Funding available to help kids play hockey
Hockey can play a vital role in a child’s development, yet the soaring league and equipment costs are keeping many Canadian youth off the ice. In fact, the financial strain put on families is cited as the number one deterrent by hockey parents in a new survey conducted for Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.
The survey also found that nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of Canadian parents surveyed who have children that play hockey pay $1,000 or more each year for each child to play organized youth hockey, citing high league fees (39 per cent), equipment (23 per cent), and out-of-town travel (28 per cent) as the game’s highest individual cost elements.
Hyundai Auto Canada decided to do something about the escalating cost by launching Hyundai Hockey Helpers in 2012 with a partnership with KidSport Canada, a not-for-profit organization that provides financial assistance to help deserving families pay for registration fees and equipment. Last year, the program provided grants to 1,879 kids so they could participate in the 2012/2013 season.
Hyundai Auto Canada commissioned a survey of 1,006 hockey parents. Ninety-five per cent agree that enrolling their kids in the sport requires a significant financial contribution. Indeed, 79 per cent say the family has to make sacrifices, with 53 per cent citing fewer vacations, 44 per cent attending fewer social events or family gatherings and 42 per cent saying the family has to give up participation in other activities such as different sports or music lessons.
In its inaugural year, Hyundai Hockey Helpers helped the families of more than 1,800 kids remove financial barriers to play hockey. In its second year, the program will help even more children, providing them with the opportunity to play Canada’s national sport.
“At KidSport, we believe that no kid should be left on the sidelines and all should be given the opportunity to experience the positive benefits of organized sports,” says Jamie Ferguson, Chair of KidSport. “We are very fortunate to have such passionate supporters as Hyundai and the Subbans to again help us achieve our shared objective of creating opportunities for under-resourced kids.”
The program administration and the financial grants for the first 1,000 recipients of Hyundai Hockey Helpers is the result of contributions by all of the 210 Hyundai dealers across Canada, as well as Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. Furthermore, 100 per cent of every additional dollar donated by the public toward the program goes directly to KidSport to help one more kid get in the game. October also marks Hyundai Hockey Helpers Month in Canada where participating Hyundai dealers across the country actively conduct fundraising programs to help more kids in their region get in the game.
To learn more about Hyundai Hockey Helpers and how you can make a difference or apply for a grant, visit HyundaiHockey.ca.
Locally people should apply as soon as possible to Veldron Vogan at Rainy River’s Town Office (852-3978) or Rebecca Tolen at Rainy River High School (852-3284).