CANMORE – Thirty local families will benefit from a $6,000 grant from Hockey Alberta to the Canmore Minor Hockey Association (CMHA).
During these unprecedented times, $200 per family from the player assistance grant will go towards registration fees for this, or next season, to help keep children on the ice.
"Sometimes that $200 is the difference between my player can't play and my player can play, so for us to be able to offer that to even more families this year is fantastic," said Michael Hay, president of CMHA. "In the middle of all this doom and gloom, there's still some good stuff happening. This is something we can celebrate within our association and within our town for kids having fun."
A part of Every Kid Every Community Grant Fund, with a goal to provide every child in Alberta the opportunity to play the game, Hockey Alberta doubled the amount of what is normally distributed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Although we have a $3,000 cap on player grants, we are increasing that limit this quarter as these are unprecedented times," said Erin Zatylny, Hockey Alberta's coordinator for marketing communications in an email.
CMHA was one of 18 communities to receive a Hockey Alberta grant. It will benefit families from Canmore to the Stoney Nakoda First Nation.
"We have an immense amount of membership – it's tough, everyone thinks that if you live in Canmore, you're a millionaire and it's easy to do things, and it's not," said Hay.
In a season filled with restrictions, new rules and cohort leagues, so far CMHA has been able to hold regular practices and most teams have played at least three games. This is due in part to teams and coaches following AHS guidelines, said Hay.
"As president of Canmore minor hockey, I've never been prouder of our coaches and managers, our membership, to see kids on the ice having fun," said Hay. "It's a little bit of normalcy for them and it's awesome."