Edmonton, Alberta (August 26, 2022) – As a part of the KidSport Oil Country Hockey Assist Program, through which qualified kids in Alberta from Red Deer north will have their full registration fees covered and access to no-cost equipment, Sport Central is hosting an outfitting day to get kids all the gear they need to play this hockey season. Thanks to the $2 Million donation from the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation to launch the KidSport Oil Country Hockey Assist Program, Sport Central was able to ensure they had all the equipment they needed to get qualified kids on the ice.


“The reality is that many Albertan families can’t afford hockey for their kids,” said Corey Smith, EOCF Board Chair. “That’s why we are excited to partner with KidSport to help alleviate the cost of playing hockey for kids from underrepresented groups. With the EOCF’s recent $2 Million donation, we can help ensure that Canada’s game is within reach for all kids across Oil Country.”


The cost of hockey equipment only adds to the financial barrier that low-income families face when trying to get their kids into the sport. Through the KidSport Oil Country Hockey Assist Program, KidSport Alberta and Sport Central are working hand-in-hand to make hockey more accessible to kids in our community. Today alone, over 10 kids will walk through Sport Central’s doors to get outfitted from head to toe and see their hockey dreams come to life.


“Unfortunately, hockey has become inaccessible for many families due to the cost of registration and equipment but thanks to the incredible leadership that the EOCF is demonstrating by investing back into the hockey community, kids’ lives are being changed every single day and their dreams are coming true.” Said Kelly Oehlerking, Interim Executive Director at KidSport Alberta. “We are thrilled to be working with Sport Central to ensure that kids not only get their registration fees covered, but they are able to access the equipment they need at no cost. This project is truly a team effort to get more kids playing hockey in Oil Country.”


"My kids love being a part of something special, said a current KidSport parent about the program. My son loves scoring goals. My oldest daughter has struggled with depression and anxiety and when she's on the ice she feels like a different person with no stress. When they play, it helps them learn to contribute at home. They know that being a good member of society and in the home is the key to being a great team player.”


Families in Oil Country can go to kidsportHAP.ca to learn more and register.


About Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation
The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) is a proud supporter of Oil Country and has been contributing to our community's success since 2001. With a focus on programs aimed at those most vulnerable in our community, especially in Edmonton's downtown, and youth hockey programming with a goal to increase participation of under-represented groups in our community, the Oilers Foundation is dedicated to building strong, vibrant and safe communities by demonstrating philanthropic leadership and continues its deep legacy of giving back. Thanks to the generosity of our valued hockey fans, Oilers players and alumni, the EOCF Board of Directors, Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) employees and the Katz Family, the Foundation has contributed over $66 million to charitable organizations and minor hockey programs across Oil Country since 2001.


About KidSport

KidSport's core business as a charity is subsidizing sport registration fees for kids from low-income families. We believe that playing hockey promotes the development of children's social, mental, and physical well being. We fundamentally believe that all kids who want to play hockey should be able to regardless of their family's socioeconomic status. We have 25 KidSport chapters throughout Oil Country that provide the infrastructure to get funds to those families who need it to get their kids playing hockey. In addition, the Provincial KidSport Fund covers those communities where we do not have a chapter and the Indigenous KidSport Fund supports kids in Indigenous communities. A simple one-page application process gets things started. Once approved KidSport sends a cheque to the minor hockey association on the child's behalf for the registration fee. In our last normal year 2019 our 38 chapters across Alberta assisted 13,677 kids into 40 sport's by paying $3.2 million in registration fees.


About Sport Central

Founded in 1991, Sport Central is dedicated to making resources available to assist disadvantaged kids in sport across Edmonton, central and northern Alberta. Since then, over 180,000 children have been helped with the gear they need to play.