TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2022 /CNW/ - In October 2021, Scotiabank launched an innovative program focused on promoting diversity, accessibility, and inclusion in hockey: hockey for all. In its inaugural year, hockey for all has benefited over 250,000 children, youth, and athletes by breaking down cultural and financial barriers to the game and bringing the sport to their front door. hockey for all is Scotiabank's commitment to making impactful, positive change in Canada's game – and it's working.
"Hockey is at an important juncture and Canadians have demanded stewards of the sport step up and make meaningful investments in what matters to them: inclusion, accessibility, safety, and diversity," said Laura Curtis Ferrera, Scotiabank's Chief Marketing Officer. "Hockey is Canada's game – one that brings family, friends, and communities together and we must continue to work collaboratively to ensure it reflects our nation's people and values. For decades Scotiabank has been a part of the hockey community, and as committed partners we will continue to invest in change so the game can truly be hockey for all; that's the essence of our commitment and the success within our first year shows work is long overdue."
One year after its launch, Scotiabank is proud to release the hockey for all year one program update, highlighting the initiative's first-year milestones. Since October 2021, hockey for all programs have:
Donated over $3 million in funds to organizations whose goal is to make hockey more accessible to underserved communities, benefitting over 290,000 youth.
Provided financial support to help over 160,000 kids get on the ice.
Provided free on and off-ice skills training to over 1,200 young women across Canada through Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest.
Launched Alberta's first outdoor accessible rink, improving accessibility for over 3,000 para-hockey players.
Donated over 2,500 pieces of hockey equipment to Indigenous communities through Project North.
In order to drive positive change in the sport, hockey for all programs are based on two distinct areas of focus: cultural and financial.
Culturally, hockey for all endeavours to make hockey more diverse and inclusive by educating youth and collaborating with organizations committed to changing the game's culture including the Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA) and You Can Play.
Financially, hockey for all aims to create accessibility by providing monetary relief to underrepresented community players, teams, leagues, and organizations. hockey for all achieves this with programs such as Scotiabank's hockey for all sponsorship program (formerly the Community Hockey Sponsorship Program), Project North, and Hockey 4 Youth.
Since its inception, Scotiabank has worked hand-in-hand with The Hockey Diversity Alliance to help eradicate racism within the sport.
"The Hockey Diversity Alliance is driven by our mission to eradicate systemic racism and intolerance in hockey," said Akim Aliu, co-founder of the Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA) and Scotiabank Teammate. "Our partnership with Scotiabank and participation in hockey for all has helped us contribute to more grassroots hockey development and equipment programs, fund anti-racism and unconscious bias education programs and support social justice initiatives that further our shared mission changing the game."
Scotiabank's Hockey 4 Youth partnership has also benefited 250 new Canadian youth looking to pursue hockey as a sport.
"Hockey 4 Youth's partnership with Scotiabank has had a direct effect on our programming prioritizing new Canadians and high-priority youth," said Moezine Hasham, Executive Director and Founder, Hockey 4 Youth. "With the support of hockey for all we were able to support 250 new Canadian youth, allowing them to play hockey without the often-prohibitive burden of purchasing new gear."
The hockey for all commitment is also showing up in communities in other ways. This fall, Scotiabank collaborated with athlete empowerment brand UNINTERRUPTED Canada as presenting sponsor of the feature documentary film BLACK ICE which explores the journey of Black hockey players from the creation of The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes to the modern-day NHL. Last month, together with True North Sports + Entertainment, Scotiabank announced the re-naming of the Winnipeg Jets practice facility and multi-plex to the hockey for all centre. The hockey for all centre will be an inclusive and accessible facility, with programs for underserved communities, including free Learn to Play programs, subsidized equipment opportunities.
To amplify year two of hockey for all and the way the program is changing the game, Scotiabank released a new 30-second spot, coinciding with the beginning of the 2022-23 NHL® season. Watch the commercial and learn more about hockey for all programs here.
The hockey for all year one program update can be read here.
Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. Guided by our purpose: "for every future", we help our customers, their families and their communities achieve success through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of over 90,000 employees and assets of over $1.3 trillion (as at October 31, 2022), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit http://www.scotiabank.com and follow us on Twitter @Scotiabank.
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