For the fourth consecutive season, Minnesota Hockey’s Gear Up Minnesota! equipment grant program will offer grants for starter goalie equipment. Gear Up Minnesota!, with the support of Total Hockey and Minnesota Wild Foundation, provides starter sets of equipment to youth hockey associations across Minnesota in a statewide effort to attract new players and make hockey more accessible.
Now in its seventh season, Gear Up Minnesota! has played a major role in helping Minnesota set new records for young hockey players, distributing over 2,600 sets of starter equipment to nearly every community hockey association in Minnesota.
“In just a few years, 80% of Minnesota Hockey's youth associations have participated and received over $500,000 of equipment through Gear Up Minnesota! grants,” said Katy Benoit of Total Hockey. “We are thrilled to provide the exceptional volunteers at the grassroots level with the tools they need to grow the greatest sport on earth.”
The addition of starter goalie equipment sets, which include goalie leg pads, a blocker and a glove, to the grant program in 2013-14 was a huge hit among association volunteers, players and parents.
“The goalie gear we received has allowed our coaches the opportunity to expose mite players to the most vital position in hockey—goalie!” said goalie dad Aaron Biard, whose kids play for MAML Moose Youth Hockey in Monticello. “The players and parents are allowed to experience this with no cost by having community gear.”
By providing starter equipment and goalie gear sets, the Gear Up Minnesota! program strives to make it easier and more affordable for new players to try hockey and play any position they want to.
“As we continue our efforts to get more kids playing our game, we want to make sure kids are getting the opportunities to try all of the positions on the rink,” said Glen Andresen, Minnesota Hockey’s Executive Director. “Thanks to Total Hockey, we’re now able to give kids ages 4-9 the chance to strap on the pads and give goaltending a shot.”
Apply now for a Gear Up Minnesota! grant and let us enhance your growth initiatives with starters sets of player or goalie equipment. The application deadline is February 28th.
All applications will be reviewed in the spring of 2017 and grants will be delivered prior to the start of the 2017-18 season.
A special thank you to the Minnesota Wild Foundation, Total Hockey, Subway, Northwest Designs and our other partners for making Gear Up Minnesota! a success.