O'Heffernan, a self-described hockey expert and former Junior 'D' centerman who once recorded a hat trick in a Cobourg beer league game 11 years ago. "We have couples who haven't even conceived yet who are putting down deposits to get on the waiting list. With all of the money in the pro game, can you blame them?"
At his Pre-Natal hockey school, O'Heffernan puts the unborn children through all of the paces.
"Just because they're not born yet, that doesn't mean we baby them. Hockey's a hard, gruelling game. The sooner they learn that, the better off they'll be in the long run."
| "But look at someone like Sidney Crosby-he started skating when he was three-way too late. That's three lost years!
|O'Heffernan spitting out reasons why it's necessary to start them off young.
Drills at the school include motivational yelling at the mothers' stomachs, in-class instructional sessions on modern defensive systems, as well as tutorials on effective forechecking techniques in the ultrasound room.
"The modern game is so complicated, it's imperative that we teach them as soon as possible. If you wait to educate them on the complexities of the left-wing lock after they've been born, they won't be able to grasp all of it, even when they're 18.
"Yes, the kids aren't wearing skates yet, and we can't really get them out on the ice, but we can put them through some...dry land training...as such, get them ready, so when they pop out, they'll be ready to be driven straight to the rink to begin their skating drills."
Some whiny, visor-wearing Euro-lovers have raised concerns about whether fetuses are ready for the rigours of an eight-week long hockey camp. "This whole hockey camp for yet-to-be-born children is well, uhm, absolutely ridiculous," said Ivan Goodcanadianboy, President of Hockey Canada and the overlord of minor hockey in Canada. "Studies have shown that children should not be skating until they are at least three months old. These fetuses don't have the muscular development to be doing two-a-day workouts, I don't care what anyone tells you."
|"Get the hell up!" yells a youth hockey coach to a latecomer to the sport.
O'Heffernan bristled at the suggestion that his students aren't physically mature enough for hockey camp. "Hey, we're not crazy here-you have to be in your second trimester. They can't learn anything if it's any sooner than that.
"But look at someone like Sidney Crosby-he started skating when he was three-way too late. That's three lost years! These days, you gotta start them out before they get out. You're foolish if you don't! Otherwise, they won't be fully prepared and conditioned for the rigours of the 75-game schedule of house league PeeWee hockey," added O'Heffernan, who indicated that he plans to expand his business to Smiths Falls.
Parents attending O'Heffernan's school that our reporter pestered in the parking lot explained their motivations. "Isn't little baby gonna grow up to score 50 goals and build mommy and daddy a nice cottage in the Muskokas? Isn't he? Isn't he?" asked Henry Jacobsen, an investment banker from Markham whose wife is pregnant with their first child. "This is way more useful than those stupid lamaze classes."
Jane Garnerson, 25, wasn't quite so enthusiastic as she walked out of class. "Personally, I think this is quite...silly," admitted Garnerson. "But my boyfriend was quite adamant that I do this. Oh well...as long as he...or she, is having fun, I guess."
Nigel and Yolanda Bicklethwaite of Etobicoke said that they enrolled at the O'Heffernan Pre-Natal hockey school out of a desire for their forthcoming baby boy to experience life to its fullest.
"We want our little baby to enjoy every opportunity we never did," explained Nigel, a postal clerk who was "this close" to making his Bantam 'B' rep team when he was 15. "And if that kid doesn't make it to the NHL, he's out of the fucking will."
Posted on August 9th, 2005