The Ontario Minor Hockey Association has announced a new Player Assist Program, presented by Egg Farmers of Ontario, as a new pilot project to help families who may be feeling the pinch because of COVID-19 participate in the game.
The program will eliminate the cost of equipment for 350 hockey families across 10 minor hockey associations for players under 7 entering the game.
The sets will include skates, shin pads, pants, shoulder pads, elbow pads, neck guard and helmet. Local minor hockey associations will apply to be one of the 10 associations for the pilot project based on meeting a number of criteria. The associations will retain the 350 sets of equipment at the conclusion of the hockey season to loan to players in following years, similar to loaning out a library book.
“Cost is sometimes identified as a barrier for some families to get involved in our great game. We thank our partner the Egg Farmers of Ontario for launching this initiative to help hundreds of families for years to come,” says OMHA Executive Director Ian Taylor.
Since 2018-19, the Egg Farmers of the Ontario has supported the OMHA’s Playdowns where more than 31,000 minor hockey players compete on 6750 teams from January through March. With Playdowns unable to take place this year because of the pandemic, the Egg Farmers of Ontario wanted to support OMHA participants in a new way.
“The pandemic has taken a toll on Canadian families and hit them in the pocketbook. Families are going to have to make some difficult choices in terms of how they spend their money going forward. We want to help hundreds of young people around the province enter the game without the barrier of having to purchase equipment,” says Scott Helps, Chair of the Egg Farmers of Ontario.
To be selected in this program, each Association must be willing to have/execute the following:
- Have a designated IP Director
- Host a parent information session
- Utilize rink dividers & blue pucks
- Host an IP Festival
- Work directly with the OMHA Development Team to ensure a successful program is being operated
The deadline to apply is Sunday March 28.
For questions, please contact: