TORONTO, May 17, 2012 - Canadians are hockey-crazed, and in communities across the nation, athletes of all levels and backgrounds love to hit the ice to play our country's greatest game. However, for many communities, hockey creates a financial burden that is simply not manageable. To help alleviate this pressure, RBC is encouraging hockey leagues and associations to apply for a 2012 RBC Play Hockey Grant by May 31.
According to a December 2011 survey of hockey households conducted by RBC and Nanos Research, the average family spends approximately $1,500 on hockey-related expenses each year, and less than half of respondents (46 per cent) feel that their local league has enough funding. To close this gap, RBC is providing $25,000 grants to give local hockey programs the opportunity to shine and help players realize their dreams.
"Hockey is something we all have in common - it is our national sport and our passion," said Steven Stamkos, RBC Play Hockey Ambassador. "I'm proud to work with RBC to reach more people, more volunteers and more communities in order to make sure kids across North America have a chance to play."
"We recognize that hockey is an institution, and we believe it's one that should be accessible and available to as many people as possible," added Benoit St-Amand, RBC Play Hockey Ambassador and 2006 Paralympic Sledge Hockey gold medalist. "However, equipment and training does not come cheap, which is why we're pleased to provide funding and support that can really make a difference and help inspire athletes to shoot for the stars - and the net."
In Surrey, B.C., an RBC Play Hockey grant allowed the city to purchase both hockey and sledge hockey equipment and start new classes and programming for players of all levels and abilities. Athletes now have the opportunity to play without any barriers - physical or financial.
"The RBC Play Hockey Grant has helped the City of Surrey make the game of hockey accessible to more families in our community by providing funding for our hockey and sledge hockey programs," said Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts.
The application deadline is two weeks away, on May 31. To apply, visit rbcplayhockey.com. Successful applicants will be announced in late September after being reviewed by a panel of hockey experts. Over the past year, RBC has awarded more than $1 million to 87 deserving hockey programs across North America.
About RBC Play Hockey
RBC is committed to helping hockey happen in communities across North America. As a premier partner of Hockey Canada and USA Hockey, RBC is an official sponsor of each country's men's and women's national teams, the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Canada's National Junior A Championship - RBC Cup - and the Hockey Hall of Fame. RBC sponsors amateur sport in communities across North America, from grassroots programs to national sport associations and elite-level athletes. For more information, visit rbcplayhockey.com.
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