RED DEER – Alberta’s youngest hockey players are the focus for a new grant program developed through a partnership between Hockey Alberta and Pembina Pipeline Corporation.
Hockey Alberta has adopted the Initiation Program as the formal structure for players six years and under. A key component of the Initiation Program sees these budding young athletes skating on a smaller ice surface in order to develop the essential skills of hockey.
To alleviate some of the financial burden for Minor Hockey Associations utilizing the Initiation Program in the 2016-17 season, Hockey Alberta and Pembina Pipeline Corporation have established a grant program to purchase foam rink divider boards. The foam dividers provide a safe and effective way to split the ice for the participants.
“Practicing and playing on a smaller ice surface helps in skill development. More associations having access to divider boards increases the opportunity for these young players to touch the puck more often, and develop the essential basic skills such as skating, shooting and stickhandling,” said Justin Fesyk, Senior Manager, Hockey Development for Hockey Alberta.
The partnership is a natural one for Pembina’s community investment program, which focuses on initiatives that promote safety, health and community building. Pembina aims to create a culture of safety both within its business and in the communities where its employees live, work and play.
“In communities across the province, hockey is a way of life; and Pembina staff are often out on the ice with their families. This is why we have partnered with Hockey Alberta in support of rink dividers for minor hockey associations in our operating communities, as Pembina wants to ensure that kids across Alberta have fun, and stay safe while playing,” says Paul Murphy, Pembina’s Senior Vice President, Pipeline & Crude Oil Facilities.
The grants will be available in July, and Minor Hockey Associations who are looking to apply are encouraged to go to hockeyalberta.ca/players/initiation-program/ for more information.
About the Grant Program:
The grant is available to associations using the Initiation Guidelines in the 2016-17 season. Associations can apply for a full set of foam rink dividers (valued at approximately $3,000) or for funding towards the cost of a set of puck board rink dividers (valued at approximately $6,000).
To be eligible to apply, an MHA must:
- Be in good standing with Hockey Alberta;
- Operate within the Hockey Alberta Initiation Guidelines;
- Have a parent education strategy outlining the Hockey Alberta Initiation Guidelines;
- Have a Development Director on its executive to support the Initiation Program; and
- Have an Initiation Director on its executive to lead the Initiation Program.
- NOTE: Based on response to the grant program, preference may be given to areas with a Pembina field office location.
A committee will review all applications, and successful applicants will be contacted. Once an LMHA has been notified, the requested rink divider system will be ordered by Hockey Alberta, with each order shipped to the MHA upon completion.