As one of the most popular sports in Canada, hockey builds communities, shapes identities, and is a fabric of our society. It has the power to unite us, to build traditions, to be a vehicle for growth. Space, money, perception. We understand the barriers to youth hockey in Toronto. We also understand the opportunity. We launched Home Ice Hockey with a mandate to get more youth in the game.
Home Ice Hockey brings non-competitive organized hockey to youth facing barriers at no cost. In partnership with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Scotiabank and the City of Toronto, Home Ice Hockey activates 12 community sites, including two girls-only locations. The program provides protective equipment and on-ice instruction to 350 young hockey enthusiasts every year.
Girls are underrepresented in the sport of hockey. By ensuring that girls have spaces that are dedicated to them, Home Ice Hockey is moving the needle on getting more girls active, while providing important opportunities to increase sense of belonging in community neighbourhoods.
Ella is a participant at the Adam Beck program in Toronto’s west end. Following her journey through the initial 9-week program, Ella has overcome her fear and jumped into hockey with both feet.
“Ella and her old sister Jumy have been with the program for two years. Last year Ella cried almost every day, finding it hard to get on the ice, she would only go on the ice if she could skate beside the coaches and stay with them throughout the day. She was not very confident on the ice. They continued to encourage and support her and she did keep coming back each week. They were not sure if she would return for another season this year. But she has returned, she is excited to go on the ice and has improved in her skating abilities and is really enjoying the game.”