Hespeler Minor Hockey helps with Indigenous Hockey Equipment Drive
Minor hockey players were out in Cambridge helping collect supplies for those who wouldn't have access to equipment.
Hespeler Minor Hockey was out Saturday helping with the Indigenous Hockey Equipment Drive.
The drive's founder Graham McWaters travels across Ontario and gathers enough equipment to fill roughly 1,000 hockey bags a year.
"There are people playing hockey now and skating that never would have played had we not given them that equipment," said McWaters. "In the fall we deliver it to 40 First Nations communities in Ontario. We've been doing this for eight years.
"The one thing we hear the most from the Indigenous communities is when they get this equipment, it's like Christmas."
Hespeler Minor Hockey brought together weeks' worth of collections, which was enough to fill about 100 hockey bags.
"It's great to help the community," one player said. "Everyone can play hockey. It's a great sport and it's fun."
Parents say they see it as a teachable moment that comes full circle.
"They had sponsorships that directly contributed to them having a really great season on the ice," said team manager Amy Ross. "It was an opportunity for us to give back.
"We're just so grateful to have a great group of parents and that's really what hockey should be all about."
McWaters says communities in the far north of Ontario are especially thankful.
"I met someone from that community who said, because of you, there are less suicides in our community, so that one was a big one."