Hockey Leaders Join Forces to Help Kids Get Back on the Ice
NHLPA, NHL, Bauer Hockey & Hockey Canada launch Hockey Equipment Relief Program to help families most impacted by COVID-19
TORONTO, Ont. - The National Hockey League (NHL®), the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada today launched a Hockey Equipment Relief Program. As communities begin to re-open and kids look to re-engage in sports, this program will help families financially impacted by COVID-19 get their kids back on the ice.
“Children across the country are eager to hit the ice, but given our current environment, families will face many challenges to provide resources for their kids to continue to participate in the game they love,” said Rob Knesaurek, NHL group vice-president of youth hockey and industry growth fund. “We are extremely proud that the Hockey Equipment Relief Program will not only help offset some of these costs but will also continue to prioritize making our game more inclusive and diverse for everyone.”
The NHL, NHLPA, Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada combined resources to launch the Hockey Equipment Relief Program with an equipment donation initiative. This includes $2 million of hockey gear, with upwards of 7,000 sets to be distributed to families and communities most in need in the seven Canadian NHL cities (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal) and other regions across Canada. In the distribution of this equipment, particular attention will be provided to support minority communities.
“We’re proud to partner with the NHL, the NHLPA and Hockey Canada to help our game as regions begin to re-open,” said Mary-Kay Messier, VP of global marketing with Bauer Hockey. “The Hockey Equipment Relief Program is inspired by the realities that many hockey families are struggling financially. We know research shows that sports are critical for a child’s physical and mental health, and as a result we want to help struggling families get back on the ice without having to consider equipment costs.”
“As children look forward to returning to the ice with their friends, at the same time, many families are faced with the economic realities of COVID-19,” said Rob Zepp, NHLPA manager of special projects. “It’s with great pride that alongside our First Shift partners, we’ve created a Hockey Equipment Relief Program to offset some of these costs and allow hockey participants to continue to experience their passion for the sport during such uncertain times.”
“As Hockey Canada and its 13 Members continue to work towards a safe return to hockey, it is important for us to recognize the difficulty faced by many Canadian families during these uncertain times,” said Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer of Hockey Canada. “We are proud to partner with the NHL, NHLPA and Bauer Hockey on the Hockey Equipment Relief Program, and to assist with equipment distribution through our Members and local hockey associations from coast to coast to coast. We know this great initiative will allow a number of children and their families across the country to make an affordable return to hockey as soon as it is deemed safe.”
The equipment donation program will be administered through the seven Canadian NHL clubs, Hockey Canada and provincial governing bodies to determine distribution plans. An update on this equipment donation opportunity will be provided in August.
About Bauer Hockey
Bauer Hockey is the world’s most recognized designer, marketer and manufacturer of hockey equipment and is the No. 1 brand in hockey. Founded in Kitchener, Ontario, in 1927, Bauer Hockey developed the first skate with a blade attached to a boot, forever changing the game. Since then, Bauer Hockey has continued to develop the most sought-after products in the industry, including the widely successful SUPREME®, VAPOR® and NEXUS® lines of products.
About the NHL
The National Hockey League (NHL®), founded in 1917, consists of 31 Member Clubs and proudly welcomes its 32nd franchise, based in Seattle, for the 2021-22 season. Each team roster reflects the League’s international makeup with players from more than 20 countries represented, all vying for the most cherished and historic trophy in professional sports – the Stanley Cup®. Gary Bettman has served the NHL as Commissioner since February 1, 1993 and has guided the world’s top professional hockey league to more than $5 billion in annual revenues and partnerships with more than 40 blue chip corporate sponsors. Every year, the NHL entertains more than 670 million fans in-arena and through its partners on national television and radio; more than 151 million followers - league, team and player accounts combined - across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube; and more than 100 million fans online at NHL.com. The League broadcasts games in more than 160 countries and territories through its rightsholders including NBC/NBCSN and the NHL Network™ in the U.S., Sportsnet and TVA in Canada, Viasat in the Nordic Region, Yandex in Russia and CCTV and Tencent in China. The NHL reaches fans worldwide with games available online in every country including via its live and on-demand streaming service NHL.TV™. Having entered the esports world in 2018, the League hosts the NHL Gaming World Championship™ annually, drawing record digital streaming audiences during the 2019 campaign. Fans are engaged across the League’s digital assets on mobile devices via the free NHL® App; across nine social media platforms; on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio™; and on NHL.com, available in eight languages and featuring unprecedented access to player and team statistics as well as every regular-season and playoff game box score dating back to the League’s inception, powered by SAP. The NHL is committed to building healthy and vibrant communities through the sport of hockey by increasing youth participation and engagement; fostering positive family experiences; promoting inclusion, positive culture and leadership; and supporting sustainable community impact.
About the NHLPA
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), established in 1967, is a labour organization whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labour relations, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations, all in furtherance of its efforts to promote its members and the game of hockey. In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. Over the past 20 years, more than 80,000 deserving children in 34 countries have benefited from the players' donations of hockey equipment. NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $25 million to grassroots hockey programs, making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit www.nhlpa.com.
About Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada is the governing body for hockey in Canada and a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), with a membership through its 13 Member associations of over 750,000 players, coaches and officials. Hockey Canada is a not-for-profit organization that creates leading-edge hockey development programs for its members to deliver in communities across Canada; provides consistent rules and regulations and various other membership services from coast to coast to coast; manages numerous regional, national and international hockey championships and events; and leads the operation of all teams that represent Canada in international competition. Hockey Canada’s mission is to lead, develop and promote positive hockey experiences. For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook and Twitter.
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