Hockey Helpers Program Helps Canadian Youth Play HockeyMar 4th, 2012
MARKHAM, Ontario (September 4, 2012) – Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. is pleased to announce the launch of Hyundai Hockey Helpers, a new initiative designed to reinvest in communities across the country and improve the lives of deserving children by helping at least 1,000 under-resourced Canadian youth play hockey. In partnership with KidSport Canada, a not-for-profit organization that provides financial assistance to kids ages 18 and under, the program provides grants for registration fees and equipment costs in order to lower the financial barriers that prevent youth from participating in organized sports.
To help raise awareness, Hyundai Hockey Helpers is teaming up with program ambassadors who hold a personal connection to the cause. The Subban family, led by Karl Subban, father of Montreal Canadiens star, P.K. Subban, and recent first-round Boston Bruins draft pick, Malcolm Subban, are giving back to the next generation by helping kids get in the game.
“Hyundai Hockey Helpers is an extension of our brand’s commitment to improving the lives of our customers,” said Steve Kelleher, President and CEO Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. “At Hyundai, we believe every child should have the opportunity to experience the social, academic and developmental benefits of being enrolled in an organized sport like hockey. This program will not only provide under-resourced children with a chance to play hockey, but will help Canadian kids become healthier, more confident and resilient individuals. Having played the game growing up, I can say it had a strong impact on my own personal development and I envision a day when every child with an interest in hockey has the same opportunity I did.”
Unfortunately, many Canadian youth don’t have the chance. In fact, professional players like P.K. and Malcolm Subban struggled to play organized hockey growing up due to the high cost of registration and equipment fees. Karl worked multiple jobs and spent his nights taking his sons to practice their hockey skills at a public arena in downtown Toronto.
“We leaned on our community to live out our commitment to the game while raising our family, and we are so pleased to have the opportunity to give back and share our story,” said Karl Subban, who is also a middle school Principal in Toronto. “With a decline in at-school activities, there is a bigger need than ever to get more kids participating in organized sports. We’re spreading the message that better kids make better communities.”
P.K. Subban echoes his father’s sentiments. “I wish a program like Hyundai Hockey Helpers was around when we were young. It’s something we could have definitely benefited from. My father always taught us that sacrifice and practice make us better. Continued positive reinforcement has made my brothers and me the players we are today and we’re eager to pass on that message to those that may follow in our footsteps.”
In partnership with KidSport, Hyundai Hockey Helpers has already helped 1,000 kids remove financial barriers to play hockey.
“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,” said Dawn MacDonald, KidSport Partnership Lead and Ontario Executive Director. “We’re pleased to be working with Hyundai to execute our shared vision of creating opportunities for under-resourced kids.”
The program administration and grants for the first 1,000 recipients of Hyundai Hockey Helpers is the result of contributions by all 205 Hyundai dealers as well as Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. Further, 100% 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 dealers across the country will actively conduct fundraising programs to help more kids get in the game. Additionally, Hyundai Hockey Helpers ambassadors and vehicles will travel to more than 90 hockey arenas from coast-to-coast to collect donations, reach families, and get them involved at the grassroots level.
To learn more about Hyundai Hockey Helpers and how you can make a difference or apply for a grant, visit HyundaiHockey.ca.
KidSport was established in 1993 because of an identified need by leaders in the sport community. They witnessed too many children on the sidelines because of financial barriers. Since that time, KidSport is going strong throughout Canada with over 170 local community volunteer chapters in 11 provinces and territories.