'A really interesting experience': Hundreds of new Canadians attend their first hockey game in Winnipeg
Hundreds of newcomers got to witness a favourite Canadian pastime on Saturday.
Svitlana Korchadova arrived from Ukraine with her family in July to escape the Russian conflict.
The transition to Canadian culture has not always been an easy one for her.
"Sometimes it is really hard," said Korchadova. "It was really hard, but we take so many help."
On Saturday, Korchadova and her 6-year-old son took part in a Canadian milestone -- going to their first hockey game.
The mom and son attended the Manitoba Moose game thanks to their scouts group called Plast.
The Ukrainian-focused youth organization brought around 120 people to the game, about half of them recent Ukrainian immigrants.
"So we wanted to give them a real Canadian experience, a family experience, so the scouts and their families can come together and experience their first hockey game," explained Monica Sim, a youth coordinator with Plast Winnipeg.
In preparation for the game and to build excitement, the new Canadians were told about the rules of the game and were taught chants like "go moose go."
"We have signs going on. A lot of us are dressed in our scout uniforms to show comradery. We are really looking forward to cheering on the moose together," said Sim.
The Plast group was just a few of the recent immigrants who attended the game.
The Manitoba Moose said more than 1,000 newcomers attended Saturday's match-up, an initiative they hope builds community and creates passionate new fans.
"We are really excited to welcome them and introduce them to the sport," said Raquel Payne, a marketing manager with the team. 'We really hope this is something they can use throughout the rest of the time here, whether it's making connections with other newcomers or fans."
A memory that will stick with them for a long time to come.
"It's a really interesting experience. We haven't ever been to a game like this live," said Korchadova.