HAMILTON – – As a legacy of the 2022 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic, the Buffalo Sabers, Toronto Maple Leafs and National Hockey League (NHL) will donate to Hockey 4 Youth to help expand their hockey program for young people. youth in Hamilton, Ontario.
Hockey 4 Youth offers free on-ice and off-ice TEACH (Technology, Entrepreneurship, Arts, Community Giving and Healthy Active Living) programs, using hockey to welcome new Canadians. Founded in 2015 by Moezine Hasham, the organization has worked with over 500 newcomers, providing a safe and inclusive environment for teens of all genders. To date, they have supported young people from 32 different countries of origin, including Ethiopia, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Syria and Vietnam.
The organization currently operates programs in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. This donation will help Hockey 4 Youth expand its programming in Hamilton for the first time.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the National Hockey League to support the expansion of Hockey 4 Youth in Hamilton,” said Rich Jureller, president of the Buffalo Sabers Foundation. “Their proven program will have a huge impact on many deserving young people in Hamilton and we are very proud to support their efforts as part of the Legacy Initiative for the 2022 NHL Heritage Classic.”
“Hockey is an essential part of the ‘Canadian experience’,” said Tanya Mruck, Chief Executive, MLSE Foundation. “We know that providing equitable access to sport leads to success and opportunities off the ice for young people and their communities. By collaborating with Hockey 4 Youth, the National Hockey League and the Buffalo Sabers Foundation to increase access to hockey for diverse communities in Hamilton, we are empowering the next generation to use the sport to recognize and reach their potential. ”
“We are inspired and indebted to community organizers like Hockey 4 Youth who open our game to newcomers,” said Kim Davis, NHL Senior Executive Vice President, Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs. “They prove once again that what is gained through this sport – the friends, the life skills, the values - is attractive to all families, regardless of your national origin or your skin color. We proud to invest in programs that will fuel the long-term growth of hockey.”
Today, the Sabers, Leafs and NHL celebrated the donation by inviting children from the Hamilton Boys & Girls Club to participate in the ball hockey program with special guests including NHL alumni Mark Fraser, Peter Ing , Wilf Payment, Wayne Primeau and Rick Vaive; as well as mascots Sabretooth and Carlton. Additionally, today’s youth participants received tickets to tomorrow’s sold-out away game.
The Legacy Initiative is an ongoing philanthropic endeavor through which the League and local club support community organizations in the host city of an NHL event. Since 2003, the League, its clubs and partners have donated more than $6 million to communities across North America. Legacy projects have helped thousands of hospitalized patients recover; helped young people and families at risk to have better access to educational and vocational training; and provided greater access for people of all ages to learn and play hockey.