This morning, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation announced that they have made a $2 million donation to KidSport as a means of helping to grow the game of hockey here in Edmonton.
The Edmonton Oilers did something pretty awesome this morning with the announcement that they’re donating $2 million to KidSport. What is KidSport? KidSport subsidizes hockey registration fees for children from low-income families. According to the report, the average cost of registration fee in minor hockey across the region averages around $750 per season, which is obviously a big ask for many families and a major driver for raising these funds. This donation will fund KidSport’s Hockey Assist Program, which offers qualified kids in the region to have their full registration fees covered and access to no-cost equipment.
When asked about what this money means for their goals, Greg Ingalls, Executive Director at KidSport Alberta, explained just how far these dollars can go:
“It is important to recognize the leadership that the EOCF is demonstrating by investing back into the hockey community to grow the game of hockey in Oil Country. It is unfortunate that the game has become financially inaccessible to many families. This strategic partnership with KidSport will ensure that low income, Indigenous, and new Canadian kids are able to play. Our 25 local KidSport chapters are collaborating with local minor hockey associations to grow the game in their community. Our partners at Sport Central and Rosenau Transport are going to ensure that we are able to get hockey equipment to those kids who need it as well. The Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta is going to help us get more Indigenous kids playing and Hockey Alberta has played a huge role in connecting everyone in the hockey community. This project is truly a team effort to get more kids playing hockey in Oil Country.”
When asked about the donation, Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation Board Chair, Corey Smith, explained why this donation is so important for growing the game:
“Imagine hearing your friends at school talk about their hockey game over the weekend, knowing you will never have the chance to play in one. The reality is that hockey is expensive, and for many families, it just isn’t possible. That’s why we are excited to partner with KidSport to help alleviate the cost of playing hockey for kids from underrepresented groups. With this donation, we will ensure that Canada’s game is within reach for all kids across Oil Country.”
While there’s no doubt that there’s plenty of work left to do in terms of making hockey more accessible for everyone, I wanted to take a minute to give the team a shout out for trying to make a difference here locally. Here’s hoping that this money will give more kids a chance to play and enjoy the game we all love so much.