Who will be the fifth club to receive the Kånken Youth Retention Award after Pilsen Wolves (2020), KAC Klagenfurt (2021), Junior Pelicans (2022) and Kárpáti Farkasok (2023)? The award comes with a cheque for €10 000.
The idea for this award came from Martin Nordin, the majority owner of the Fenix Outdoor group and Fjällräven. The purpose was to recognize clubs that put an emphasis on the social side of youth development, primarily on retaining young boys and girls in the ice hockey program but also on development.
“But even more important than developing good hockey players, it is to educate good people,” said Martin Nordin when the Kånken Youth Retention Award was introduced. “Ice hockey has unfortunately a history of outdated values and a culture which sometimes is difficult to get rid of. As a father and as a hockey fan, this award is my family’s contribution to making a difference.”
The official wording of the criteria for the award: To be awarded annually to an ice hockey youth program which emphasizes sustainability through social responsibility and high retention rates among its participants.
With the Kånken Youth Retention Award, the E.H.C. Alliance, Fjällräven and the Nordin family wish to contribute to growth within European youth hockey, to change attitudes among players and parents while at the same time focusing on retaining young players in their program. Our contribution of €10 000 is meant to be a reward and encouragement for a club that focuses on these values.
Kånken is the iconic rucksack produced by Fjällräven and it was Martin Nordin’s father Åke Nordin who produced the first Kånken rucksack in 1978 at home in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. In the first year, there were 400 Kånken rucksacks sold. Today, Kånken is the world’s most sold rucksack. The clubs that have won the Kånken Youth Retention Award so far:
(Click to see the tribute videos)
2020 Pilsen Wolves, CZE
2021 KAC Klagenfurt, AUT
2022 Junior Pelicans, FIN
2023 Kárpáti Farkasok, HUN
The 2024 Kånken Youth Retention Award application period starts on the 5th of February and runs to the 5th of April, the deadline for this year’s application period.
The winning club will be presented with the Kånken Youth Retention Award at the 2024 Fenix Outdoor European Hockey Awards in Prague on the 11th of June.
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