ABOVE: Watch P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens on Global’s The Morning Show.
TORONTO – P.K. Subban, who achieved his dream in 2007 when he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens, is helping kids across Canada achieve theirs.
Subban said Tuesday he knows that putting a child through hockey is expensive. That’s why the 25-year-old defenceman is now the face of Hyundai Hockey Helpers, a program that helps under-resourced kids play organized hockey.
“It’s not easy to pay for hockey,” the Toronto-born NHLer said in an interview on Global’s The Morning Show. “Growing up, I understood. I had two younger brothers who had to wear P.K. second and third equipment just to play the game.”
According to a 2013 study, the average household spends $1,500 on hockey expenses and three out of five people have or know someone who has borrowed money to put their kid on the ice.
Some families are spending upwards of $10,000 on the sport.
WATCH: P.K. Subban and his father play a little road hockey
Launched in 2012, Hyundai Hockey Helpers — in partnership with KidSport — has put nearly 5,000 deserving kids in hockey equipment and on the ice.
“We didn’t have programs like this growing up,” Subban said. “This is authentic to me, this is who I am.”
But for Subban, the program is more about giving a child a sense of community and teaching them a thing or two about life.
“Playing sports you learn so many life lessons,” he explained. “First of all socializing, that’s one of the problems I think people have. They don’t know how to communicate with people.
“I think you find that when playing organized sports, communicating, perseverance, teamwork…this is not just about hockey, it’s about kids’ opportunity at life and giving them life skills to be successful.”
© Shaw Media, 2014