Minnesota Hockey announced today it has awarded 442 sets of starter equipment to 48 community associations through the Gear Up Minnesota! equipment grant program. Gear Up Minnesota! grants are designed to help associations grow the game of hockey by attracting new families and making hockey more accessible.
The Gear Up Minnesota! grant program was started in 2010 with the support of Total Hockey and the Minnesota Wild Foundation. In four seasons since then, the program has donated over 1,800 sets of equipment worth more than $360,000 to hockey associations in Minnesota.
Each set of equipment is specifically designed for players ages 4-9. They include a hockey bag, helmet, breezers, gloves, elbow and shin pads. By providing young players with everything they need besides skates and a stick, Gear Up Minnesota! plays a key role in helping increase the number of hockey players at the grassroots level. 10 sets of goalie equipment were awarded as a part of this year’s Gear Up Minnesota! grants to help associations increase interest in the position while reducing the cost associated with it.
“It is amazing that over 100 associations have now received grants through Gear Up Minnesota!,” said Katy Benoit, USA Hockey and Minnesota Hockey Liaison for Total Hockey. “There are so many quality growth initiatives put in place by the most enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, and their passion is contagious. We are pleased and honored to fulfill over $90,000 of player and goalie gear this grant period for those deserving organizations. Their efforts are awesome!”
Over the past four years, association volunteers have shown the impact that Gear Up Minnesota! can have in fueling growth in their community. From Try Hockey for Free or Learn to Play programs to enhancing their marketing and communication efforts, board members, coaches and parents continue to generate exciting ways to utilize these grants and invite new players into our hockey family.
“We are very fortunate to have partners that supply starter equipment so that more children in Minnesota can experience the joy of playing hockey,” said Dave Margenau, President of Minnesota Hockey. “We want to thank them for their assistance in making hockey more affordable.”
Thank you to the Minnesota Wild Foundation, Total Hockey, Shock Doctor, West Bend Insurance, Subway and our other partners for your involvement with Gear Up Minnesota!. Without your support, Gear Up Minnesota! and the number of new hockey players it has produced wouldn’t be possible.
Tag(s): MN Hockey News