Hyundai Hockey Helpers works with financially challenged families to get
their kids in the game through a partnership with Hyundai Dealers,
KidSport Canada, Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban
MARKHAM, ON, July 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Hockey can play a vital role in a
child's development, yet the soaring league and equipment costs are
keeping many Canadian youth off the ice. In fact, the financial strain
put on families is cited as the number one deterrent by hockey parents
in a new survey conducted for Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.
The survey also found that nearly two-thirds (65%) of Canadian parents
surveyed who have children that play hockey pay $1,000 or more each
year for each child to play organized youth hockey, citing high league
fees (39%), equipment (23%), and out-of-town travel (28%) as the game's
highest individual cost elements.
Hyundai Auto Canada decided to do something about the escalating cost by
launching Hyundai Hockey Helpers in 2012 with a partnership with KidSport Canada, a not-for-profit
organization that provides financial assistance to help deserving
families pay for registration fees and equipment. Last year, the
program provided grants to 1,879 kids so they could participate in the
"As someone fortunate enough to grow up playing hockey, I know how
important it can be in a building a child's confidence and values. Yet,
the financial burden is forcing many parents to deny their children
this opportunity, so we decided to create Hyundai Hockey Helpers," says
Steve Kelleher, President and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. "Now in
its second year, this program is giving thousands of children the
chance to be part of a game that could very well change their lives."
For 2013, Hyundai Hockey Helpers is again teaming up with one of
Canada's most accomplished hockey families, the Subbans, led by father
Karl, Montreal Canadien and Norris Trophy winning defenceman P.K.
Subban, and his brothers Malcolm, a Boston Bruins draft pick, and
Jordan, a Vancouver Canucks draft pick currently playing with the
The financial burden of three kids playing hockey was so great for Karl
Subban that he worked full-time as a teacher, as well as working other
jobs to earn additional money. Free winter nights were spent with his
boys at the public rink at Toronto's Nathan Philips Square honing their
basic hockey skills.
"Hyundai Hockey Helpers didn't exist when I was raising my sons, so we
had to make personal sacrifices and lean on our community for support
because we believed organized sports would help them grow and develop,"
said Karl Subban, a retired middle school principal. "It was never
about getting them to the professional leagues for us. It was about
enabling them to learn the social skills and positive personality
traits that are cultivated in an organized sport like hockey. As part
of my job, I saw first-hand many kids from families that could not
afford to put them in hockey, and it broke my heart. Working with
Hyundai Hockey Helpers gives me a chance to make a real difference in
the lives of thousands of deserving kids."
Unfortunately for the country's favourite sport, Karl's family story is
not unique. Hyundai Auto Canada commissioned a survey of 1,006 hockey
parents. Ninety-five per cent agree that enrolling their kids in the
sport requires a significant financial contribution. Indeed, 79 per
cent say the family has to make sacrifices, with 53 per cent citing
fewer vacations, 44 per cent attending fewer social events or family
gatherings and 42 per cent saying the family has to give up
participation in other activities such as different sports or music
In its inaugural year, Hyundai Hockey Helpers helped the families of more than 1,800 kids remove financial barriers
to play hockey. In its second year, the program will help even more
children, providing them with the opportunity to play Canada's national
"At KidSport, we believe that no kid should be left on the sidelines and
all should be given the opportunity to experience the positive benefits
of organized sports," says Jamie Ferguson, Chair of KidSport. "We are
very fortunate to have such passionate supporters as Hyundai and the
Subbans to again help us achieve our shared objective of creating
opportunities for under-resourced kids."
The program administration and the financial grants for the first 1,000
recipients of Hyundai Hockey Helpers is the result of contributions by
all of the 210 Hyundai dealers across Canada, as well as Hyundai Auto
Canada Corp. Furthermore, 100 per cent of every additional dollar
donated by the public toward the program goes directly to KidSport to
help one more kid get in the game. October also marks Hyundai Hockey
Helpers Month in Canada where participating Hyundai dealers across the
country actively conduct fundraising programs to help more kids in
their region get in the game.
P.K. Subban, the 2013 Norris Trophy winner, will play a key role in
bringing attention to the cause and inspiring Canadians to donate to
the program. "I cannot even imagine what my life would be like if I
didn't grow up playing hockey," he says. "Not every kid in youth hockey
is going to make it to the professional level, but I can guarantee that
each and every one will become better equipped to deal with life's many
opportunities and challenges. This is truly an investment in our
To learn more about Hyundai Hockey Helpers and how you can make a
difference or apply for a grant, visit HyundaiHockey.ca.
About The Study
An online survey was conducted between June 4 and June 10, 2013, with
sample of 1,006 randomly selected Canadian parents with children that
play hockey and who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. Discrepancies in
totals are due to rounding.
Hyundai Auto Canada, established in 1983 and headquartered in Markham,
Ontario, is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of South Korea.
Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout Canada by Hyundai Auto
Canada and are sold and serviced through more than 210 dealerships
KidSport was established in 1993 because of an identified need
by leaders in the sport community. They witnessed too many children on
the sidelines because of financial barriers. Since that time, KidSport
is going strong throughout Canada with over 170 local community
volunteer chapters in 11 provinces and territories.
SOURCE: Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.
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