The Gear Up Minnesota! equipment grant program was created in 2010, in partnership with Total Hockey and the Minnesota Wild Foundation, to make the game of hockey more accessible for new players.
Over the past six seasons, Gear Up Minnesota! has played a major role in the recruiting and retention activities across the state. The program has distributed over 2,600 sets of starter equipment to over 110 unique community associations, making it the most successful program of its kind in the United States. Gear Up Minnesota! offers sets of starter player equipment, as well as goalie equipment, with the purpose of encouraging more young players to try the position.
“Our mission is to spread the joy of hockey by providing starter equipment to associations, helping them get new players on the ice and creating more vibrant hockey communities," said Katy Benoit of Total Hockey. “We look forward to continuing to fulfill that mission for years to come!”
Each set of starter equipment provides youth skaters with a hockey bag, helmet, breezers, shoulder pads, gloves, elbow and shin pads. The goalie sets include a goalie glove, blocker and leg pads.
All youth hockey associations in Minnesota are encouraged to apply for a Gear Up Minnesota! equipment grant. Applications will be accepted through February 28, 2017 and will be reviewed in the spring and grants will be distributed in August 2017.
A special thank you to the Minnesota Wild Foundation, Total Hockey, Subway, Northwest Designs, Minnesota Wild season ticket holders and our other partners for making Gear Up Minnesota! a success.