When the NHL announced its return to Manitoba after a 17-year absence, some of the loudest cheers came from our amateur athletes who were not even born when the original Winnipeg Jets last played. Manitoba Lotteries Flight Deck now offers these athletes a chance to see their new Winnipeg Jets play live.
“Manitoba Lotteries Flight Deck is one of our ways to support active youth and amateur sports in the province,” said Winston Hodgins, President and CEO of Manitoba Lotteries. “We are a long-time supporter of athletics in Manitoba and along with our valued partner True North, we are excited to motivate our youth and celebrate coaching excellence.”
It was amateur sport that inspired Manitoba Lotteries, in partnership with the Winnipeg Jets, to conceive of Manitoba Lotteries Flight Deck – a program that each year will offer nearly 1,000 amateur athletes and their coaches a chance to experience a Winnipeg Jets home game.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Manitoba Lotteries on this innovative program,” says Jim Ludlow, President & Chief Executive Officer, True North Sports & Entertainment Ltd. “We know that seeing their Winnipeg Jets live is important to these young athletes and that Manitoba Lotteries Flight Deck is the perfect complement to our organization.”
The Flight Deck program is open to athletes ages eight to seventeen, as well as their coaches who must be at least 18 years of age and have successfully completed Sport Manitoba’s “Respect In Sport” program. Sport Manitoba is a supporting partner of Manitoba Lotteries Flight Deck and has been essential in implementing successful sport programs and fair sport practices in the province.
Manitoba Lotteries is pleased to offer the Flight Deck program to all amateur sports teams whose participants meet the program’s guidelines. Coaches can enter their team for the Flight Deck online at manitobalotteries.com for a chance to be randomly selected to attend a Winnipeg Jets home game.
“The chance to experience the new Jets’ first win is still sinking in for all of us,” says Scott Pedlow, coach of the MNP Atom Devils from Brandon who attended the Jets’ October 17 game. “The moments we experienced will be memories for life!”
Another lucky group of young athletes who attended the Jets’ first regular season win were already experts at cheering in unison and were thrilled to be at the game.
“The Jets were amazing and the girls and I were extremely excited to be there for our first season win,” said Michelle Wehrle, coach of the Westdale Wildcats Cheerleading Team. “We could not have had a better experience. Everything was run flawlessly!”
The Flight Deck program is divided into four “flights” for the Winnipeg Jets season. Coaches must submit a new application for each flight if they have not previously been selected and may only be selected once per NHL season. Deadline for team entries in the fourth flight is February 8, 2012.
Manitoba Lotteries has a long history of supporting Manitoba sports and is committed to helping community organizations through event sponsorships, fundraising support and volunteerism. For more information on Manitoba Lotteries Flight Deck, go to manitobalotteries.com.