CALGARY, Alta. – The Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund and its all-star team of ambassadors are returning for a second season to give young Canadians and their families an assist with registration fees, and get them back in the game they love.
Olympic gold medallists Jarome Iginla and Marie-Philip Poulin, and Paralympic gold medallist Greg Westlake will lead the Hockey Canada Foundation lineup of supporters as the Assist Fund looks to surpass last year’s assist total of 1,032 Canadian kids, and distribute $1 million in funding during the 2021-22 hockey season.
“The tremendous response to the launch of the Assist Fund in 2020 demonstrated the real need families have for financial support to get their kids back to hockey. It also showed the desire of sponsors, hockey fans and members of the Canadian sport community to be a part of the solution,” said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “We know the need will be even greater this year, and with restrictions lifting across the country, the continued support we have from our many partners and the funding we have available, we can help even more young people get back in the game.”
The Assist Fund was created last year in response to the unique and challenging circumstances Canadians faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was brought to life through the ongoing commitment of the many partners of Hockey Canada and the Hockey Canada Foundation, such as BFL CANADA, BHE Canada, Chevrolet and Scotiabank, who gave assists through donations and awareness. Past sponsors are returning to lend their generous support in 2021, with Scotiabank contributing $350,000 specifically for BIPOC applicants and Chevrolet integrating the Assist Fund into its Good Deeds Cup program. The Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund is also welcoming new partners this year, including BDO, the Cannonball Sport & Education Fund and the Daryl K. Seaman Canadian Hockey Fund.
“The growing support for the Assist Fund from respected brands and experienced organizations is critical to us being able to help more Canadian kids take to the ice this year,” said Donna Iampieri, executive director of the Hockey Canada Foundation. “Our Foundation is committed to helping remove barriers of access to the game of hockey for Canadians, and through our partners and the many Canadians who donate to us, we are helping thousands of kids every year. We plan to make the 2021-22 hockey season our biggest success yet.”
The Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund has brought back three stars who know the positive impact of an assist on and off the ice.
- Jarome Iginla (St. Albert, Alta.) – A two-time Olympic gold medallist (2002, 2010) and IIHF World Junior Championship gold medallist (1997), Iginla - member of the Class of 2020 for the Hockey Hall of Fame – provided one of the most famous assists in Canadian hockey history, setting up Sidney Crosby’s Golden Goal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
- Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.) – The captain of Canada’s National Women’s Team since 2014, Poulin scored the game-winning goals in the gold medal game at the Olympic Winter Games in 2010 and 2014. She also owns a gold medal from the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
- Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) – One of the longest-serving members of Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, Westlake helped Canada to its only Paralympic Winter Games gold medal in 2006. The owner of the third-most assists in Team Canada history (181), he has also won three gold medals at the IPC World Para Hockey Championship (2008, 2013, 2017).
For more information about the Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund, or to apply or donate, visit HockeyCanada.ca/AssistFund.
About the Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund
The Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund allows Canadians who meet the criteria and need a financial assist to apply for up to $500 in registration fee reimbursements per player. Canadians can apply for the fund from August 1, 2021 to December 3, 2021 at HockeyCanada.ca/AssistFund. To enhance the impact and support for local communities, Canadians can also donate to the Assist Fund, with 100 per cent of all donated funds reaching young Canadians (the Hockey Canada Foundation will absorb all administration costs).