INVESTING IN THE FUTURE OF CANADA'S ICE HOCKEY FACILITY INFRASTRUCTURE
A message from Chris Bright, Executive Director, Hockey Canada Foundation
Insuring accessibility and the chance to play the national game is at the very core of the Hockey Canada Foundation.
The issue of Canadian hockey’s aging facility infrastructure and the lack of new capacity to keep up with a growing population and the corresponding demographic changes has resulted in a looming threat that seriously compromises the ability to provide future generations of Canada’s sons and daughters with the opportunity to step onto the ice.
There is nothing more purely Canadian than hockey. In addition to the daily physical activity associated with playing the game, participation continues to be an important factor to the overall health and wellness of young people today and crucial to a balanced lifestyle. Along with the development of hockey skills, active involvement helps build life skills that will serve young players well throughout their lives, with the added benefit of keeping them in the game.
The rink has always been a gathering place for Canadian households, helping build strong families and healthy communities. The erosion of this cultural tradition will result in the elimination of an important activity that is essential to the development of young Canadians and their overall quality of life.
Canadians are facing a new reality; the challenge of continuing to have best hockey programs in the world, but with fewer and fewer places to play. As Hockey Canada continues to develop the next generation of programs and leading-edge initiatives aimed at keeping Canada the world leader in hockey, decisive action must be taken now.
To that end, the Hockey Canada Foundation, working with Hockey Canada, will continue to play an instrumental role in helping bring the issue of aging facility infrastructure and the lack of new capacity to the forefront.
Clearly, a considerable investment needs to be made now to ensure the overall health and wellness of Canadian youth and the national game.