It’s been more than seven and a half months since Fort McMurray was devastated by the massive wildfire that captured the world’s attention.
While some things have recovered, there are still plenty of areas and organizations that need help, including the local minor hockey association.
Some families lost homes and belongings (including sporting equipment), while hockey equipment stored in rinks was damaged by smoke, and there were questions at the start of the year if arenas would be ready to play in.
In order to get the city back on their feet and help out, Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta provided funds to the Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association (FMMHA).
Hockey Canada gave $10,000, plus the Hockey Canada Foundation assisted with $5,000. Meanwhile, Hockey Alberta’s Every Kid Every Community grant and player assistance gave $5,000, plus $1,500 was raised through several minor hockey associations across the province.
The $1,500 from Hockey Alberta was raised at the annual general meeting and came from minor hockey organizations in Caroline, Hinton, Lloydminster, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Edmonton and Calgary, as well as from two individuals – Jody Ginther and Betty Chmilar.
According to the Hockey Alberta press release, “all funds will go directly towards support the players, families and coaches who were impacted by the devastating forest fires.”
There are several areas of focus: coach development, player development programming, plus plans to grow the game by increasing registration for the 2017-18 season, along with equipment and registration fee aid.
Focusing on coaching can go a long way to improving players in the regions, while player development funds go to camps and programs geared to improving on and off-ice skills.
According to the FMMHA, registration is only slightly down from last season at three per cent less, but it’s remarkable that number isn’t lower due to the effects of the fire, or the poor economy in the province.
It may take some time to get back to normal, but this is a big help for the hockey community in Fort McMurray.Back to Top
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