In an inspiring show of community support and dedication to youth hockey, 25 children between the ages of 6 and 10 received free hockey equipment and a portion of their registration fees for the upcoming season. This incredible opportunity was made possible through the Dreams Come True program, a flagship event of the Hockey Canada Foundation. Scott Furman, Vice President of Growth and Retention for Hockey Canada, and Travis Foster, President of Portage Minor League Hockey, expressed their excitement and gratitude for this special initiative.
The Dreams Come True event, held alongside the highly anticipated Centennial Cup, aimed to provide children with the chance to participate in the sport they love. The Hockey Canada Foundation, in collaboration with Hockey Canada and Bauer, generously provided brand-new Bauer hockey equipment to these young athletes, all the way from their skates to their helmets. Additionally, the program covered $450 of each child's registration fees, alleviating a significant financial burden for their families.
Scott Furman, who has personally participated in several Dreams Come True events, emphasized the importance of partnering with local communities to offer opportunities to children who may otherwise be unable to access the game.
“Working with the local community is what it’s all about,” Furman says, “providing an opportunity for families that maybe wouldn't have the ability to have their kids access the game or to continue playing the game. We're here to help them achieve that goal, to create some new hockey players or to keep kids playing hockey in a safe, welcoming space. I know the foundation in Hockey Canada is about making sure that everyone, no matter where you're from or who you are, or what you look like, you have a safe, welcoming place in the game and so, we're here to provide that today.”
Travis Foster, President of Portage Minor League Hockey, expressed his gratitude to Hockey Canada and Bauer for their support. He acknowledged the financial challenges that many families face when enrolling their children in hockey and commended the Dreams Come True program for breaking down these barriers.
“That's one of the things that we as an association want to try to overcome.” Foster notes, “Hockey is an expensive sport and sometimes that is a barrier for some families to sign their kids up for hockey. And this is just one way of hopefully breaking that barrier and getting more kids involved.”
Hockey is often seen as an expensive sport due to the costs associated with equipment and registration fees. Recognizing this obstacle, Portage Minor League Hockey and Hockey Canada have joined hands to address the financial constraints faced by families. By removing these barriers, they hope to encourage greater involvement and provide a pathway for aspiring young athletes to develop their skills and passion for hockey.
The collaboration between Hockey Canada and Portage Minor League Hockey showcases the power of community partnerships in nurturing the next generation of hockey players. By leveraging the excitement surrounding the Centennial Cup, the event aims to inspire young athletes, foster a love for the game, and strengthen the bond between the junior hockey club and the community.
The provision of free hockey equipment and coverage of registration fees through the Dreams Come True program represents a significant stride toward creating a more inclusive and accessible hockey community. By investing in the future of young athletes, Hockey Canada and Portage Minor League Hockey ensure that hockey remains a sport where every child, regardless of their background, has an opportunity to pursue their dreams on the ice.