NEWS RELEASE - September 3, 2021
The Florida Panthers' star forward announced today that he has teamed up with Quebec-based dek field hockey equipment company KNAPPER to promote the increasingly popular, but still relatively unknown, sport of dek field hockey.
Yesterday, the friendly forward met the media for a short demonstration at Dek St-Eustache, a 7-surface mega-complex dedicated entirely to dek field hockey. What is dek field hockey? It's a modern, organized version of street hockey/ball hockey/cosom field hockey.
Huberdeau has been playing dek field hockey every summer since his junior days, both to relax and to keep fit. "It's a great way for me to stay in shape, and even to develop certain skills and sharpen reflexes. It's field hockey, but you can't cheat and let yourself slide (like on ice) ... if you don't run, you don't move so it's good for cardio!"
Affordable and accessible, dek field hockey is a sport that has rapidly gained in popularity in recent years. Today, there are leagues all over Quebec, with several indoor centers offering year-round play. Some leagues have as many as 3,000 players, and there are categories for every level, from beginner to elite. Junior, women's and mixed leagues are active in almost all centers. Notably, over 30% of players are women.
"Dek field hockey is probably one of the most popular sports in the province today," says Knapper President Louis-Martin Beauséjour. "But it's still a bit 'underground'. In Quebec, there are over 75,000 regular players, and some of the (many) summer tournaments can attract over 2,000 players in a single weekend. The potential for growth remains remarkable, because the sport is inexpensive, easy to master and is, after all, our national sport!"
Equipment manufacturer Knapper is also growing fast. Present in over 200 retailers across Quebec, Knapper has rapidly become the benchmark for field hockey equipment. Knapper's many innovations have quickly attracted international attention, and the manufacturer is already well established in most markets where the sport is played (North America, Europe).
Knapper will be very present in the Quebec market this autumn with several new partnerships. The brand has become an official partner of the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation (ISBHF), the Canadian Ball Hockey Association (CBHA), the Ligue de field hockey M18AAA (formerly Midget AAA) du Québec, in addition to sponsoring the official pool of La Poche Bleue, the hit podcast hosted by Guillaume Latendresse and Maxim Lapierre.
"We want to be present wherever field hockey is talked about. We think dek can be a complement or an alternative to ice hockey, and Jonathan is the perfect spokesman for that." The Knapper president continues: "We see the relationship with ice hockey as complementary, not competitive. The aim anyway is for people of all ages to be active."