Hopedale community leaders wear National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) jerseys in celebration of a large donation of hockey equipment for the town's youth. From left are RCMP Cpl. Jonathan Kenny, recreation director Boase Mitsuk, Ashley Abel, child youth networking co-ordinator, town councillor Darlene Nochasak, Mayor Wayne Piercy, Al Vincent, Rod Beattie and fire chief Martin Basto with his daughter and Community Const. Jacqueline Dicker. — RCMP photo
RCMP in Hopedale will be receiving a donation of 34 sets of new hockey equipment, courtesy of the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) Goals and Dreams Fund.
The donation is to help youth in Hopedale participate in organized hockey events.
According to the RCMP, this past winter Cpl. Jonathan Kenny noted that numerous youth in the area lacked the required equipment to participate in Hockey or skating in general. He submitted an application on behalf of the Hopedale Youth to the NHLPA Goals and Dreams Fund. After the application was brought before a selection committee, Kenny received word that the community of Hopedale had been selected to receive the donation with an approximate value of $20,000.
“This tremendous gift from the NHLPA will be utilized to kick start a hockey program in Hopedale to allow Hopedale Youth to participate in organized hockey in the area,” the RCMP said in a news release.
In 2006, RCMP members and Hopedale residents started the Hopedale Arena Committee with a goal was to construct an arena in Hopedale. Through many volunteer hours and hard work, the group was able to accomplish that goal.
Each year RCMP members and Hopedale residents provide countless volunteer hours to construct, clean, and maintain the outdoor arena, often in frigid temperatures.
The RCMP says the arena is a focal point for the youth throughout the winter. Studies have shown that physical exercise helps increase self-esteem, leadership capacity, a sense of community and pride. It is also believed that young people who participate in sports and recreation programs are less likely to become involved in delinquent activities.
Devin Smith, chairman of the Goals and Dreams Fund, said over the last 12 years, NHL players have donated more then $20 million to fund and assist community hockey programs around the world. “We've sent equipment everywhere from Australia to South Africa, Europe, Malaysia, and North America. The biggest obstacle in participating in hockey is the cost of equipment. Our goal is to bridge that gap for less fortunate children," Smith said.
In 1999 The National Hockey League Player's Association launched the Goals and Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. The program has donated full sets of hockey equipment that has benefitted more then 60,000 economically challenged children in 25 countries and assisted with upgrades and the building of hundreds of arenas worldwide.
More information on the NHLPA can be found online at www.nhlpa.com.