CALGARY (ALBERTA) – Long time supporter of Canada’s National Women’s Team, Dan O'Neill, announced on Tuesday he will be making, on behalf of his family, a personal gift of $500,000 to the Canadian Hockey Foundation to ensure continued support to the players with Canada’s National Women’s Hockey Team.
This gift will be used to establish a Fund whose purpose will be to provide financial support to those women’s hockey players who represent Canada at major international championship events, beginning this year at the 2006 Olympic Games and continuing over the next five years through to 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
During the term of the Fund each player who makes the official final rosters of the team will receive a grant of $5,000 to help offset the many personal training expenses they incur during their preparations to represent our country. During intervening non Olympic years players who represent Canada at the IIHF Women’s World Championships will receive this much needed financial support.
O’Neill joined the team on Tuesday in Calgary as it continued its preparations to defend its Olympic title this February in Turin, Italy. O’Neill met with the team after practice and informed them of his intent.
“Over the last number of years I’ve come to understand the kinds of personal sacrifices these young women make so they can represent Canada on the international stage” said O’Neill. “They give so much and take the weight of our whole country on their shoulders each time they put on the Team Canada jersey. I hope this financial support will assist them as they focus on their goal of repeating as Olympic champions and carry them through 2010, putting them in as strong a position as possible to win the gold medal on Canadian soil in 2010 in Vancouver.”
“It was very important to me that we start today and begin to provide support to the players and make sure that this support is available to them over the next five years, culminating with the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.”
O’Neill concluded by putting out a challenge other individuals as well as Canadian companies to get involved and support our amateur athletes and Canada’s national teams.
“Dan has been a true friend of Canadian hockey for many years,” said Bob Nicholson, President, Hockey Canada. “To have Dan and his family come forward now with a personal gift of this magnitude is a credit to his love of hockey.”
“I’ve been privileged to have worked with Dan for some time in his capacity as Honorary Chair for our Foundation and he has always been so generous with his time, advice and financial support” said Noel Fader, Director of Fund Development for Hockey Canada and Foundation Executive Director. “The scope of this contribution will be felt over the next five years and make a crucial difference in the lives of a very special group of amateur athletes.”
The Canadian Hockey Foundation provides a new source of secure, sustainable, long term funding to support the future development and delivery of Hockey Canada programs, projects, and activities.