Indigenous Hockey Equipment Drive on track with plans for 2022

Last Saturday, as many Indigenous boys and girls received help to get on the ice to enjoy the game of hockey in Sudbury.

For the first time the Indigenous Hockey Equipment Drive, based in southern Ontario, was in the northern region to distribute equipment to five Indigenous communities in the area.

Graham and Angie McWaters started the Indigenous Hockey Drive eight years ago with collection points in Barrie, Whitby and Toronto.

According to their website page on Their Opportunity, the first year of the hockey equipment accumulation, Graham reached out to his son’s Richmond Hill team for equipment donations who helped raise 8 bags of equipment and numerous hockey sticks. The first delivery of equipment was sent to Beausoleil First Nation on Christian Island.

”Inspired by the first hockey drive in 2015 there have been numerous drives with each
growing larger than the last to the point where over 1,000 bags, 200 sets of goalie pads
and over 700 sticks were accumulated and donated in the fall of 2021 to 40 Indigenous
communities in Ontario. As part of the 1,000, a special delivery of 350 bags were delivered to Thunder Bay for distribution to Indigenous youth in that area and to northern communities never serviced by this hockey distribution. Over the past few years, we have had the support of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators Foundation,” reads the page.

“Our organization, Indigenous Hockey Equipment Drive (formerly known as First Nations
Hockey Equipment Drive) has teamed up with a local sports charity from Oshawa,
Ontario: Their Opportunity, which has assisted with planning, logistics, social media,
and the online presence for the cash donations to buy new helmets and support any
transportation costs.”

The goal of the equipment drive in 2022 is to accumulate donations of 1,000 bags to be distributed to 40 Indigenous communities in Ontario this fall.

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