The Cost to Get in the Game
While overall number of youth joining hockey continues to grow in Canada and the US, participation amongst children from lower income is drastically decreasing.
The high costs of equipment and cost of registration is leaving many kids behind.
Enrollment fees and equipment costs, according to recent reporting done by CIBC and Kidsport, have been seen as the two major barriers to children participating in sports. Parents surveyed believe that sports are becoming too expensive and many say they know children unable to partake in organized sports due to high costs.
Over the past two decades, in particular, hockey has become more and more expensive. On top of enrollment and equipment costs, hockey has seen increase in other various expenses associated with playing the game. The costs of purchasing ice time has more than tripled, the cost of recreational fees for elite teams continue to rise, and the cost of playing house-level hockey has tripled along with it.
According to Joseph Kolodziej of ZealHockey;
Back in 1994 I had all of my equipment stolen out of my car. Top of the line pro model equipment and a half-dozen sticks. When I went to replace all of my gear and sticks I spent less than $600 total. Today you might be able to buy some middle of the road skates for $600 if you find them on sale. If you had to do a full equipment replacement with sticks you will likely spend upwards of $3000. That’s a 500% increase.
On top of that, the cost of travel hockey has more than doubled, with some AAA teams charging from $12,000 – $25,000 dollars for one season.
Playing hockey can be an extremely costly endeavour for parents and teams, and many struggle each year to make it work.
HockeyShot’s & FlipGive’s 2018 Youth Hockey Grant Campaign
With players, teams, and parents in mind, HockeyShot and FlipGive have been teaming up over the past two seasons to help ensure that the next generation of hockey players are being given the opportunity to play the game that we all love so much.
The GET IN THE GAME Hockey Grant extends $5,000 in funding and each year is awarded as two TEAM Grants of $1000 each and six INDIVIDUAL Grants of $500 each. The grants provides under resourced players and teams with the financial support to cover hockey equipment, ice times, uniforms, tournament expenses, and registration fees.
“This new Hockey Grant is an extension of our business’ commitment to supporting youth athletes,” says CEO, Mark Bachman of FlipGive. “With hockey ranked as one of the most expensive sports to play, this grant will help provide much needed support for a group of under-resourced children. Sport has the ability to transform and develop youth beyond the game itself. Participating should be driven by ability to play, not pay and we’re thrilled that FlipGive and HockeyShot.com are helping get more hockey players into the game.”
“Hockey shaped who I am” says J-P Brun President & Co-Founder at HockeyShot.com “The team experience fostered the importance of building trust, responsibility and sportsmanship – important lessons I’ve carried into my career.” He adds, “It’s important to me that we broaden the exposure of this great sport, and these life lessons to those who might not otherwise have a chance to play. We’re pleased to reinvest in communities across North America to help under-resourced youth play hockey”
So far, The GET IN THE GAME Hockey Grant has seen a total of $11,000 donated to players and teams.
2017 Team Grant Recipients
The Fulton Squirts are a completely volunteer-run organization. Parents handle everything hockey-related; managing the canteen, cleaning the rink, and even working the Zamboni! Hockey has brought the community of community closer together, with players uniting under the tutelage of many dedicated coaches and volunteers.
The GET IN THE GAME hockey grant allowed this team to make sure that every player was able to travel and get to their tournaments last season. The Squirts used their grant to help pay for practice time and travel to tournaments outside their city.
The Badgers high school team fields a group of players that have been playing together since third grade. The girl’s hockey program have faced many challenge during their time playing together, especially the 2016 season, when their school was considering removing the girls hockey program.
With some help from the GET IN THE GAME hockey grant last season, the girls are continuing to make positive strides to ensure that their program is around for many more years to come, and that every girl wanting to play hockey has the opportunity.
The Bishop Falls Express is a team that has turned to hockey for refuge during difficult times.
Recently, the team suffered the tragic loss of one of their players in a fatal ATV accident. The team wore their hockey jerseys to the funeral and performed a hockey honour guard when their friend was being taken to rest. “These are the strongest bunch of boys I know”, says Bantam Falls Minor Hockey Executive Kerry Lynn Green. “I am proud to say these boys are part of our association.”
Hockey is something that has united this bantam hockey team.
The team rallied together to host a fundraiser to raise money so they could make #8 jerseys dawning the name “Penny,’ to remember their lost teammate and friend. With the $1000 GET IN THE GAME grant, the team has been able to reach their goal and pay tribute to their friend, each time they take the ice.
“This means so much to this team, said Greene, “but more than that, it means so much to a family that has been through so much in the last few months.”
HockeyShot and FlipGive are incredibly honoured to be able to help this unbelievable group of boys pay tribute to their teammate.
2017 Player Grants Recipients
Since the GET IN THE GAME hockey grant’s inaugural season, two years ago, HockeyShot and FlipGive have seen first hand the world of difference that this financial support makes for the players and families that we have been fortunate enough to help.
For each of us, and these families, hockey is more than just a sport; it’s a part of our lives and it’s what brings many of us together.
Every year we are blown away by the sacrifices and lengths that parents are going to so that their kids can play hockey – 2016 & 2017 were no exceptions. Because of that, we are so proud to have been able to help these players last season.
Maddox P. age 6, Pennsylvania;
Blake E. age 13: Minnesota;
Tyler H. age 10: Illinois;
Emily V. age 13: Ontario;
Konnyr D. age 12: Quebec;
Parker S. Age 9: Arizona
We are thrilled to have helped these teams and players hit the ice last year. For us, the grant is our way to make a small difference in the hockey community, but a huge difference in the lives of under-resourced players and teams.
Last year, one of our 2016 grant winners donated $500 of their own to help another player on their team. Their improved financial situation encouraged them to pay it forward and lend a helping hand – we couldn’t be happier when we hear stories like these.
Apply for the 2018 GET IN THE GAME Hockey Grant
With the cost of hockey continuing to rise each year, HockeyShot and FlipGive are committed to ensuring families can support their children’s passion for the game. If you know a team, player, or family that could benefit from the 2018 GET IN THE GAME grant, click the link below to apply.
We look forward to hearing the many great stories from the hockey community and cannot wait to see what this year’s teams and players do with our support!
HockeyShot is the largest online specialty retailer of hockey training & skill-building products worldwide. We are dedicated to providing the latest in hockey training equipment, superior quality merchandise and excellent customer service. We believe in having a website that’s easy to navigate and that offers extensive content and a vast selection of products.
FlipGive FlipGive combines the convenience of online shopping with the best of online fundraising, making it easier for people to raise money, and for retailers to generate sales while improving communities. Fundraisers earn up to 50 per cent for their school, sports team or cause by shopping with retail partners. To start your fundraising campaign visit flipgive.com.
This article was written by: Karina Penner
This article was written by: Karina Penner