The rising cost of hockey is something that all hockey parents and athletes know too well.
We hear about it constantly, the rising cost of the equipment required to play, the registration fees that keep climbing, the increase in mandatory training camps. The numbers prove it, with higher end hockey costing upwards of $5000 dollars per player at the high end, and $1400 at the low end. It made us wonder, how are families without thousands of dollars to spare able to afford these kinds of expenses? New equipment for young players is often required every single year, and that doesn’t even include team jerseys or the inevitable stick breaking.
Madison and Miranda Naylor
The question comes up often, why do parents even bother then? If hockey is such a time consuming, expensive, and out of reach extra curricular, why do they do it? There had been so much news coverage surrounding parents who are obsessed with their children making the NHL or getting into a D1 college. To some, the amount of time and money seems ridiculous just to have a one in a million shot at playing college puck, but in reality, this is not the reason why most parents involve their children in sports or why they will sacrifice to make sure their kids stay on the ice.
When FlipGive and HockeyShot set out to create a grant program for under-resourced players, they were not expecting the overwhelming response they received.
Submissions flooded in.
“First off, we didn’t expect this many people to hear about the grant," says CEO of FlipGive, Mark Bachman. “By the time applications had closed, we had over one thousand applicants for six $500 dollar grants and two $1,000 dollar grants. If that doesn’t say something about how necessary hockey funding is, I don’t know what does.”
Families struggle to make ends meet and go to incredible lengths to keep their kids in hockey. Extra shifts, second and third jobs, sacrificing groceries, selling family possessions, and hawking their wedding ring - these are the lengths parents will go to fund the sport their kids love.
Players of the San Diego Chill hockey team
What’s most incredible is that these families don’t expect their kids to play in the NHL. They simply see the impact hockey has brought to their lives. Time on the ice is a break from bullies, from thinking about dad’s recent cancer diagnosis, from their own health issues. Hockey helps them emotionally and mentally, not because they cared at all about advancing them to the next level.
I’ve paid for tournaments, sticks, etc. by selling my doll collection, one doll at a time, but they are all gone now. Last year, we sold our wedding rings to help pay for the season.
When your son has such a passion and wants to play very bad you kinda just try your best to make it work. Honestly, there have been times that I didn't even buy groceries because the hockey payment had to come out of the account. We do without a lot sometimes in order to pay for hockey and all the equipment he needs.
I'll figure it out somehow- I will sell my soul for my kids- I am selling my stuff to get it done.
My son lives and breathes hockey. It has taught him many skills but mainly to be a gracious team leader, to be humble and have fun. His father and I are currently going thru a very bad divorce and mentally hockey has been his saviour - it's what he focuses on and puts his heart and soul into. - I believe it is what is helping them thru this tough time.
FlipGive and HockeyShot.com are thrilled to be able to help give these kids a way to get on the ice. Our grant winners are truly exceptional players, and we cannot wait to see what they do when they #getinthegame.
San Diego Chill, $1000 prize winner:
15-year-old Isaiah Granet started a hockey team for kids with special needs. Kids play once a week with individual coaches, and develop critical skills. Hockey bridges the gap between the coaches and the players, who constantly achieve more than they ever thought they could. “A lot of the time, we see a huge change in the players over the course of the program”, says Granet. "They leave here more sure of themselves, more confident. It’s amazing to see."
Mid Missouri Tigers, $1000 prize winner:
The tigers have created a tight knit community through their hockey team. Being in such a small town, it becomes difficult to find the means necessary to make sure each player hits the ice. After two flash floods and a six week season delay due to lack of funds, the Tigers grant will go to providing essential equipment to their players.
Gabriel and Catelyn Bias, $500 grant winner:
Gabriel and Catelyn had a rough time making friends at school. Their parents credit hockey with helping them form bonds and create lasting friendships. Even though it’s tough to find the funds for the hockey season, there could be nothing more important to their parents than keeping them in the game.
Miranda and Madison Naylor, $500 grant winner:
With a family crisis in their midst, the ice is a place where Miranda and Madison can forget about everything else and just be kids. Their entire community has been rallying together to help their mom Tricia, who is suffering from cancer.
Athen Kaplanis, $500 grant winner:
After Athen’s dad was diagnosed with brain cancer, his entire team rallied to support him, making stickers for their helmets that said “Max’s Fight” and fundraising so that he could keep playing. The team is truly his family, and his parents would have done just about anything to make sure he could still play.
Skyler Farrington, $500 grant winner:
After a car accident left Skyler with a spinal injury, all he wanted to do was get back on the ice. Thanks to his amazing doctors and the Get in the Game Grant, Skyler will be back on the ice this season!
Ryan Pavlinski, $500 grant winner:
Ryan loves the game of hockey in every way and love being with his teammates. About 12 months ago, Ryan's father was diagnosed with inoperable cancer and has been fighting for his life. With his father's health issues, it has been increasingly difficult for Ryan's family to keep him in the sport he loves. Last year his league was able to raise enough money for Ryan and his sister to keep competing and, thanks to the Get in the Game Grant, he’ll be back on the ice this year!
Luke Jackson, $500 grant winner:
The fires that took place this past summer in the town of Fort McMurray, Alberta devastated an entire community, burning down thousands of homes in the 80,000-person town. Luke Jackson’s home was one of them. All of his equipment, including his jerseys, medals, trophies, and sticks were lost in the fire. All that was left was the drive to push forward. The first thing Luke said when he saw the ruins of their home was, “will I still be able to play hockey without all that stuff?” Being the resilient kid that he is, Luke found a way to get right back on the ice and we are so excited to see what he’ll accomplish with his $500 grant.
FlipGive and HockeyShot.com would like to thank all of the amazing players who applied for the Get In The Game Grant, and look forward to helping them achieve their goals. For more information, or to donate to the Get in The Game program, click the link below.
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