New foundation helps underprivileged kids play hockey
Despite the health and wellness benefits that come with participating in sports at a young age, many families simply can’t afford to have their children take part in costly activities.
To help more kids from the Greater Montreal area play hockey, a new foundation has been created to provide free equipment and cover various fees. Sports Rousseau – Groupe Gendron, one of the largest hockey retailers in Quebec, has partnered with Hockey Quebec to launch Le BUT Foundation.
Pierre Gendron, President of Sports Rousseau – Groupe Gendron, says he believes that every child should have the opportunity to play, no matter what their background or financial situation. “We are convinced that we will concretely help children to be able to practice their sport and to become responsible people,” he said during the Foundation’s launch on September 21, 2022.
Dramatic drop in hockey registration
Sports, and hockey in particular, play an important role in the lives of many Quebec families, but registration through the province has seen a dramatic decline. According to Hockey Quebec statistics, membership decreased by 28 per cent over the past seven years, and 13 per cent between 2019 and 2021. Adding to the already precarious situation has been the rising cost of league registration fees and equipment.
A former player with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the McGill Redmen, Gendron is now in a position to give back through his chain of stores and the non-profit foundation — ensuring children can enjoy sports, foster friendships, and learn life lessons.
How to participate
Those wishing to help can drop off used hockey gear in good condition in the boxes marked “Programme Le BUT” at a Sports Rousseau location. The gear will be sorted, cleaned, and distributed to local associations under the supervision of Hockey Quebec. Monetary donations received will go towards paying for registration fees, tournaments, development programs and other hockey-related costs.
The foundation will also be holding various fundraising activities. On October 29 and 30 in Mirabel, ball hockey teams will play for 21 consecutive hours from 4 p.m. on Saturday to noon on Sunday. There will be a DJ playing during the Saturday evening games and a celebrity game will take place at noon on Sunday.
Families who would like to apply for aid can do so through their local sports association or on the foundation website.
For more information, visit fondationlebut.com.
Currently, the Laval and Saint-Hubert Rousseau locations have a donation bin but you can also drop off your items at the Boisbriand, Charlemagne, and Pointe-Claire stores and they will deliver to their other stores.