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Montreal Families

Contest aims to make hockey inclusive

Chevrolet is kicking off the 6th season of its Good Deeds Cup for minor hockey teams across Canada. The initiative in partnership with Hockey Canada is centered around giving back to community and inspiring hockey lovers on and off the ice. In previous years, winners have raised funds for community rebuilding after a tornado, as well as helped to keep a local shelter open during the holidays.

Shifting focus this year

This year, the initiative is shifting focus to a very specific goal: to make hockey more inclusive, a cause Caroline Ouellette says is near to her heart.

The Team Canada alumni and four-time Olympic gold medalist has been an ambassador for Chevrolet Good Deeds for the past six years. Ouellete says the shift change is at the “forefront of what needs to happen to make hockey accessible to more kids regardless of race, gender and ability.”

Despite hockey being Canada’s pastime, only a select few participate. According to the Institute of Canadian citizenship, more than 70 per cent of newcomers to Canada express an interest in playing hockey, but only one per cent will get an opportunity to play. And a January report indicated that for every one girl in hockey, there are five boys. In addition to barriers that might stem from race or gender, lack of access can also be a result of the high cost of hockey equipment or the need to have equipment specially adapted for disabled players. These are all issues that Ouellette says she hopes young hockey players will be inspired to change.

Prizes up for grabs

To be eligible to participate, minor league hockey teams (U11, U13, or U15) must be registered with Hockey Canada. The team must decide on a good deed that will make a  change in their community. That might be getting more girls involved in hockey, or helping more disabled players to get access to adapted equipment. The team must record a 30-60 second video of the good deed in action and then submit it to Hockey Canada. Once the video is approved, the video can be entered into the competition.

Entries submitted before Jan. 6, 2022 will be eligible for the “early bird” grand prize of being featured on a Hockey Night In Canada broadcast. There will also be other prizes up for grabs for early entries.

The grand prize team will receive prize packs valued at $200 per player as well as $100,000 to be donated to the team’s charity of choice. Twelve regional finalists will also be selected and awarded $2,000 for their charity of choice. The deadline for entry is Feb. 6, 2022.

Ouellette said she hopes that players will continue to feel inspired to make impactful and long-lasting changes. She also hopes to see hockey evolve into a more inclusive sport where every player can feel empowered to play.

For more information and full contest rules, click here.

 

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