While the Esso Cup tournament won’t take place in Prince Albert until next spring at the earliest, a major donation for the event will benefit minor hockey in the community.
BDO, who is a marketing partner with Hockey Canada, has contributed $5,500 to Prince Albert Minor Hockey through its Goals for Kids program, which provides $50 for each goal scored during any national championship.
The funds reflect a projection of the number of goals that would have been scored during the 2020 Esso Cup, which was slated to be held at the Art Hauser Centre in April.
“The fact that there is a portion of the net proceeds of all ticket sales earmarked for minor hockey, including the BDO Goals for Kids campaign, is icing on the cake”, PA Minor Hockey technical director James Mays said.
“We are presently in discussions with the Saskatchewan Hockey Association looking at a new initiative to inspire female players to get involved in the coaching side of the game, and these dollars could certainly go a long way to kick-start that program. We have a great female program in Prince Albert and we would definitely like to have more of our female players involved in coaching as they have lots to offer the young female players of tomorrow.”
During the 2019-20 season, 10 of the 11 women’s teams that are involved with PA Minor Hockey had a female coach on their staff.
“From what I’ve been told, that’s a lot better than what most centres currently have,” Mays said. “That’s something we’ve tried to encourage here over the last few years at the female level as we feel it’s something that makes perfect sense.
“Of the 260 coaches that we had across Prince Albert Minor Hockey last season, 20 of them were female, which comes out to eight percent. We’d like to see that get a little bit higher percentage wise and one of the things that we’ve talked about with the SHA (Saskatchewan Hockey Association) and Hockey Canada is a new regulation that will require all female teams to have a female coach on their staff. As we roll this out, we’re looking to have the graduating players from the Under-18 programs get involved with that initiative so that they can stay in the game.”
BDO will also be making a donation to PA Minor Hockey following the 2021 Esso Cup tournament, which will be hosted by the Prince Albert Northern Bears and will feature five regional champs from across the country.