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National Women's Team Inspires and Empowers Calgary Students
Initiative led by Hayley Wickenheiser encourages more than 5,600 students to give back to their communities and raise more than $20,000 for Right To Play
July 8, 2010

TORONTO, Ont. – Members of Canada’s National Women’s Team teamed up with the athlete-driven international humanitarian organization Right To Play to offer a unique School Mentorship Program in the months leading up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Twenty-six members of the team visited 10 different schools in Calgary beginning in November 2009 and shared their incredible stories of leadership, goal setting and perseverance. The visits also marked the beginning of fundraising efforts which to date has totaled $24,172 in donations to Right To Play.

The Athlete Ambassador School Mentorship Program provided the opportunity for students, whose schools were selected based on their pledge to support Right To Play’s mission throughout the school year, to receive two empowering visits from their mentors – consisting of two to three National Women’s Team members.

Right To Play uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. The organization is supported by an international team of top athletes including 100 world-class professional and Olympic athletes from Canada including members of Canada’s National Women’s Team. As role models, these athletes inspire children, raise awareness and promote opportunities for funding for Right To Play projects.

While all of the schools chosen had values in line with Right To Play’s philosophy of Look After Yourself, Look After One Another, it was the personal visits by Team Canada members which drove home the importance of embracing global citizenship, the importance of fair play, and determination.

“Hayley is an inspiration,” said Alex Kingston, the principal of Monsignor E.L. Doyle Elementary School, after a visit by the Canadian captain. “She described her method of visualizing her goals in advance and reaching her dreams. With determination and hard work, the best can happen. Hayley is a living example of that. Our students at Monsignor Doyle were left with hope of ‘anything is possible.’”

While more than 20 schools applied to participate in the Athlete Ambassador School Mentorship Program, the 10 successful participants included Citadel Park School, Cochrane High School, Colonel Irvine School, Edge School, Edgemont School, Grant MacEwan School, The Hampton School, King George School, Marion Carson School and Queen Elizabeth High School.

About Right To Play

Right To Play is an international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Working in both the humanitarian and development context, Right To Play builds local capacity by training community leaders as Coaches to deliver its programs in over 20 countries affected by war, poverty, and disease in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. Founded in 2000, Right To Play is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and has national offices in Canada, Norway, The Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The national offices raise funds, build awareness for Right To Play programs and advocate for Sport for Development.

Source: Right To Play

For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada

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